Sunday, 16 January 2011
The Watership Down Generation?
I'm afraid that postings are going to be pretty scarce for a while, due to work and caring for a relative. But I wanted to share an epiphany that I had when suffering from flu induced delirium. Like quite a lot of people of my age (born early 80s) I have a bit of a thing about 70s culture. Perhaps, quoting Foucault's Pendulum, everyone believes themselves to have been born just a bit too late.
But I sometimes wonder if this fillum which, uhm, indelibly marked a lot of 80s sprogs so perfectly refined the 70s Zeitgeist that it left us with a collective consciousness that was enstamped by the preceding decade?
Yeah, there was social democracy, a lack of Brit wars, vibrant rock music, old Ted giving the finger to Israel, lots of other good stuff from a lefty perspective. But frankly, most cultural figures were none to chuffed with the post-war status quo; using lefty rhetoric they helped pave the way for the hard right economic system that prevailed ever since.
But anyway, back to the film in question, like a lot of kids my age I somehow got to watch loads of 18s before I was 8. In case any nosey parkers are reading and hoping to prosecute, I don't have a clue how or who to blame. All I know is that I saw Terminator, Rambo and Red Dawn in childhood, but none of these left anything like as deep an impact on me as the sight of anthropomorphic bunny rabbits being torn to shreds, gassed and generally behaving like little bastards towards each other.
Perhaps this sounds like the rants of a weirdo, but two of my contemporaries entirely agree with me. There's no android getting crushed by a machine or Ivans getting taken out cathertically. Oh no, even when the nasty bunny gets owned by the dog, the goodies can only hop off to somewhere else that the black rabbit is lurking. What a way of introducing kids to the concept of death.
And what a flippin' existentialist work it was as well. And then there's the pure 70s aesthetic. Look at that shade of red-brown the bunny rabbits were. Surely that ochre/ sienna could only have existed before 1st Jan 1980? Judging from photographs of the 70s, it was always 7.00 PM in Summer or 3.00PM in Winter and the sunlight was always shining through dirty plastic. Of course, this is an animation but still captures that orange filter effect.
Furthermore, the whole warren thing: was this an attack on the communal aspects of the 70s?
Anyone else felt simultaneously traumatised and enlightened by this work?