Doublespeak, constant surveillance, alternative facts, the pursuit and maintenance of power at all cost… Of course, I’m talking about George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm. These books are just flying off of the shelves.
Animal Farm is one of my favorite books. It’s a tale about animals who revolt against the farmer who is oppressing them (forcing them into labor, killing them, etc) and what happens after they win. Driving off the humans is one thing, creating new rules to run the farm is another. In truth, it’s a story about the Russian Revolution (Lenin, Trotsky and the gang) but the allegory does not depend on your knowledge of Russian history to work.
If you are in an Orwellian frame of mind, here are some other media suggestions:
David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs and The 1980 Floor Show
At one time, David Bowie wanted to create a musical based on 1984 but the Orwell estate wasn’t interested. Those songs were incorporated into Diamond Dogs, an album that cast a very dark image of the future.
While the musical itself didn’t happen, you can get an idea of what Bowie was going for in The 1980 Floor Show (recorded over 3 days in October 1973):
Can you imagine what would happen if Monty Python got their hands on Orwell’s 1984 and made a movie? You don’t have to imagine–it kinda happened. In 1985, Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame directed Brazil – a film that’s a spiritual cousin of 1984. See, a worker – a cog in the wheel of a totalitarian government tries to correct a mistake and all hell breaks loose:
*An alternative title for this post: They’ll Split Your Pretty Cranium And Fill It Full Of Air
‘Til death do us part is a romantic pledge that, in theory, bounds two or more souls together for their rest of their mortal journey. However, living becomes a curse without death to balance the scales and even a loving, committed relationship can take a dark turn. Such is the case of our next couple:
The charming neighbors next door will eat you alive.
Plot: When age (literally) catches up to her current lover, a centuries old vampire immediately begins looking for his replacement.
Why I Like Them: The vampire Miriam has given John her gift of immortality and has promised they’ll be together forever. What she doesn’t tell him is that his physical body can only put off decomposition for so long. His soul, however, won’t be free from what turns into it’s physical prison. Watching John go through the stages and finally realizing the true cost of Miriam’s “gift” is amazing.
Miriam still loves and cares for him–and will do what she can to keep what’s left of him from harm. However, this isn’t the first time a lover’s time has expired (she had a damn collection of them) and she’s ready to replace him with Sarah (Susan Sarandon). It’s the lyrics of a sad, sad 80’s ballad being played out on screen.
Movie Worth Watching? Hell yes! Miriam is a piece of work. Also, it’s a slightly different take on vampires since they don’t have fangs. They open up the veins of the unsuspecting with daggers. And, of course, there is a sex scene between Miriam and Sarah that was considered omg! shocking! when the movie came out.
To get a taste of how John and Miriam work, check out the clip below.
Previously on Love & Horror: Steven and Evelyn Price