Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Zach Galifianakis Takes On Brad Pitt In Latest 'Between Two Ferns' Plus Louis C.K. Stops By Watch: Zach Galifianakis Takes On Brad Pitt In Latest 'Between Two Ferns' Plus Louis C.K. Stops By Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Review: 'Let Fury Have The Hour' A Primer On The Creative Response To Reagan/Thatcher Era Rule

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist December 13, 2012 at 6:00PM

The ability to openly question and criticize the government is one of the foundations of democracy, and one of the cornerstones of any free country's constitutions and laws. It is not only within our power to elect officials to office, but we also reserve the right to make sure they stand up for and protect the good of the general public who voted them in, and if they don't, we are free to react any way we see fit (within the law, of course). And while the cliché is that great art is often fueled by great strife, there is also a ring of truth to it. And in "Let Fury Have The Hour," a strong case is made that the conservative, individualism politics of the Reagan and Thatcher era 1980s, helped spur punk rock, independent filmmaking and other artistic forms that continue to have an impact decades later.
0
Let Fury Have The Hour

The ability to openly question and criticize the government is one of the foundations of democracy, and one of the cornerstones of any free country's constitutions and laws. It is not only within our power to elect officials to office, but we also reserve the right to make sure they stand up for and protect the good of the general public who voted them in, and if they don't, we are free to react any way we see fit (within the law, of course). And while the cliché is that great art is often fueled by great strife, there is also a ring of truth to it. And in "Let Fury Have The Hour," a strong case is made that the conservative, individualism politics of the Reagan and Thatcher era 1980s, helped spur punk rock, independent filmmaking and other artistic forms that continue to have an impact decades later.

Let Fury Have The Hour

Director Antonino D’Ambrosio is certainly taking on a subject with a thesis that's as loose and open-ended as they come, but he manages to streamline things pretty well. The doc opens with a brief history lesson that essentially posits that FDR's New Deal, which essentially ensured that every American had a job, and more philosophically, that we all cared about each other as collective citizens, was slowly eroded by big business and government over the decades, until the '80s, when under the tenure of hard conservative goverments in the United States and United Kingdom, the country took on a more every-man-for-themselves and pull-up-your-own-bootstraps mentality. Social programs, consumer protection and loads more were trimmed by governments that were only in place to serve the people insofar as they served themselves. And since this was a time before you could rally your emotions online in a variety of formats, a bit more work was required to get your voice heard.

Interviewing a broad array of rockers, rappers, filmmakers, poets and more, D'Ambrosio paints a vivid portrait of how different artists reacted to their times. For Ian Mackaye of the famed Fugazi, he channeled his pacifist anger against the Vietnam War through punk rock. And what started with Minor Threat, grew into the well-respected indepedent label Dischord Records (which is still the template for many launching their own shingles), as well as the band Fugazi, whose own equal opportunity practices are admired to this day. Others, like Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, were just agog at seeing Joe Strummer with a Fender twin amp making music unlike anything they'd heard before. Meanwhile, the anger of Chuck D and Public Enemy was a new kind of punk rock, disseminating the worldview of a segment of African Americans who rarely if ever got mainstream attention.

Let Fury Have The Hour Tom Morello

The format of 'Fury' is simple, with interviews with dozens of folks -- Lewis Black, Thievery Corporation, members of Antibalas Afrobreat Orchestra, John Sayles and many, many more -- illustrating their own personal creative journeys, as they were fueled by the politics and social issues around them. It's all very compelling, and offers a fascinating look at how personal politics can shape artistic endeavors, without compromising the integrity or longstanding relevance of the work (ie. Sayles' 1987 union picture "Matewan" carries tremendous resonance today). But one wishes that D'Ambrosio had taken it one step further. The documentary runs less than 90 minutes, and a more compelling conversation could've been had about the intersection of politics in works that are supported and released by major labels or major film studios. What are compromises that have to be made personally and professionally? It's a valid point of debate, and one that isn't discussed as much as it should be, particularly by those who have made millions by arguably selling more of an image than a message.

But those looking for that kind of dialogue (perhaps in a followup?) won't find it here, and 'Fury' may disappoint in that manner. But as a primer on creative response to regressive politics, 'Fury' is a passionate look at those who took the shifting sands of the world around them, and tried to affect change, and make their voices heard, through art. Of course, it's doubtful these works ever reached the leaders that "inspired" them but that's not the point -- their very existence is not only a release for those who created it, but for those who find it as well, helping them realize their struggle and feelings about the world around them are not isolated, but valid, important, real and need to be heard. [B]

This article is related to: Let Fury Have The Hour, Review


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates