When is a film review not a film review?
When it's a film review that is published within the pages of 'Revolutionary Perspectives', the journal of the Communist Workers Organisation.
Nipped into St Marks Bookshop the other day whilst Kara was getting her hair cut to see how the Socialist Standards were doing. (Put it this way, the issues hadn't leapt from the shelves and they weren't feeling lonely.) Took me about seven seconds to find them because someone had decided to hide them behind the latest issue of 'Revolutionary Perspectives'.
Can you believe that? Thirty seven different variety of Leninist, Trotskyist and Social Democratic journals on display on the same rack and East Village's only IBRP supporter decides what's most important is that s/he obscures the Socialist Standard from view. If it was such a big deal, the 'Left Numpty' should have went the whole nine yards and bought up all the copies of the Socialist Standard to stick under his or her futon. That's how you ensure working class NYC doesn't get a dose of impossibilism.
Anyway, I got my revenge by sticking the last copy of 'Rev Specs' inside a bound volume of the Sparts 'Hate Trotskyism, Hate the Spartacist League—a bulletin series of opponent material'. Expect a Spart pamphlet denouncing the Left Communist tradition within 72 hours of a leading ICL cadre finding the CWO propaganda hidden inside their literature.
Before I cast the issue into the realms of RobertsonLand, I had a quick flick through. Used to subscribe to the magazine back in Britain, and always thought it was a good and interesting read. Though they share the same political terrain as the ICC, they've never been as heavy handed as the latter when it comes to the jargon laden polemics and, refreshingly, they're not as quick off the mark with the scattergun denunciations.
Therefore I was pleased to see that they had published a review of Persepolis in the latest issue. Bit of a result. We'd just got the DVD of 'Persepolis' via Netflix a few days before, and since Pauline Kael died I've been on the look out for a good Left Communist Film reviewer.
I flicked to the inside back page to see what cultural communist insight they might have about the film (or the graphic novel) - which I could then pass off as my own to Kara when we watched it later - and what I found instead was a review of a review of the film. It gets worse. A review of a film review that originally appeared in the Socialist Worker, of all places. I'm thinking to myself: 'surely it's just the opening couple of paragraphs and then they'll fast forward to a review of the film itself', but nope, a whole page on what the SWP thought of the film.
What the hell was that all about? Ex-Swoppie now within the ranks of the CWO, and their parting shot is s/he sticks the boot in over the SWP's take on a film? And it doesn't help me any. Whose opinions am I going to borrow when passing judgement on the film? The Swindon Film Club better hurry up and show the film in the next 24 hours, otherwise I'm toast.
You can't read the CWO's review of 'Persepolis' here.