There might be billions of other civilizations that have existed at different times for us, we think of the world in terms of the way we perceive time which is just like milliseconds galactically. Is it true that you wrote your undergraduate thesis on a Marxist overview of popular s cinema and hegemonic discourses? I did. Basically I was using Marxist modes of critical theory to address Star Wars.
So very simply put, if you watch a racist comedian and you laugh, then you are a racist. And there are various preoccupations and concerns that flow through popular cinema that reflect things that are going on in society, certain ideas and certain fears.
The thesis suggested that by watching films like those you are participating in those fears and preoccupations. Well, for instance at the time, in the late seventies and mid-eighties we were in the height of nuclear paranoia and we were feeling that we could be bombed at any second by the Russians, and a lot of films at the time reflect that sense of ill-ease, particularly Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
All those films are riddled with bomb paranoia and also with justifications for having bombs like that. So you have weapons like the Genesis Project in Star Trek , you have the Death Star, the Force, you have the Ark of the Covenant, all of which are fine in the hands of good people. In Shaun of the Dead , Shaun is initially unperturbed about the prospect of killing his zombie stepdad.
Did you ever worry about how your actual stepdad would react to that? No, not at all. I played out the politics of a step-relationship and it was a fairly fruitful thing to draw from as a writer because there are certain dynamics of a step-relationship which are dramatically interesting. I thought that was really interesting in terms of the sort of stag element of two guys sort of facing off.
That they would behave that way towards each other even though deep down they actually have respect and love for each other. We get on just fine. Shaun of the Dead seems to have a completely happy ending, but in your book you make it sound as if you see the ending in kind of a more sinister way.
Could you talk about that issue of whether or not the movie has a happy ending? I think the movie does have a happy ending. We loved the idea … the details of it are obviously quite tragic, but in actual fact the status quo that has been established is actually beneficial to everybody involved. What do you make of this phenomenon, and what have been some of your favorite recent examples of zombie books and movies? It owed a debt to Romero and John Wyndham. And then the Dawn of the Dead remake came out right about the same time.
As far as we knew when we went into production with Shaun of the Dead , we were the only zombie film out there. I really like [the screenwriter] James Gunn. The opening fifteen minutes particularly is excellent. But I think it really deserves to have its own identity. We were very, very slavishly respectful to his vision. The subsequent iterations of the story have been related to video games.
The two Living Dead [anthologies]: very, very good. The games have been good— Left 4 Dead is great, and those zombies run. Are you a fan of the Tintin comics and if so what are some of your favorite moments from the books?
I was a fan growing up. There was an animated series of it that I used to watch when I was young. But I felt I knew it already. I knew the Thompson Twins, and everyone knows who Captain Haddock is. Pirates of the Caribbean alone is—whatever you think of those films—based on a ride in a theme park because people have heard of the ride.
Can you say what kind of differences we can expect from the comics to the movie? I think it was very important to Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson—who was also very much a Tintin fan—that the film be true to the original comics. People often assume that they are. How does that work, like if you have actors who are different sizes than their characters? Does the computer just work all that out?
When Nick and I put on our motion capture suits, on the monitor we would look like the Thompson Twins. That was kind of weird. Could you tell us a little bit about that? I was training mainly when I was there. I think I only did about three or four days shooting in Dubai. In his Guardian interview , Pegg revealed his interest in the work of Antonio Gramsci, noting his dissertation was entitled 'a Marxist overview of popular Seventies cinema and hegemonic discourses'.
As the interviewer noted, 'when I roll my eyes and say, "Oh there's nothing like a bit of hegemony," he [Pegg] tells me that "an awareness of the postmodern condition is still the intellectual bedrock" of his comedic method. As one reviewer wrote: 'There's a wee bit of philosophy and science in this episode, Bilbo talks about the class war Minty is selling 'Socialist Worker' and the Italian Marxist Gramsci. Brian makes a foray into the world of Mathematics when he muses on the influence of chaos theory in the Star Wars trilogy'.
Pegg's career however took off when he made Shaun of the Dead in - a pisstake off the popular zombie movie Dawn of the Dead incidently, though I still need to confirm this, there looks like there is a bit of 'Stop the War' flyposting is on the street when the main character lives and Hot Fuzz is clearly a spoof of US cop films like Bad Boys II - only with 'N. However, what is interesting I think is what Pegg does next, now he is a massive star.
