dvd mashup: fill the pre-Thanksgiving holiday void with ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown’

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Halloween is over and it’s long weeks till Thanksgiving. Are there any special events to commemorate via the traditional viewing of a DVD during these long, dark days? Of course there are! Sunday is Guy Fawkes Day: you know, “Remember, remember the fifth of November”? Revisiting V for Vendetta from earlier this year is an excellent way to celebrate the spirit of revolution Guy Fawkes tried to ignite… and to explore the heated debate about freedom, terrorism, and the continuing need for an enlightened, informed, awake populace in today’s complicated political environment. The film remains thrilling on the small screen, Hugo Weaving’s extraordinary performance — relying, since he’s masked for the entire film, strictly on his voice and his body language — amplified by the more intimate focus watching at home allows. And if you pick up the two-disc special edition, check out “Remember, Remember: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot” on Disc 2, a featurette about Fawkes and his legacy on British history. [buy at Amazon]
Two days later, Tuesday November 7 is Election Day in the United States, one that promises to be historic itself with the power structures within the House and Senate threatening to seesaw. The stakes aren’t quite so high in “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown,” one of the lesser known Peanuts TV specials but one worth checking out for the kind of sweet humor edged with both gentle cynicism and steadfast hope we’ve come to expect from Charlie Brown and his friends. Should Charlie Brown run for class president? Lucy conducts polls, Snoopy comes onboard as advertising director, and Linus has some interesting ideas about what programs a student candidate should get behind. Watch for the scene in which a candidate appears on a radio show to answer questions from voters: it’s overflowing with exactly the frustrated trust that we’ve come to expect from a universe in which the football always has to be kicked, no matter how many times it’s been snatched away before. You can’t buy “You’re Not Elected” on its own, but you’ll find it on the It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown DVD, which is, of course, still fun to watch even after Halloween has passed by for another year. [buy at Amazon]

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