I have been thinking a lot about trying to stay young and relevant politically, and I think that the main way to accomplish this is to always doubt yourself and try to understand ideas you find repellant. For instance, The Maggie is a film set in Scotland about a decrepit ship led by a happy-go-lucky crew who deceitfully take on a job to transfer an American tycoon’s possessions to another part of the country. Obviously, they’re pretty bad at this, and the tycoon is mad, which leads to much comedy.
As I was watching this I couldn’t help but keep thinking that I, too, would be pretty mad, if the property in question was mine and transferred with such lack of care. But then I realized that the film is pretty subversive and anticapitalist, in a very subtle, lighthearted way. Watching from the 2018 of interns dying on jobs, high street fashion, meat pollution and megacruise ships, I do in fact yearn for a world where old sweaters, stolen pheasants, sailor weddings and boat breakfasts were king. Efficiency is a flawed concept, and so anxiety-inducing. And property is overrated. This innocent comedy from the 50’s Ealing studios might have been one of the biggest political revelations for me. And this is what makes films great.
The Maggie (High and Dry), 1954
Director: Alexander MacKendrick