SCRKKNnSeeing RednRedDiUvn; Directed byjohn Milius;nWritten byjohn Milius and KevinnReynolds; MGM-UA EntertainmentnbyCP.DragashnThere is a common daydream amongnmen who grew up in the years betweennthe Berlin blockade and the Cubannmissile crisis: the Russians have invadednthe American heartland, and a dedicatednband of teenage boys conduct an heroicnpartisan war against the ruthless occupationnforces. For most of them it remainedna daydream, at best an unfinished novel.nIt was inevitable that someone in Hollywoodnwould turn his private fentasy intonthe public reality of celluloid.nIn Red Dawn a band of frightenednteenagers is slowly turned into a cracknfighting force that succeeds, somewhatnimprobably, in harrassing the Russiannand Cuban hordes who have occupiednmost of Colorado. John Milius, whonwrote and directed the movie, describesnhimself as a zen anarchist and NRAnfanatic. Red Dawn is already beingnreviled for its “mastadon machismo” andn”fascist fantasies,” for “right wingnparanoia” and “German—^forget zen—nfescism.” The movie does, in &ct, sing thenpraises of toughmess; it does celebratenthe paleolithic pleasures of small-townnAmerica: the kids know how to ride,nshoot, and stay alive in the wilderness.nNow that the Boy Scouts do social work,nall this woodcraft must seem bizarre toncity boys. Yet in many parts of this land,ndrinking deer’s blood is not—as theynmay think in New York—a kinky survivalistnritual but an initiation rite for anboy who’s got his first buck. The reallynunpardonable crime of the film is notnthat the young partisans shoot deer: theynactually shoot Russians—a clear violationnof the visitors’ civil rights. Eventuallynthey are forced to shoot one of theirnown members, the student-body presi-nMr. Dragash defends lost causes fromnhis ivory tower inNewRome.n3 4 M H M H H H HnChronicles of Culturendent who has betrayed them (Miliusndoesn’t like politicians). When thenyoung resistance leader is asked tonexplain what makes them so differentnfi-om the invaders, his only answer is “Wenlive here”—an obviously fascist blasphemynagainst the spirit of internationalism.nWhere is it we live, in the vision of JohnnMilius? The reviewers have summed itnup as either militant patriotism or ancheap exploitation of the American lovenof violence. The film is, in fact, remarkablynfree of ideology but what it doesnoflfer is a glimpse of an America that stillnexists, although not in commutingndistance from Manhattan and LA. It is ansmall-town nation, complete with mainnstreet, public park, and white-paintednchurches, where fethers take their sonsnhunting and fishing and where children,neven running for their Uves, think first ofntheir families and of home. The partisannleader who urges his followers to turnntheir grief into “something else” cannotnkeep back his own tears when he looks atna photograph of himself and his youngernbrother as small children. In the end thenbrothers, wounded in a hopeless assaultnon the enemy, make their way to thenplayground and die in each other’s arms.nRed Dawn, despite its virtues, is builtnupon an absurd premise. The explanationnof how we came to fight a conventionalnwar on our own soil would notnsatisfy even an Ian Fleming or thencreators of The Spike. None of thencharacters is developed to the point ofnbeing a recognizable stereotype (on thenother hand, what teenage kid is a realnperson?). Worst of all, Milius’s ownnlibertarian code of toughness andnnnindependence weakens the social impactnWhen the resistance leader refusesnto join the regular army in the big war,nyou get the feeling that Milius approvesnof patriotism in the abstract because realnmen are patriotic. To this extent hisnteenage guerrillas are less like partisansnand more like feuding anarchists.nIt used to be questioned whether ornnot a Christian could write a tragedy.nAfter all, the Christian view of life (andnhistory) seems to presuppose a happynending. One thing is clear, there can benno such thing as an anarchist or libertarianntragedy. Tragedy requires heroism—na risk of self in behalf of somethingngreater: family, community, divine will.nRootless individualism can never benheroic—^heroism implies sacrifice—nonly strenuous. To the extent that thenheroes of Red Dawn manage to transcendntheir creator’s “zanarchism,” theynengage our interest.nThis is a film which could not havenbeen made in the 60’s or 70’s. The effectsnare hard to calculate. It may be only anflash in the pan or the beginning of antrend, although it will be hard for Hollywoodnto resist the evidence of over $8nmillion in ticket sales in one weekend.nEven a littie reality can be dangerous tonthe health of political illusions. In annelection year dien the conciliatory platitudesnof George Kennan are beingnmouthed by Walter Mondale, the millionsnof Americans who will have seen RednDawn before November 6 may not be innany mood to roll over and play dead. DnTHtnKoyaanisqatsi; Directed by GodfreynReggio; Island Alive/NewnCinema.nby Stephen MacaulaynAs Koyaanisqatsi continues to makenits way across the land, it’s worth askingnAiiether, as the tide of Mr. Reno’s filmnhas it, life is “out of balance.” (The tide.n