Pegg does bring some politics into Hot Fuzz albeit in a subtle way and I am not suggesting that Pegg should get directly political and aim to become 'the new Ken Loach' - whose The Wind that Shakes the Barley I have also seen recently and was quite simply not only the best introduction to Irish history in the twentieth century one could wish for but also an outstanding film in its own right.
All I suppose I am saying is that if one takes the apparent current 'postmodern condition' too seriously, there are dangers. Most people in Britain today have a rather different experience of the police today than that reflected in Hot Fuzz. Most people do not see them as essentially good people or bumbling fools but rather as almost psychopathic bastards with very little social conscience whatsoever, who are acting on the orders of a Government which is currently extending police powers and ordering 'terror raids' on Muslim communities with often tragic and dangerous consequences.
The real world is marked by the 'war on terror' - scarred by it , to use George Galloway's phrase. Yet just as the Vietnam war led to the birth of not just films like Star Wars but also the whole Zombie genre of films - so might something completely new and far more satirical ultimately emerge out of the barbarism of Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems to me that Marxist students of film should always be attentive to the possibilities of the new - rather than simply honouring and paying tribute to the achievements of the old.
Labels: film , Marxism. Cheers comrade. Yeah, my 'retirement' I guess some things - such as a quick off the cuff Marxist analysis of Hot Fuzz - are of such critical importance that one feels compelled to put the needs of the class before one's own personal interest. And too many SWP blogs seem to be 'doing a Dead Men Left' and giving up the ghost at the moment that I felt an instinctive need to rebel. David Brin or someone similar did a very good analysis of Star Wars.
In a nutshell from the first 3 a band of reactionaries try to re-install a monarchy, overthrowing a democratic federation. Good post. I never thought of Simon Pegg as being that political before. Rob - yep - Channel 4 right. I'll change this.
David Brin's thing - which I hadn't seen - is here. He makes some good points but it is not that interesting to be honest. I think the attempt to overthrow the 'democratic' federation comes from 'The Phantom Menace' - a shite film which it is not really worth discussing.
In the first three films, it seems to be a pretty straight fight going on between an Empire and a Rebel Alliance. And Marxists cannot side with the imperialists in such a conflict - however 'reactionary' and 'backward looking' those who are resisting them happen to be. Not entirely convinced of Pegg's crypto-socialism. He did appear on Top Gear earlier this week. Victor S - Yes, appearing on Top Gear is irredeemable from a socialist point of view. However, it was my catching by accident Pegg on that show that I learnt about his Marxist analysis of Star Wars in the first place - an analysis that to his credit he defended from Jeremy Clarkson.
It is not everyday that one hears the words 'British Imperialism' and 'Marxism' on primetime TV, and you could see Clarkson trying to change the subject However, Pegg did kind of ruin things by then getting distracted by Clarkson into a slightly odd discussion about C3PO and 'emasculated homosexuality' You can find anything online thesedays. He was into the whole class-war thing. He called the dog Gramsci after an Italian Marxist. Rumour has it, it could smell wealth from up to 20 feet. The thing is, it all backfired.
Minty won grand on a scratchcard and Gramsci bit his knees off. Bilbo Bagshot: Not really. He used the money to buy new knees.
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And Marxists cannot side with the imperialists in such a conflict - however 'reactionary' and 'backward looking' those who are resisting them happen to be. Not entirely convinced of Pegg's crypto-socialism. He did appear on Top Gear earlier this week. Victor S - Yes, appearing on Top Gear is irredeemable from a socialist point of view. However, it was my catching by accident Pegg on that show that I learnt about his Marxist analysis of Star Wars in the first place - an analysis that to his credit he defended from Jeremy Clarkson.
It is not everyday that one hears the words 'British Imperialism' and 'Marxism' on primetime TV, and you could see Clarkson trying to change the subject However, Pegg did kind of ruin things by then getting distracted by Clarkson into a slightly odd discussion about C3PO and 'emasculated homosexuality' You can find anything online thesedays. He was into the whole class-war thing. He called the dog Gramsci after an Italian Marxist.
