Terrorists and pirates: This week’s viewing.

While I know next to nothing about Germany’s Red Army Faction, the based-on-truth THE BAADER-MEINHOFF COMPLEX (2008) felts very familiar as these radicals and their attitudes towards authority, free love, anarchism, world-wide revolution and nonviolent activism (not fans of it) are different only in the details from the Weather Underground and other American groups of that era. They were, however, much more successful and professional, lasting for more than a decade when most radical groups in the U.S. fell apart fast. Interesting, but at 2.5 hours without a real dramatic arc, it’s too long (I don’t know if an arc could be found without bending the truth). “Urban guerrillas work in the space between the state and the masses.”
THE BLACK PIRATE (1926) proves my point that The Sea Hawk needed a Douglas Fairbanks to add some star power: this Technicolor swashbuckler has Fairbanks in all his laughing, acrobatic glory, and it makes all the difference in the world. Fairbanks plays a nobleman whose father dies when pirates capture their ship. Fairbanks swears vengeance and begins his revenge scheme by joining the band, capturing a ship single-handed to prove his bona fides (the kind of thing that if a female lead did it would lead to complaints she’s a Mary Sue) and then finding his plans derailed by the need to protect a captured princess (Billie Dove, though Fairbanks’ wife Mary Pickford replaces her in the final scene) from the scurvy dogs. Shows why Fairbanks was a superstar in his day, and it holds up well. “Gather round me, all ye who love gold!”#SFWApro. All rights to images remain with current holders.


Filed under Movies

2 responses to “Terrorists and pirates: This week’s viewing.

  1. Pingback: Batman, a fake pirate, and a man on the run: movies | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: A doctor, a pirate: this week’s movies | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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