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The False Liberal Promise of "Elysium"

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • August 11, 2013 11:17 AM
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Of course, Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium" is political, but news pundits, never exactly attuned to the subtleties of narrative and ideology, miss the big picture. Critics and observers have endlessly recycled the idea that the film is some kind of sci-fi epic for the Occupy movement, in which the 99% rebel against the 1%. And yes, while this may be the case on the film's dystopian surface, "Elysium" fails as the kind of liberal "political propaganda" that some conservatives have labeled it as.

Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna Attacking Social Issues with Genre Fare

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • February 9, 2012 10:16 AM
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A production announcement about a new English-language genre franchise coming from Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna's Mexico-based Canana Films caught my eye this morning for a number of reasons. While the use of genre--and horror, in particular--to attack contemporary social issues isn't new ("Night of the Living Dead" anyone?), I'm particularly intrigued by what's going on in Mexico right now, and Canana, specifically, as they also backed Gerardo Naranjo's narco-thriller "Miss Bala," which is really a thinly veiled scathing indictment of Mexico's culture of violence and superficiality.

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