Today’s Joanna Page: From Hell

 

Today’s Joanna Page is From Hell, an impressively unpleasant and bad film, which is odd*, given that it was based on a graphic novel by the lovely Alan Moore, stars the equally lovely Johnny Depp and features the very lovely indeed Joanna Page. She plays a former prostitute trying to turn good for the sake of her baby. Which is… nice? Sigh. Where’s Andrea Dworkin when you need her?

* Okay, it’s about Jack the Ripper, so that should have been a clue. What’s the fascination there, by the way? We’re talking about a bloke who was really nasty to women. I’m not really sure he’s worth dwelling on unless you’re a criminal psychologist or a historian…




  • As for your question regarding the fixation on old Jack, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we don’t know who it was. If the British government really did know and covered it up, the fascination might have died out years ago had the truth come out. Same with Kennedy assassination, Roswell…… Now it’s too late; cynicism set in and the public won’t believe what they’re told even if it was the truth.

  • Kind of, I guess, but there are plenty of conspiracy theories and cover-ups (Harold’s trip to Normandy, the princes in the tower, Irangate, who killed Malcolm X and Robert Kennedy, 9/11) that don’t get the massive amount of attention that JtR does. Even if it is the cover-up that’s interesting, there’s the question of why movies, etc, spend so much time re-creating the murders and the terror felt by women in London at the time. Setting it in context or something else?
    Me? I like a conspiracy theory – they’re fun. But my brain sort of revolts against Jack the Ripper on the general principle it’s not a pleasant story and one that’s really about women being hacked up.

  • I don’t know if ‘From Hell’ is a bad film, exactly. It’s not the film of the magnificent graphic novel, but I suspect that it would be possible to do justice to something so complex and multi-layered. It’s only really ‘based on’ the book in the sense that it’s got the same title and it uses the same theory about the Ripper killings as the novel, even though the theory is unique to neither.
    What the film is though is a great looking, pretty creepy Victorian serial killer story with Robbie Coltrane being brilliant and Depp doing one of his most affected accents, which I always like.

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