Saturday, March 25, 2006

V is for Very Good Gardener

Saw 'V is for Vendetta' this weekend and was blown away by this film. I got to about 2-3 movies in the theater per week so I'm a pretty jaded and tough critic at this point. Finally, a film that does not insult the intelligence of its audience! Multi-layered and complex it is worthy of several viewings and much discussion. Every set detail, every line, every plot twist is superbly crafted. My reason for siting it on this blog is that there is a sub-plot about the "Scarlet Carson" rose. (This variety does not exist. In the graphic novel, it was a 'Violet Carson,' which does. I assume the change was made so that a deep-colored variety could be used. Although it unfortunately dropped the "V" alliteration.) After sitting through umpteen number of movies and TV shows that portray improbably gardens -- ex. Gilmore Girls, which I adore, has a Connecticut Inn with year-round gardens full of May blooming flowers (Wisteria, tulips, etc.) -- or who stick obviously fake flowers with visible wire stems and plastic foliage everywhere (ex. Wedding Crashers), its nice to see a movie get it right.

You may not like 'V' or his politics, but you have to give props to anyone who lives underground and can grow roses like that! (The heat lamps and large planting urns are all shown discretely in the background.)

There are literally hundreds of folks on www.imdb.com and other blogs plus movie discussion boards talking about this rose. These are not gardeners, most are teen movie viewers who are craving to know more about it. If someone isn't breeding a "Scarlet Carson" and marketing the hell out of it - they are missing an incredible opportunity!

There is also a scene in the movie inside a private orchid greenhouse - very nicely done - as well as veiled references to the source of Nitrogen in the explosives V uses. (*Spoiler alert*: If you see it and wonder how V blew up the Larkhill prison from inside his cell, in the graphic novel it is revealed that V procures lots of fertilizers and other chemicals to grow his pampered roses in the prison yard.)

Seen any other great or blatantly wrong movie portrayals of gardens/gardening?

9 comments:

Kathy said...

I am not much of a movie watcher at all, but I have read an awful lot of picture books to my children, and I have the same pet peeve about them. Either the flowers are something made up out of the artist's head (generic daisy or tulip shapes), or they look realistic, but are out of season. And then there was the calendar I bought at Walmart, with wonderful pictures of wildflowers, including one of Virginia bluebells upside down.

Elizabeth said...

Excellent review from a very interesting perspective. Perhaps you could help answer a question for me...Since we know that "Scarlet Carson" roses don't exist (and the film makers obvious didn't use Violet Carsons in the movie) would it be possible to identify the kind of rose that actually is used in the film? Obviously they had to use some sort of existant rose, right? :) I have a small garden behind my new apartment and I was thinking about planting roses. Having the ones from "V" would be pretty nifty, eh?

WashingtonGardener said...

Hmm, looking as close as I could at the rose in the film - I'm guessing it was doctored in some way - dyed, petals sprayed with dew, etc. and is not anything you could grow in a real-workd garden. I would suggest picking a rose suitable to your climate and zone - many favor the new disease-resistant Knock-out roses -- personally I love my groundcover Meidiland roses.

Alexandra Velten said...

I'm fairly certain it was a Grand Prix (my mom is a florist and agrees...)

James said...

Alexandra Velten is right. According to Warner Bros "V’s chillingly exquisite calling cards, Scarlet Carson roses, were portrayed in the film by red Grand Prix roses. The prop department purchased dozens of Grand Prixes daily to ensure there were always a few on hand at the studio in the perfect state of bloom for filming."
P.S. The link takes you to a page by Warner Brothers about the Production of V for Vendetta

Anonymous said...

I loved the movie too. I was looking for info on the rose and saw this. "A Floribunda introduced by McGredy in 1964".

Look at the name. That's the same name of the inspector in the movie, Inspector McGredy.

Anonymous said...

"Violet Carson was a regular hostess on Children's Hour on the BBC Home Service where she was known as Auntie Vi"

Marchenland said...

Too bad they didn't call it the Vermilion Carson, which would have at least kept the V intact.

More info on the book here:
http://madelyn.utahgoth.net/vendetta/vendetta1.html

Anonymous said...

in the movie vendetta they call it the scarlet carson instead of the voilet carson because scarlet is the color of living blood