My partner Melanie and I have been working on chakras. We are transitioning from the chakra associated with feelings to the one associated with action, so I picked an action film with emotion at the center of its plot.
The film selected for the evening is Equilibrium, an action film written and directed by Kurt Wimmer, who also wrote screenplays for several other well-known films, including: Total Recall, Salt, Ultraviolet, The Thomas Crowne Affair, The Wolves and Sphere. It stars Christian Bale, and features well-known character actors, including: Sean Bean and Emily Watson, two of my favorite British character actors.
We will be barbequeing in the backyard, and a meal will be served before the film. After the film we will have a fire pit in the backyard where a round-table discussion of the film and/or anything and everything else may occur. It should be fun. If you are a friend of mine in the Austin metro, feel free to contact either Mel or to let me know you are coming and to get directions.
The promotional description from the box:
"In a futuristic world, a strict regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death. Cleric John Preston (Bale) is a top ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist the rules. Whe he misses a dose of Prozium, a mind-altering drug that hinders emotion, Preston, who has been trained to enforce the strict laws of the new regime, suddenly becomes the only person capable of overthrowing it."
MOVIELINE SYNOPSIS OF FILM:
"Equilibrium is set in the futuristic, and dystopian city-state of Libria. The film explains how, in the early years of the 21st century, a devastating Third World War breaks out, the impact of which brings civilizations across the planet to their knees. After the war ends, world leaders fear that the human race cannot possibly survive a Fourth World War, and so set about building a new society which is free of conflict.
Believing that human emotion is responsible for man's inhumanity to man, the new leaders ban all materials deemed likely to stimulate strong emotions, including art, music, and literature. These materials are rated "EC-10" for "emotional content" (a reference to the MPAA film rating system), and are typically destroyed by immediate incineration. Furthermore, all citizens of Libria are required to take regular injections, called "intervals," of a liquid drug called Prozium, collected at the distribution centers known as "Equilibrium".
Libria is governed by the Tetragrammaton Council, which is led by a reclusive figurehead known as "Father". Father never interacts with anyone outside the ruling council, but his image is omnipresent throughout the city in a strong cult of personality. The Tetragrammaton Council strives to create identical lives for all Librians and uses its police state apparatus to enforce unity and conformity. At the pinnacle of Librian law enforcement are the Grammaton Clerics, who are trained in the deadly martial art of Gun Kata, an art which teaches users to predict the actions of opponents during firearm combat. The Clerics exist for the purpose of locating and destroying EC-10 materials and for pursuing, apprehending, and, if necessary, terminating "sense-offenders"people guilty of feeling emotions.
Despite the efforts of the police and Clerics, a resistance movement exists in Libria, known as "The Underground". Members of this movement are responsible for terrorist activity against Libria, specifically against the Prozium factories. The leaders of the Underground believe that if they can disrupt the production and distribution of Prozium for a short period of time, even a single day, then the Librians will rise up and destroy the Tetragrammaton Council. The Underground operates within Libria itself, but also has contact with resistance groups residing in "The Nethers", the ruins of cities destroyed during World War III. These outsiders hoard objects and artifacts from the old society before World War III, including art and literature. Subsequently, they are the targets of Librian death squads composed of police and Clerics.
The film's protagonist, Grammaton Cleric First Class John Preston (Christian Bale), is Libria's highest ranking cleric. He is a widower whose wife (Maria Pia Calzone) was executed after being revealed to be a sense offender, leaving him with two children, Robbie (Matthew Harbour) and Lisa (Emily Siewert). After a raid on a group of resistance members in The Nethers, Preston notices that his partner, Grammaton Cleric First Class Errol Partridge (Sean Bean), has personally taken a copy of the poems of Yeats under false pretenses. Preston discovers that Partridge has not turned the book over for destruction and follows him to a ruined cathedral in The Nethers, where Partridge speaks of emotion and forces Preston to aid him in suicide by cop. Shortly afterwards, Preston accidentally breaks the vial of his morning dose of Prozium, and begins to experience emotions..."
There is more to the synopsis, but I'm not a big fan of spoilers and it reveals the ending.