I just finished watching an almost 6-hour film. What have you accomplished lately?

March 14, 2010 at 4:00 am | Posted in Cinema | 4 Comments

I just finished watching a 5 hour and 45 minute film, La Commune (Paris, 1871) and there’s no way that I am not going to take this opportunity to talk about this epic, and they keep telling me that I’d never amount to anything. Hah, what have you achieved lately?

Truth be told, the whole thing is fucking amazing. Every single minute of it. Sure, I dozed off probably two times but I just went back through the couple of minutes that I just missed. I watched a part of it on a late Friday after an early class and work so that’s why I dozed off, ok? So, it wasn’t the film’s problem.

I want to talk so much about the film but I don’t even know which point to start with. I could go on for ages talking about this film, if I just knew where to start.

How can I not love this film when it tackles issues such as socialism, separation of religion and the education system, feminism, capitalist government and its indifference towards the needs of the poor, and the manipulativeness and inaccuracies of the media?

La Commune (Paris, 1871) is Peter Watkins’ most ambitious film, not only because of its length but because of it all being filmed in apparently an unoccupied factory in Paris with a bunch of non-professional actors. Peter Watkins, the filmmaker of Punishment Park and The War Game, makes another quite compelling piece of liberalist propaganda with disheartening human drama.

After overthrowing the government, the working class decides to take power and builds a government that is solely for the benefits of the working class, and not for the selfish and consumerist interests of the bourgeoisie and the upper-classes. For equality, not for oppression. They plan to create an education system maintained by the state, and not by the Church. They plan to get rid of rents. They demand for gender equality and better work conditions. And of course, the capitalists and bourgeoisie find this as a threat to their security and comfortable lives so they plan to put things back to the way it were. They have civil wars while their country is also fighting against Germany.

In the midst of all this, the media, particularly the TV news coverage, covers all these events and puts them into celluloid, into paper. The ultimate point of this film is, despite the story being set in the 1870s, how the mass media, with all of its personal biases, manipulates and changes the truth for the selfish interests of the ones in control of it, usually the ones in power, and treats their subjects in a subjective yet detached manner, sometimes to the point of putting its own words to their mouths. Exaggerating the truth, shoving its own propaganda down our throats, choosing which ones to mention and which not to mention, and putting in their own damn opinions about the events when nobody fucking asked them what they thought. There seems to be no room for letting us think for ourselves. This way, the media is easily capable of convincing us of one thing or another. And Peter Watkins even shows this to us in a sneaky way. There were no TVs in the 1870s. There were no news coverages of the Paris Commune, or of any other events during the 19th century for that matter.

And isn’t it disheartening that nothing much has changed after almost two centuries and that we are still dealing with almost the same issues at this modern day and age?  The only difference is that back then they actually stood up and tried to fight back for what they thought was right while we just lay passively with the comforts and fake reassurances of our capitalistic society. We’re so busy that we have no time for revolutions.

Wouldn’t life be better with all these?

  • The separation of the state and church– Religious matters and political matters are two different things so it does make sense that the church should not dwell in subjects and issues that it doesn’t really know much of and that doesn’t fucking concern them.
  • The education system being maintained by the state, not being controlled by the church (yet again!)– The church keeps oppressing women, making them feel guilty for decisions that they make of their own free will and teaching them to be passive and submissive to their husbands among other wicked things. They are not teaching us the essential things we need to know in order to live; they are just teaching us their own belief systems.
  • In the eyes of everyone, everyone, without any exceptions, is equal– Yes, women are now dominant forces in the workplace. So what? That doesn’t mean anything. They already work outside the home and yet they’re the ones who are still expected to do all the housework at home!? Fuck no, that’s not good. If misogyny is still prevalent and women are still being treated as the weaker and inferior sex and seen as sex objects, I don’t see how anything has changed at all. Sad.
  • The government catering to the needs of the working class– Instead of sucking up to the faceless and powerful corporations and clinging on to them for support, why not focus more on the people who really need the help and who need to be heard out, the working class? I myself am not a part of the working class but why should it always be about me?
  • The working class has more say on how things should be– Why should we let the wealthy, the corporations, drown in their own wealth while they keep sucking the blood and money out of the ones who really sweat for it? Shouldn’t we protect the needs of the ones who need it the most? The multi-billionaire, multinational corporations have their trademarks, their copyrights, the media, and the law (that has been changed for their own interests) by their side to protect their name and wealth that there is almost no way we can ever destroy them without facing even bigger obstacles. Let’s hear what the working class has to say!
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  1. 6hours???

    Gosh, the longest time I had sat in front of the TV was 6 hours too.

    Only that they were 3 movies one after the other.

    A movie that lasted for 6 hours? I’d probably fall asleep on the first 30 minutes. 😐

    • And there are also other films that are longer than six hours. The longest one I know of is 15 hours. I haven’t seen that yet but I plan to see in the near future :D.

      And a Filipino film, in fact, (Evolution of a Filipino Family) is also one of the longest films out there. I think it’s about 8-9 hours.

      It really depends on the mood you’re in, whether you’re stressed out/fatigued or not, and your level of interest in the film.

  2. And there are people who still believe that the church covers everything. And I mean everything. These are the people who believe that they can give other people some sort of epiphany by giving them bible verses no matter how stupid they sound. Forgive me but I just find that very, very annoying. And stupid.

    I read another for your feminism. You won’t get away with this Eriz. Hahaha.

    If and when I get rich I think that I will do the same thing. And I am being honest. Shoot me. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t be giving anything to charities and everything. I guess what made them rich is them not minding what most people think. If that’s what it takes, I’m willing to do that. Yes, I am evil. Bwahahaha.

    Anyways, you haven’t watched Gone with the Wind yet. You were able to stand this one, why can’t you do the same for it? I promise you, GWTW is good. You just have to finish the whole movie.

    • This, the separation of the church and state and whatnot, seems to be the only thing that we both agree in. Thank goodness for that XD.
      You’re not for the working class? 😦 I am truly sad.
      I have this contempt for powerful corporations and the upper-class. I can’t forgive anyone who is more snobbish than I am. Haha. No, aside from that, their selfish interests are unforgivable. Maximizing their profits and taking advantage of the lower-classes. Too greedy, as if their abundant wealth weren’t enough. They need more and more. Then again, I’d like to believe that they’re truly not happy with their materialistic and self-indulgent lifestyles.
      No, I refuse to go through the horror of that film again. As much as I love old Hollywood, I can’t see why they consider that to be the best of the best. I can mention tons of better films in a minute from the top of my head. And Clark Gable looks like a monkey.


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