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. proudfreak77 reblogged this from reblogfornoreason
  2. bodyofyears likes this
  3. samiratastic likes this
  4. seamaidenly reblogged this from cumaeansibyl
  5. booasaur likes this
  6. makingcarbon reblogged this from thedustatdawn
  7. makingcarbon likes this
  8. thedustatdawn reblogged this from tammalee
  9. andrewtsks likes this
  10. parklakespeakers likes this
  11. anthonyisright likes this
  12. tinyampersand reblogged this from nickminichino and added:
    Dear internet: Attack the Block is fucking fantastic and everybody should watch it. Probably at least twice.
  13. linusinhats likes this
  14. nickminichino reblogged this from filmantidote
  15. credibilityproblem likes this
  16. blackkwidows likes this
  17. operation-razorteeth reblogged this from filmantidote
  18. drhoz likes this
  19. inuzenko reblogged this from flannelfrog
  20. excessgraphite likes this
  21. karilehtonens reblogged this from villainessy
  22. thecityateme likes this
  23. urbpan reblogged this from flannelfrog and added:
    That’s stupid. The socioeconomic status of the kids is the whole point of the movie.
  24. flannelfrog reblogged this from lalondes
  25. sun-fleur likes this
  26. boo-rabley likes this
  27. cheeseandhomicide reblogged this from mercythompsons
  28. grootiepie reblogged this from mercythompsons
  29. beanarie likes this
  30. thanthalteresco reblogged this from lalondes
  31. duckrider reblogged this from reblogfornoreason
  32. galacticcannibals reblogged this from breakthebricks
  33. aryaesque likes this
  34. iwritesometimes likes this
  35. allfourofthem likes this
  36. seaghostsoaring likes this
  37. shadowmoire likes this
  38. scottmcrogers likes this
  39. shadowknight1224 reblogged this from dorianthewellendowed
  40. shadowknight1224 likes this
  41. dorianthewellendowed reblogged this from deedeecontroversy
  42. pointlessblogofmine likes this
  43. hemipelagicdredger reblogged this from bobthemole and added:
    I’ve heard good things about it. I fail at watching movies though.
  44. space-base reblogged this from queersakura
  45. msmarielark reblogged this from ghostyouknow27
  46. drivingsideways33 likes this
  47. casdasgay reblogged this from lalondes
  48. coloneldanvers-captainmarvel reblogged this from suckitdomitian
  49. bobthemole reblogged this from ghostyouknow27 and added:
    Hadn’t heard of it before but it looks fun. //www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD0gm7dHKKc On my watch-after-graduation list.
  50. ghostyouknow27 reblogged this from thetrollingchaos