The huge popularity of our original King Kong review has prompted us to do an immediate remake.
Progressive critics (do we get to read any others?) hail Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong for many good reasons - except for the real ones. Those can only be discussed among the Party elites (and The People's Cube readers, of course).
The strongest subliminal message this movie sends is that of the moral bankruptcy of America 's culture of greed and commercialism and the crushing impact that it has on a heroic giant with the noble heart of a savage. Capitalist exploitation? Absolutely. Devastating effects of globalization? Of course. Western imperialism imposing its cultural hegemony on non-conformist representatives of indigenous cultures? You bet. Animal rights issues? Lots of them. Condemnation of bourgeois anti-bestiality taboos? Sure enough. Humanizing animals while dehumanizing mankind? Without a doubt. Justified killings of New Yorkers, the "Little Eichmanns" infesting the streets of a capitalist Mecca? Most definitely - especially if you are an elite college professor.
When the screeching and polluting iron ship, appropriately named "Venture," arrives at Skull Island, it is greeted by representatives of a diverse indigenous culture suffering from neglect and the lack of subsidies from the selfish industrial nations. Immediately, the American filmmaker, Denham, tries to corrupt these beautiful, physically fit people with fattening and addictive fast food (Skittles). The proud islanders defiantly protect their right to an organic diet by killing some of the crew members and offering Ann Darrow to the giant ape, in an ancient animalistic tradition that symbolizes the sacrifice of selfish human interests to Nature and its mysterious powers.
Instead of examining the legitimate grievances of the natives, the predominantly white and racist crew first commits a unilateral act of colonial aggression by killing civilians and terrorizing Skull Island 's women and children. The marauders then move on to perpetrate the same murderous atrocities against the island's flora and fauna. Their goal is to "liberate" Ann from Kong, but never does it cross their myopic minds that Ann may not need their liberation. As an oppressed minority, she quickly bonds with Kong and purges her mind of the false consciousness and taboos instilled in her by the bourgeois institutions of the "civilized" world. It is the native tribe and the giant ape who are the true liberators of Ann, saving her from the oppressive society from whence she came.
Next, the makers of Kong insert some entertaining sequences that educate audiences about dinosaurs and healthy pesticide-free insects and invertebrates, including what The Los Angeles Times called the first ever recorded attack of giant Phallus Dentata.
Sure enough, nefarious human technology prevails over the fragile natural world. King Kong is subdued with chloroform and delivered to a Broadway theater along with Ann, who is being re-enslaved and returned to her white male masters. While on stage, Kong gets quite symbolically "crucified" for the "sins" of nature against "civilization", which had long ago taken the wrong turn in its development, arriving at the blind alley of a greedy and unsustainable capitalist society. But unlike his crucified predecessor in Christianity, this martyr literally breaks the chains of oppression and takes the fight to the Pharisees, the Romans, and the Jews, killing as many money changers as is simianly possible and destroying their temple.
Somehow we do not feel sorry for the New Yorkers who are being maimed and squashed as Kong takes direct action. In a moment of moral clarity, we realize that these Americans are, in fact, nothing more but worthless "Little Eichmanns." They are the real savages, as opposed to the noble and caring "savages" of Skull Island, who not only never tried to kill Kong, but also sacrificed to him their most valued possessions, feeding him on a diet of young maidens in coconut bras.
Unchained Kong finds Ann and liberates her once again, taking his object of inter-species affection to the top of the Empire State Building. Kong may think it's the tallest and presumably the safest mountain peak on this island. We, however, realize that it symbolizes the Tower of Babel, the precursor of the demise of a group of conceited people who had arrogantly presumed they could reach the sky and unravel this world's biggest mystery.
The remake lovingly recreates the scene where Kong swats biplanes high above the New York skyline - but now this iconic image in American cinema also becomes associated with a militant conservative culture that prevents two oppressed minority representatives to have a civil union in defiance of this society's draconian anti-bestiality laws.
The fall of Kong from the tower symbolizes the defeat of a great, heroic spirit by the petty bourgeois exploiters armed with soulless militaristic technologies. It is almost as devastating as the murder of Che Guevara in 1967. It works on so many levels - just pick an issue that's closest to your heart - Guatemala, Chile, Zimbabwe...
The film ends with a bold indictment of white male chauvinism. Standing next to Kong's tragic corpse, Denham says to the male cop: "'Twas beauty killed the beast." Thinking from inside the culture that blames women for everything, the cop doesn't arrest the scoundrel - instead, he knowingly pats him on the back.
Many agree that the film delivers a liberating experience. It liberates Americans from the concept of American exceptionalism, making them question their own society that allowed this tragedy to happen. It liberates humans from the chains of speciism, causing them to root for the other side. What's more altruistic than that? Only a work of art can force humans to hate their own kind - species, class, nation - and to side with the entity bent on destroying them. That is why Vladimir Lenin wrote, "For us, the most important of all the arts is the cinema."
One of the film's key lines warns us of the dangers of unveiling the world's great mysteries and retailing them "for the price of an admission ticket." Many mysteries should indeed remain untouched. One such mystery is why Hollywood is doing so many remakes. Another is just how exactly the Party line is being enforced among the movie critics, the press corps, the network television producers, the professoriate, the Lawyers Guild, and even the US Senate - all to ensure the spreading of progressive ideology, and, eventually, to curb American capitalism, thereby turning the US into another Third World socialist country as a just and equitable solution to the world's problems.
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