Tuesday, March 21, 2006



V for Vendetta, the Wachowski brothers’ latest entry in the futuristic action genre, is the second act of true cinematic courage of the post 9-11 millennium – the first was Kingdom of Heaven, Ridley Scott’s twelfth century crusader film. Unlike the later, Vendetta is destined to reach a mass audience.

Maybe it was still too soon for Kingdom to reach the masses. Maybe the people were not ready to accept historical truth – or maybe they just didn’t get it.

Vendetta is a masterful parable, a brilliant futuristic metaphor, and a logical projection of where current political trends may lead if allowed to grow and prosper.

The film includes four superb performances: Natalie Portman as the awakening activist, Stephen Rea as the Inspector, John Hurt as the Chancellor, and Hugo Weaving as the Shakespearean superman behind the Guy Fawkes mask.

If she had not done so already, Natalie Portman graduates from the Star Wars straightjacket to a first class dramatic actor. If you are not moved by her epiphany, you are immovable.

John Hurt oozes a menacing pathos. Stephen Rea enables us to understand the debilitating nature of mass consciousness and the liberating nature of transformation. Hugo Weaving is nothing short of astounding in conveying a depth of emotion from behind an unchanging, smiling face.

Director James McTeigue has created an astonishingly believable future that holds a mirror to our world and demands revelation. He has accomplished the most difficult trifecta of cinema: To simultaneously entertain, inform and instruct.

“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

Jefferson could not have said it better.

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November!”


Monday, March 20, 2006

The Victim's Act of 1910

(from the mind of Mansel)

I was in the Appalachians when the mud ran down the hill
I was an unwed black mother who couldn't get served the pill
I was the wheel that turned the free press in a communist jail
I was the hammer, the sickle I was Jonah in the whale
I jumped at the crash and flew when the towers fell

I was the lion who tore the Christians from the promise land
I was in the way a woman stood over the grave of her man
I was the child of the strikers my hungry face so tanned
I wore the Vietnamese, Korean, German and Iraqi brand
I was a soldier in a wheelchair turned away from the reviewing stand

From Homer Bigart to Oscar Shindler I was the people's roar
I was the politician who kissed a baby and laid him on the floor
I dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and then I called it war
I was a drunken abusive father with a pistol in the drawer
I swallowed the barrel when I couldn't take it anymore


I'm leaving this earth I'm going down
Back where I came from upside down
With a hatchet and a cloven hood
I was the worst where better stood

- Chris Mansel

SEE THE MANSEL REPORT: themanselreport.blogspot.com / chrismansel.blogspot.com.