Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

V For Vendetta And What Else I Done Did

Greetings once again everybody! Feeling a little more with it today after a fun but hectic four day weekend zipping around San Francisco with my dad. Felt great to get out of my shitty little apartment into the sunshine and remember what it was like to have a life! Since taking my day job three years ago my life has gotten smaller and smaller as I've gotten busier and busier. And after this weekend, I'm more motivated than ever to move on.

But enough about all that for now (never know who may be reading...). So, first me and my dad went to the newly reopened De Young Museum, which had a really impressive permanent art collection. Also impressive was the structure of the museum itself- with its wide open interior spaces, odd wall angles, copper wrapped exterior- quite amazing. Most eye popping of all was the ride up to the tower which offers stunning 360 degree panoramic views of western San Francisco and Golden Gate Park.

We also went to the Japantown Mall (its really just a mall more than an actual neighborhood like Chinatown) during the Cherry Blossom Festival, just by chance. Always have a fun time in the cultural immersion that is the Japantown Mall- Kinokuniya bookstore with its wall o' manga, the Taiko Drum Dojo, the sushi boat place right next to the ever cheesy Benihana, the Japanese DVD store, the tea pot shop, etc. Weird that as a Japanese businessman visiting SF, you can stay in the Radisson hotel attached to the mall, shop and eat in the mall and its as if you never left Japan (and you don't even need to step outside to do it)!

While there, I picked up a copy of the first translated Lupin III manga volume (so so awesome), the first Dr. Slump volume as well (Slump being the first popular work by Akira Toriyama who went on to make the uber-popular and not as good Dragonball Z) and a daruma for luck. The festival itself featured many outside booths with crafts, corporate sponsors, a lot of obnoxious tee shirts and food. The best part was the performance stage. We got to see some traditional Japanese folk dancing as performed by a pack of cheerful old ladies in kimonos- just lovely. And then there was a local women's school Judo demo which looked rather painful. I prefer kung fu to getting thrown on the ground repeatedly, thank you very much. (BTW, the festival continues this weekend if you are in town!)

Which brings me to my main topic- V for Vendetta, the movie. It was still playing on the giant Imax screen (everything is good on Imax, I contend) at the Metreon this weekend so I took my dad to go see it. I had been wanting to see it for some time now- the original graphic novel by Alan Moore (not credited in the film) and David Lloyd was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I collected the issues one by one as they came out and was really drawn in by the distopic vision of the future Moore and Lloyd created (I have always loved dark future stories like 1984, Brazil and Blade Runner).

And the film version did not disappoint this old school fan. Again I felt swept up by the journey of Natalie Portman's character Evey, especially her imprisonment/torture and it's aftermath. There were some wanky pop movie moments but overall the film was unflinching, steady and stirring. You gotta love a movie that makes you want to kick some ass and blow shit up!

And whatever controversy the movie stirred up now seems silly after having seen it. The concept of terrorism being in the eye of the beholder is one that the US was founded on and shouldn't be so alien to us now, in spite of 9/11. I'm sure King George thought that our revolutionary forefathers were "terrorists". And as the film demonstrates rather well, terror only controls those who allow themselves to be altered by fear. We need more films (and comics) like V for Vendetta- stories that are food for thought and stir debate, even if they make people uncomfortable.


Anonymous H said...

Awesome movie indeed.

5:12 PM

Blogger Phil said...

Yeah, it was great. Even if you are politically in the Bush/neo-con camp, you had to be inspired by this film. Very pleased that it was so successful too. In Hollywood as in the music industry, you vote with your dollar. More thoughtful comic book movies (History Of Violence was another successful one) should follow. Thanks for stopping by 'h'!

10:21 PM

Blogger Abe Dieckman said...

I really liked V. A lot. Glad to hear you did too.

And now I'm tempted to go check out the museum. I live practically right next to it but I haven't been yet.

Anyway, enjoyable blog you got here, Phil. Keep it up.

9:24 AM

Blogger Phil said...

What up, Abe! Thanks for representin'!

The De Young now supercedes the Asian Art and the Legion of Honor as my favorite art museum in town. Beautiful building, great art. Open late on Fridays too!

9:29 AM


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