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thinking about watchmen

2009 March 15
by Ruth Goodlaxson

I have been passed out with the flu for a week, but I’m finally feeling better, so I can post! YES!

I saw the Watchmen movie last Friday. I’m still in the process of reading the graphic novel, but there were a few things about the movie that bothered me. First, the dead lesbian super heroes were sleeping in some seriously intense lingerie when they were murdered. But what bothered me more was the treatment of the urban poor throughout the film. It seemed that the retired crime busters (or whatever) where forced to live in horrible conditions, surrounded by the rest of the urban populations, who were either criminals or prostitutes. I know we’re not supposed to agree with Rorschach, but the rest of the film didn’t really offer anything else. I think we’ve got a problem with otherizing urban poverty, and this movie doesn’t help. Also, finally, they had to destroy most of the world’s major cities to acheive peace? I know it was supposed to unify the world against a common enemy, but it also left only suburban and rural populations around to deal with it. It seemed like killing off the rats to me.

The book seems like it will be different, because we’re getting to know more people who live in the cities. But I think it’ll be interesting to talk about class in relation to technology with this text, and I’m interested to see how it works out.

5 Responses
  1. George permalink
    March 16, 2009

    That’s really interesting! I hadn’t thought of that before. However let me just add that the graphic novel does go more into the lives of the people who live in the city. You meet them and feel like you know them, unlike in the movie which was limited to focusing on the main points of the story.

  2. Ruth Goodlaxson permalink
    March 16, 2009

    Yeah, I think it might be a Zach Snyder thing too, considering it in context with Sin City!

  3. March 16, 2009

    Something that I found interesting was that the movie did show and mention that Silhouette was a lesbian and the graffiti clearly stated the reason for the killing. In the book however, there is an additional aspect of this queer element in that for PR Silhouette was kicked out of the Minutemen for being a lesbian despite the knowledge that others in the group were gay as well. An interesting note from the movie that Solomon reminded me of was that there is a folder in Ozymandias’ secret files in the movie titled “Boys.” What bothered me in the movie was that Silhouette and her lover’s murders were just accepted. There weren’t any details, sympathy, or complications provided, unlike the book. They were just the Other.

  4. March 16, 2009

    The book definitely does more with the urban characters although I still think the criminals and general urban dwellers are othered in the book.

    Interestingly, on Real Time with Bill Mahr this past week, there was a discussion between Eric Dyson and some conservative guy I can’t remember about urban citizens. Both seemed to dismiss them in different ways, which I found interesting.

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