Alec Baldwin, the shot and the impending strike

Want to see a real ‘orgy of violence’? You can (hopefully) at the beginning of December New Order. In that film, Marianne celebrates her wedding while riots rage elsewhere in Mexico City. What the ringleaders want? No idea, they’re throwing green paint. Not in Marianne’s neighborhood of villas and meters high walls, of course. There the youth drinks shots while their parents whisper: “Look, those permits are ready.”

Until armed paupers suddenly clamber over the walls and staff and bodyguards join them. The vandalism, looting, assault and murder can begin. “Always walk all over us, you bastards,” screams the once docile maid.

New Order (Nuevo Orden) by Michel Franco is a grim film: Franco had three thousand extras to realize this nightmare of the elite. The bourgeoisie proves powerless as the target of social resentment and of a ruthless extortion operation by the army, which tolerates the mass riots for a while to prepare the minds for a fascist new order.

Science fiction of the near future, Michel Franco fears: an ‘orgy of violence’ in which the riots in Rotterdam are child’s play. Franco meets the excitement and lust of the street violence, the carnivalesque, liberating undertow. pent up tensions are released. The hangover is massive.

In the cinema, films like to let you experience a riot: a little cinephile has already seen dozens of film riots. Sometimes it turns out to be the denouement. In Scorseses Gangs of New York offer the blood-smothered draft riots of 1863 Leonardo DiCaprio had the opportunity to stab his knife in the ribs of the old order, embodied by Daniel Day-Lewis. Such a purifying final also knows Joker: Batman and the Joker’s new Gotham City is born in an orgy of street violence.

The riot sometimes turns out to be creative destruction: the discharge is followed by a new beginning. The cards are reshuffled, survivors shuffle dazed from the smoke and rubble into an unknown future. Seen from this point of view, the riot has some pretty nice sides, especially if you’re a revolutionary. After all, every revolution starts with a riot. The French barricade is traditionally a place for heroic solidarity, Soviet cinema developed the choreography of the riot, with the tossing crowd as a character.

Yet, since the 1990s, you have rarely seen heroic riots in films. They turn out to be tragic eruptions of hopelessness, such as in Do The Right Thing. From people who can’t keep up with the march of history, as in Billy Elliot. It is probably due to the lack of ideology that we experience the riot merely as a nihilistic ‘orgy of violence’. In the recent banlieue film Wretched even jihadists and drug dealers are colluding with the police to prevent an outbreak. Unfortunately, boys will be boys.

So clear: the film is bourgeois. V for Vendetta (2006) is the rare exception: die embraces the riot and even terrorism in the fight against fascism. The Guy Fawkes mask off V for Vendetta has cropped up at every protest since then. A controversial movie. And apparently a gap in the market.

Leave a Reply