Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Warriors. Nothing to do with the GFF or SPT

This blog post in no way reveals the film being shown at Secret Subway. I am merely speculating on what might be a good choice.

The Warriors is a relic from a time when action films did not have to be brain dead. Yes, it's very exciting watching Bruce Willis die hard again, this time with his son, but I don't think that there is going to be any great insights into the nature of community. The Warriors, on the other hand, took an ancient Greek text, updated it to New York in the 1970s, took it on a thrill ride through the underground and portrayed gang culture with a sympathetic understanding of the yearning to belong.

The challenge for any film about gang culture is not to glamorise a lifestyle that is violent and exclusive. Glasgow has a tradition of gangs and, unfortunately, a perverse pride in its status as No Mean City. The Warriors refuses to compromise. The gang might have a heroic leader, but its members are misogynistic (one attempts to assault a woman in a park), violent (plenty of fighting, most memorably in a public toilet) and badly dressed (leather waist coasts and no shirt is a look that never goes out of fashion).

Although it begins with an attempt by Cyrus to unify the gangs, it soon devolves into a dark trip home for The Warriors, chased by other gangs and experiencing the full alienation of being downtown boys in an uptown world. Taking place over the course of a single night, it emphasises the dislocation of the lads through the repeated exhortations of a faceless DJ and the bleak urban landscape.

Coney Island, the fun-fair that has been used as a symbol of faded dreams in everything from Godspeed You Black Emperor's musical meditations on late capitalism to Angel Heart, suddenly becomes a symbol of homecoming. The city, hostile as it is, has a character of its own - brutal, perhaps, but also familiar and lending its feral children battlegrounds and a sense of belonging.

Placing a film like this in a Subway station - say, St Enoch's - would resonate with the fundamental themes of movement and the unfamiliar. Sure, it's a familiar station, but a lot less familiar a film theatre.

No comments :

Post a comment