Friday, 30 March 2012

1931/2012, it's all the same

Thanks to MKG Art Gallery, took Shark, Squirrel and Tiger to watch a film about thievery, prostitution, financial corruption, self-interest, and greed; all pursued in a criminal society with no moral compass to raise it from the mire.

Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera, as filmed by Pabst (1931).

Afterwards I make everyone watch this analysis from Shooting Down Pictures, not least for another listen to Lotte Lenya sing Pirate Jenny. A beautiful song, simultaneously melancholic and sinister; foreboding and romantic. Fantastic.

Shark, Squirrel and Tiger emerge from it all not sure what to think. I suggest that's probably the proper response: uncertainty and a sense of discomfort about what we thought we knew is the intention of Brecht, Weill and Pabst.

They want you to be no longer sure; they want you to observe how the morals we think we live by can be easily turned by greed and self-interest. But hey, it still creates a society we can recognise, and in one interpretation of the role of the financial industry, a society that looks remarkably similar to our own.

For my part, I loved the film. Throughout, it retains wry humour and powerful observation on us all. And it'll give me a great excuse to talk politics with the kids. Not because I want to raise mini Marxists, but because I want to give any future politician in Westminster a run for their money.

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