Monday, May 9, 2016

Speed Racer (2008)

With a budget of $120 mil, Speed Racer might be the most expensive art film ever made. Like the Matrix Trilogy and V for Vendetta it has a lot on its mind, only this time the Wachowski's want you to really listen. They're using bright colors and willfully unrealistic CGI in much the same way that Bertolt Brecht used harsh lighting and spoken stage directions to alienate the audience and make them aware that they are being messaged. Like Godard they are taking the conventions of pop cinema and turning them against the audience. There is no way you can walk out of this film and not be thinking about corporate greed, good v. bad CGI and studio filmmaking. Even 12 year olds are certain to come out of this film a little more woke than when they went in.

1 comment:

  1. I have to confess a certain wariness regarding the films of the Wachowskis. While they advertise themselves as anti-authoritarian, I'm not at all sure their films really express this.

    In both The Matrix and V for Vendetta, the "revolutions" are carried out by small groups of unaccountable elites (Neo is "the One", and any person called "the One" probably doesn't have any legal checks and balances on their behavior). These rebels are indifferent to casualties that their actions create.

    V for Vendetta even took this a step further with the rebels subsuming all identity in order to adopt V's guise. It does not seem like something that would lead to democracy or the rule of law.

    Which may be the point—perhaps the Wachowskis are trying to show that supposed revolutions invariably recreate the same power structure that they sought to destroy. However, I never got the feeling that they were saying this. Instead, the rebels are icons of cool who inspire the masses with propaganda of the deed—crypto-fascists, in other words.

    That said, the first Matrix film is still really kick-ass.