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Off-Topic: Movies for Revolutionaries

Posted Aug 24 2008 4:43pm
So I watched "Ironman" over the weekend. I highly recommend it. Robert Downey, Jr. does some great acting. It's a very intelligent film that pays homage to the comic book. I like how they showed the very first incarnation of Ironman, modeled after how it was first drawn in the comic: very clunky and tank-like.



I love movies about iconoclasts, people who are marginalized, but have vision and do their own thing to help themselves and their communities. This is not a complete list, but here are some of my favorites:



Fight Club- This book and movie speaks to a lot of men nowadays who feel emasculated by society. Everybody quotes the rules of Fight Club, but the best line in the movie is, "Sometimes the things you own... own you."



Planet of the Apes/Conquest of the Planet of the Apes- Although there are certain aspects of these 2 movies that are somewhat dated, these movies do a great job exploring the volatile issues of class and race. History is written by conquerors. Cultural legacies are conveniently erased to create and maintain a present order, where one group of people exerts dominance and influence over another to maintain society and a way of life. Caesar's speech at the end of "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" gets me jacked up every time.



Fist of Fury/Fist of Legend- I remember watching Bruce Lee's "Fist of Fury" as a kid and getting amped up. This film really spoke to me as an American born Chinese (ABC) growing up dealing with racist BS in a supposedly liberal San Francisco. My favorite Jet Li movie "Fist of Legend" is a remake of "Fist of Fury," and deals with the subject matter of colonialism with greater complexity. Whereas Bruce's movie was very nationalistic and spoke out against racism against the Chinese, Jet's film showed more cross-cultural understanding and respect. Plus, Jet has an amazing scene where he beats the crap out of a bunch of Japanese students by dislocating a different joint on each and everyone of them. And he does it in half a minute.



The Matrix- The Matrix is a metaphor on how one should not accept the reality that is given to you. One should not accept information on face value. This applies to everything, whether it's stereotypes of groups of people, how you perceive yourself, media propaganda, or the food you've been eating (which is not what your ancestors ate). Even in bodybuilding and strength training, it's amazing to see what knowledge has been lost and what has been recycled and presented as new to younger generations. The biggest lesson from this movie is: don't always accept things on face value. Always seek the truth about yourself and the world around you.



Copland- Sometimes people are thrust into situations, and they are faced with a moral dilemma: do you rise to the occasion, or do you sink back down to your life of tolerating what others do? Although this film's plot was confusing and uninteresting, Sly Stallone did an excellent job of portraying a big fat wuss who says, "No more!" My favorite scene is when De Niro is telling Sly off: "I gave you a chance to be a real cop, to do the right thing, BUT YOU BLEW IT!!!"



Here are some other notable movies about real life iconoclasts, all who had incredible vision. Granted, the last 2 were crooks, but still you got to admire their conviction:



-Malcolm X

-The Aviator

-Catch Me If You Can

-Bugsy
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