Thank you Amelie, this has given me a lot to think about as I approach my next viewing of the film. Excellent observation that the film is peppered with father/son dyads in the secondary as well as the principal cast. Definitely compounds the film’s thematic focus on intergenerationality.
Deft linkage to the Black Lives Matter campaign here, and some great points raised about the racial politics of this franchise as they pertain to the specificities of the Obama era. Very interesting post Rebecca, thank you.
Fantastically well articulated points about the intermedial relationship between Creed and Rocky II. This coupled with your contextualisation of this relationship through explanation of this auto-ethnographic aspect of Coogler’s authorship makes me *really* want to revisit Rocky II before I next re watch Creed! Thank you for this excellent post.
Sean - this is a really fascinating reading of the film. I especially like the parallels you draw between UK and U.S. cultures of austerity. And how you highlight both Donnie’s unease with his place in the world while working in the financial services industry, and the easy affinity that the biker boys have with him. This has made me think far harder about some really rich details that I did not notice on first viewing. Thank you
Really enjoyed reading your excellent post Glen. I particularly appreciate the attention you pay to the franchise’s new intergenerationality, a theme that was flirted with in the previous entry ‘Rocky Balboa’ but only rises to both narrative and discursive prominence here in ‘Creed’. And that’s just *one* of the richly detailed observations you make here :-)
Sean, thanks so much for this extension of your post. I think I better understand what your are getting at, and of course I can see those complexities intertwined in the name of austerity. It seems to me any film could ultimately be called reductive — especially if we see that most if not all works are defined ultimately by their contradictions — but I am increasingly thinking that viewers/scholars can make a decision in their arguments not to end on the reductive element of a text. And that is still a political act of critique.
Amelie, I am not sure I am making a simple or singular ‘economic’ analysis here. I see the film’s arteries and veins as shaped and informed by the withering age of austerity - a cultural, ideological, political and economic set of discourses, processes and practices. My favourite scene in the film is the one I read above - it is certainly celebratory and in one sense empowering - culture is never done to but vibrantly engaged with. However, it is Donnie that is being heralded as he trains - a heroic monomyth in the making - but his empowerment ultimately is through the fight in the ring - a classic way out of the margins, and given he could have access to wealth, there is a slight of hand at work here too. One can resist austerity discourses but I do see the film’s ultimate articulations as rather reductive.
There’s a beautiful piece on this scene and Coogler in TIME by Ta-Nehisi Coates that I just saw this afternoon.
Sean, I’m interested in your economic analysis of the film, but I have a couple of questions. First, do you find this critique one that the film itself is making, or do you find it emerging out of the margins of the film? And secondly, why do you see the bikers and ATV riders as emblematic of a liquid underclass? Given the celebratory ride and the sense of community it represents (between the men, and between them and Donny), as well as the fact that the scene is based around an actual vibrant subculture in the city (and other mid-Atlantic cities), it’s hard for me to read this scene in quite the terms you’ve laid out. Could you say more?
Thank you, Sean. I think the film is haunted particularly by history — the history of the franchise, the fictional character’s “history,” and the absences within and around the film’s history (as in its relative inattention to black American experience, outside of the champs Rocky boxes). Of course Rocky’s aging body is a manifestation of that history, and his cancer is its own sort of haunting.
I think what haunted me was a little different — the bodies, yes, but also the gentleness and compassion between. I long for that on the screen and off it, but to have lived with it for two hours, amidst also the professionalized violence, made me want to return to it again and again, if only in my memory.