Budget getting you down? Movies.ie cries revolution as we count down five of our favourite rebellion flicks!
Che: Part One
The soon to be Wolfman, Benicio del Toro stepped into the shoes of iconic revolutionary Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh’s epic two part bioipic. Part one (subtitled The Argentine) follows the dramatic events of the Cuban revolution from the initial meeting of Guevara and Fidel Castro through to the toppling of its dictatorship. Along the way, Guevara wins the hearts and minds of the Cuban people by giving them medicine, education and being an all round honourable guy. Oh and it’s best not to follow this one up with Che Part 2, where Guevara attempts to bring the revolutionary ideals to a hostile Bolivia…that’s when it all starts to go a little wrong.
Malcolm X is the perfect match of director and subject matter as Spike Lee has always been known as a bit of a rebel himself. Lee’s film shows the making of a revolutionary; focussing just as much on X’s troubled childhood and the criminal activity in his youth as on his later incarnation as Muslim leader and equal rights figurehead. This decision in fact was hugely controversial amongst civil rights groups, who worried that the film would be sensational and do damage to X’s legacy. In the end though, most of the naysayers were converted by Washington’s sensitive but charismatic performance.
George Orwell’s classic novel about a dystopian totalitarian future gave us this rather excellent adaptation starring movies.ie favourite John Hurt as the reluctant revolutionary Winston Smith. Smith is a normal man, who is accused of thoughtcrime against the all powerful Party thanks to an unfortunate capacity for independent thought and the hots for fellow rebel, Julia. Smith is soon arrested and detained, subject to torture at the hands of Big Brother and the horrors that lurk inside Room 101! While 1984 may have the dubious honour of being responsible for “social experiment” show Big Brother, it also spawned some rather excellent synthy soundtrack music from The Eurythmics.
V for Vendetta
If you can’t get hold of 1984, then V for Vendetta is probably the next best thing. Based on Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s classic comic book take on Orwell, the film follows a masked figure called V. V is working underground to destabilise the sinister totalitarian government that has taken over Britain – sometimes with fairly extreme tactics, culminating with the destruction of Parliament, inspired by Guy Fawkes. Hugo Weaving dons V’s famous mask, while support comes from Natalie Portman as Evey Hammond. If the final scene doesn’t make you want to make a Rolling Stones charge through the streets then nothing will!
Another take on the Orwellian tale now but this time from the legendary French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard. Our rebellious hero this time is the brilliantly named Lemmy Caution, a secret agent working to bring down Alpha 60 – a sentient computer who has complete control over society and who has washed away the human concepts of love and emption (like a French version of the Borg, really!). Caution adopts a photojournalist alter-ego that allows him to travel through Alphaville incognito, meeting beautiful programmer Natacha Von Braun (Godard favourite, Anna Karina) along the way. Together Natacha and Lemmy plot the demise of Alpha 60.