1. More thoughts on fandom social conservatism (re: Attack the Block)

    The way that Attack the Block hasn’t permeated the Internet/”fandoms” in the way that a tight, cool, fun cult SF film should reveals a lot about the thinking of many consumers of that genre.

    The main thing is a big fat vein of social conservatism, which is more of a feature of Science Fiction/Fantasy texts (and enthusiasts) than many might admit. The response to this film’s main characters—poor, mostly black inner city youths—is often couched in the language of ghettoisation. Here’s two comments on the film’s YouTube trailer, both posted in the last week:

    "if the main protagonists were not cool gangbang badass kids the movie would be worth a 8/10 for me but in this state I just cant bare to give it some solid score"

    "Can’t stand chavs/chav talk lol, sole reason I avoided this film"

    This wholesale dismissal of the film because of this feature of its script—which the director developed by spending months working with young people who lived in these areas of London, and which the spectacularly talented but mostly non-professional-actor cast also helped to develop—is both depressing and somewhat alarming.

    Note here that the resistance to the film’s dialogue is expressed using off-the-peg cultural stereotypes (“gangbang”, “chav”) that are regularly used to dehumanise and dismiss the social legitimacy of large sections of (already marginalised) people. They’re not people, they’re gangbangers, they’re chavs; listen to how they talk. Ugh lol i can’t believe someone made a movie about them.

    There’s also an enormous double standard going on here regarding the way that people perceive the sympathetic nature of “morally ambiguous” characters. There’s no getting past the fact (and nor should there be, necessarily) that the main characters in Attack the Block are petty criminals, who mug people and threaten them in the street. But they are also complex, human characters capable of taking responsibility for their actions and making difficult, courageous decisions (indeed, that journey is one of the story arcs of the movie). And yet, they’re just gangbangers; they’re just chavs.

    But I’m willing to be that a lot of people who dismiss Attack the Block on this basis are the same people who praise to the skies the character of The Joker, or Moriarty, or some other cartoon (but much more murderous) villain. So it seems that moral ambiguity and criminal characters are fine, as long as that ambiguity is telegraphed in huge primary colours with clown makeup and campy, OTT performances by actors who are already established as respectable and mainstream.

    I have more thoughts about this but I’m struggling to articulate them right now.

     

     

     

     

     
  1. quincestreet likes this
  2. mynotsodarkpassenger reblogged this from thequeenofharts
  3. thequeenofharts reblogged this from reblogfornoreason
  4. thequeenofharts likes this
  5. irondork likes this
  6. littlevictorfrankenstein likes this
  7. damnthesebitemarks likes this
  8. gladiates likes this
  9. thesensiblesloth reblogged this from reblogfornoreason
  10. allaboutmanga reblogged this from femscum
  11. ballingreyjoy reblogged this from femscum and added:
    I watched this last night and it’s HELLA GOOD and actually pretty complex
  12. vetivervelvetviolet reblogged this from femscum
  13. elenei likes this
  14. modernjournalism likes this
  15. femscum reblogged this from renlys-ghost-dick
  16. lupin-inleather likes this
  17. milominderbindered reblogged this from bahoreal
  18. puddinbun likes this
  19. anuggetofpurestgreen likes this
  20. choppye reblogged this from faceplantation
  21. mythicalm likes this
  22. ifihadpants likes this
  23. gunnoises likes this
  24. garynevilles reblogged this from coveredinsnow-
  25. mirasymphony reblogged this from teamcapsicle
  26. underporchlight likes this
  27. ombresargentes likes this
  28. loveisthenewpunk likes this
  29. navajosupervillain reblogged this from reblogfornoreason
  30. navajosupervillain likes this
  31. karppy likes this
  32. faceplantation reblogged this from tehriz
  33. null507 reblogged this from doctoriwanttorunaway
  34. doctoriwanttorunaway reblogged this from queerhawkeye
  35. rainysundayfeeling reblogged this from cumberbatchs
  36. lovelyplanislovely likes this
  37. 3011892 reblogged this from oryxs
  38. queerplatonic-kagakuro reblogged this from queerhawkeye
  39. maldovar likes this
  40. eloisas reblogged this from saiths and added:
    #one of the most IMPORTANT things#fuck your indie films ft. white kids man#i want a group of mexican girls battling...
  41. eloisas likes this
  42. saiths reblogged this from oryxs
  43. halloweenjackconnell reblogged this from reblogfornoreason
  44. lallowethyu likes this
  45. skeletaloctopodes reblogged this from coveredinsnow-
  46. missrevolver reblogged this from 148km
  47. saturnyn likes this
  48. beverlygraham likes this
  49. purgatorist reblogged this from cumberbatchs
  50. ottery likes this