Angry Robot

dirty apes

I’m all aped-up. For work, I have watched all five original apes movies, and last night viewed the Burton remake. (It seems like he’s saving up Hollywood cred for something weird, as his last two films have had fairly low ambitions.) What interests me, besides ape design work – you can find the Apes font here, which conveniently doubles as a Star Wars font – is the issue of race. My parents tell me that at the time of the original, this theme was not recognized publicly. Yet clearly today it is, by some at least. I would dismiss that sort of article as projection, but race comes up explicitly in the third and especially in the fourth film, where enslaved apes stage a rebellion. Not that this makes the metaphilm article any better – although I suspect the intention is not so much to be good but shocking (and traffic-generating). Yet we could easily say that the secondary theme to the whole narrative, behind nuclear apocalypse, is race. I heard criticism of documentarian Ken Burns for being too race-obsessed. Maybe he’s right, though. I can think of a few other American classics that concerned themselves with race.

2 comments on "dirty apes"

  1. Gert says:

    I might be as old as your parents, and, at least in Texas, the race-relations theme was way way OUT.

    In fact, it was really the lead. Haven’t read the books, so I don’t know what they care about.

  2. D says:

    Out meaning out in the open? Or unpopular?

Comments are closed.