Did anyone else think it odd that there was a Cat Power song on V's jukebox in V for Vendetta? Especially because it plays as V muses aloud about dancing? I love Cat Power's (Chan Marshall) music but the song didn't strike me as one V would have on his jukebox (perhaps he inherited it from an indie rocker?), yet alone one he'd dance to. Fortunately, the song he really dances to with Evie (Natalie Portman) is Julie London singing "Cry Me a River," which seemed marginally more appropriate. Not to complain, because I really liked the actual songs they chose for the film, but Cat Power's remake of Lou Reed/VU's I Found a Reason doesn't seem the most likely bet for an underground protest song...
In a recent article in The New York Times, on music's protest power, Kelefa Sanneh notes: "V proudly explains that much of his stash comes from 'the vaults of the Ministry of Objectionable Material.' If these seemingly innocuous songs are illegal, then listening to them is an act of civil disobedience. Isn't that the fantasy of politically minded pop fans everywhere? Taking a stand is as easy as dialing up a record on the jukebox."
In the lyrics for I Found a Reason is this stanza: "Oh I do believe | If you don't like things you leave | For some place you never gone before"
Maybe that would have been objectionable to the ministry after all. Still, you'd think they'd go after more obvious subversive material. Or perhaps I'm overthinking things. Maybe it was the reason for choosing the Cat Power song, is that it is subtle - to show how even the quieter pieces of art can be found to be "objectionable" merely for a lyric, a line, an intent. While a rap or punk rock song would have been too obvious.
Meanwhile, you should see V for Vendetta, if you haven't already, to form your own opinions, and to see that rare beast - a subversive Hollywood film. Just don't get too used the concept.