Saturday, February 16, 2008

George Romero Kicks It Old School

I don't get to movies much any more, but every once in a while I take note of something new that might be worth checking out. In this case it's Diary of the Dead, which is the latest in Romero's series of movies stretching back to Night of the Living Dead. In a recent column, Romero has this to say:
That’s what we need more of these days, Opinions. Convictions. A little independent thinking.

It’s a frightening world we’re living in – in movie theaters and out – and I wanted “Diary” to echo some of that fear. We’re all getting the flesh chewed off our bones, one way or the other.
It's also pretty clear that Romero's not too thrilled with the state of film making these days - in particular the torture for torture's sake that seems to be all the rage these days. Regrettably, that's not only the state of the horror film genre, but American society more generally. Yeah, we've got plenty of real-life zombies out there. Some occupy the White House and Congress, or run World Bank and the IMF. Some anchor "news" programs. Many others who are more obscuroid are hypnotized by the spectacle of flag-waving, reality shows, NASCAR, and the trappings of a consumer culture that has taken a life of its own. The way to fight those particular zombies is to use the very tools Romero mentions: opinions, conviction, independent thinking. We're a culture that largely lacks those qualities these days.

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