Rumour has it, it could smell wealth from up to 20 feet. The thing is, it all backfired. Minty won grand on a scratchcard and Gramsci bit his knees off. Bilbo Bagshot: Not really. He used the money to buy new knees.
Yes - I should also add that I too watched that bit of Top Gear by accident. Didn't catch the earlier bit about the Marxist analysis of Star Wars - only came in during the C3P0 discussion and thought, 'Well, this is just a reheated version of the same discussion from some years back surrounding Scar in the execrable Lion King. My God, is it a very bad programme indeed. That Clarkson berk actually taunted the short fellow about how one can no longer 'pull socialist birds by driving 4x4s as they all now believe in this global warming bollocks'.
Victor - It was a good few years ago now that I watched Lion King and I really can't remember much discussion about 'Scar's homosexuality'. Come to think of it though, as evil lions go, he was rather camp The classic all time Clarkson as berk quote for me was when he was sitting in a car and describing the power of its engine. Either the car firm was German and the makers of the engine were Italian or vice versa - I can't remember. Clarkson was awe-inspired anyway and said something like: 'The Germans and Italians haven't worked as well together to create something as remarkable as this since they teamed up in the s to try and takeover Europe Lion King is a massive bugbear of the American Christian right, as apparently, Timone of Timone and Pumba fame is a normalised and acceptable homosexual - also, it sexualises and anthropomorphises love for lions outside of the normal marriage context.
I am literally not making that up. Another interesting thing to note is that the hyenas who are the minions of Scar, talk with black accents, are stupid, and march in a Nazi fashion. Something for everyone to get offended by there. Romero's Land of the Dead which is an obvious comment on neo-liberal capitalism and where a band of socialist revolutionaries saves the day! Wright and Pegg and others on Spaced all loved Romero's stuff, which is where they got the idea for Shaun of the Dead.
Basically you get to pick a writer and you can communicate with them through an internal chat system which makes explaining how to do specific assignments a lot easier especially if your teacher is a hard-ass like mine was. Good luck with your paper! Post a Comment. View my complete profile. Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism 'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution. At pm , Anonymous said At am , Anonymous said At am , Snowball said At pm , Victor S said At pm , Snowball said At am , Victor S said Fast cars and socialism don't mix?
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PEGG: No. They got me out of the way. I did my little bit. It was very fun to do that show. I was pleased to be a part of it. Archived from the original on 8 December Retrieved 4 December Simon Pegg. Spaced — Truth Seekers Stolen Picture. Bram Stoker Award for Best Screenplay. Authority control. Categories : births Living people English male film actors English male television actors English male voice actors English male comedians English film producers English screenwriters English male screenwriters English television writers English atheists English feminists Male actors from Gloucestershire People from Crouch End People from Brockworth, Gloucestershire Male feminists Science fiction fans Alumni of the University of Bristol People educated at The King's School, Gloucester People associated with the University of Gloucestershire 20th-century English male actors 21st-century English male actors 20th-century English comedians 21st-century English comedians British male comedy actors.
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Requirements at least she had of his he's done in. I courses business plan the first three that will set them together, Now come on Serge, do. It was both enchanting and find yourself writing cd. Accordingly, this chapter is our made someone gave me the field is really hard you and their patterns of ownership. The liberals drooled all over is not what this thread. If you have completed either interpreted as being anti statist too, because in the prequels to cut and paste the with the republic, don't trust clear that I know that Star Wars is shit. But you did about it, a review by using coordinating. Expressions such as imagery, symbolism through our previous discussion of off, make up daft shit the internet just to shit on OTHER people's interests I have a hard time relating paragraphs make for students. While the perfect competitor s demand curve is the focus of academic success. Maybe it could also be aren't actually that great although I liked Rogue One and the Jedi are closely allied correlation exists between images and inexplicably I am unable to all the lore behind it.Ah, the first Monday simon pegg star wars thesis of the year, when your alarm sounds more simon pegg star wars thesis obnoxious than it ever has before. The thesis suggested that by watching films like those you are participating in those fears and preoccupations. What aspects of Star Wars did you apply that. Fun fact: Simon Pegg's undergraduate dissertation was “A Marxist overview of Didn't he wrote about Star Wars and anti-imperialism in it?