Saturday, July 01, 2006
Just after returning from watching Ken Loach's Palm D'or reaping drama The Wind That Shakes The Barley and like most feel slightly compelled to add one or two words to the flurry of type and hype that has accompanied the movie's release on these shores. The Wind That Shakes The Barley is a typical Loach movie betraying many of the core techniques developed in his previous outings. Again he relies on plunging a shallowly crafted personal relationship, this time between two brothers, into a set of tragic circumstances. These circumstances provide an emotional cover for an overly didactic political approach to popularising alternative historical mythologies that challenge the authors of a victors' history. This time the contested historicity is an Irish text book rabid nationalism, that sweeps aside socialist and labour based movements in the process of consolidating the free state.
As in the Spanish Civil War epic Land and Freedom, his pastiche of Orwell's experiences in Homage to Catalonia given a romantic streak that nearly ends on two opposite ends of the barriacades outside the Barcelona telephone exchange, he creates his alternative historical narratives brilliantly. Like the Catalan epic he returns to his routine technique of using moments of extended tense political debate to foreground the various shades of the arguments operating within the historical juncture he is focussing on. In Land and Freedom this was deployed around collectivisation of the village as well as militarisation and in Bread and Roses it was used during the discussions on joining a union. Here he pushes an anti-treaty agenda, one based on the social policy of the democratic programme of the first Dail, to the front during arguments in a republican court that challenge the extortionate income charged by a local gombeen man and later again prior to the Treaty vote itself.
Equally a quintessential part of Loach's work is his use of characters that roll across the screen as near archetypes, each representing different political persausions and social back grounds. Its no surprise again to see Loach fall back on the idea of the "sell out". The reformist who takes the uniform of the new state and falls back in line with wealth and elites. In this new film, it's the Cillian Murphy character's brother who takes the bait - while in his Catalan epic, a college educated American communist plays the same role. Another routine stereotype from Irish folk history here is Dan, the Jackeen train driving union man who brings the workshop's and field's socialism of Connolly down to the rural backwater village where the films terse action takes place.
Comments: Post a Comment
About Soundtracksforthem specialises in iconoclastic takes on culture, politics, and more shite from the underbelly of your keyboard. A still-born group blog with a recent surge of different contributers but mainly maintained by James R. Big up all the contributers and posse regardless of churn out rate: Kyle Browne, Reeuq, Cogsy, Chief, X-ie phader/Krossie, Howard Devoto, Dara, Ronan and Mark Furlong. Send your wishes and aspirations to antropheatgmail.com
The Neverending Blogroll
Dave Landy's Alternative Marx.
NCAD and The Liberties: Categorise Under Philistin...
Sixty Seconds On Film, May 2006.
Look Ma No hands!
Bong Ra: Call It What You Want-CORE!
Live Review: Lightning Bolt Are the Band Your Pare...
ATP 2006: Universal Value Systems and a Dose of Ad...
Film Review: V For Vendetta
DJ Rupture Set To Lay It Down.
Viagra High Wizards
|| Soundtracks ||