Published 17 March 2009 · Main Posts Watchmen Rjurik Davidson I saw Watchmen on saturday night, the much anticipated adaptation of Alan Moore’s graphic novel (at one point Terry Gilliam was rumoured to be attached to it). After Zack Snyder’s last execrable effort, 300, a neo-fascist movie based on Frank Miller’s eponymous graphic novel, I was hesitant (and besides, I loved the graphic novel). I was pleasantly surprised. Though it’s impossible to compress a novel like Watchmen into a film, the scriptwriters do a good job, and the whole thing is pretty damn interesting – we should remember that Time magazine, I believe, at one point listed Watchmen as one of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th Century. There is much else to say about Watchmen – and I’m commissioned to write a piece on it shortly so I won’t mention much here – but what struck me most, besides its fairly faithful adaptation of the novel, is its politics. Essentially (spoiler alert!) it argues that the end does justify the means. That the destruction of vast areas of civilization for a greater purpose is justified. It is, in short, a particularly radical vision. This should not surprise us, as Moore’s other great graphic novel V for Vendetta is equally interested in violent action for social change (though in the context of a fascist England). Equally, both of them see this change as brought about by minority action, appropriate, I suppose, to some versions of anarchist politics. Watchmen, then (again spoiler alert), is almost a reversal of the usual liberal politics of films approaching this issue. It’s as if the bad guy in a James Bond movie, who plans to destroy a great city, is actually a good guy with a vision. He simply wants things to be better – and can see no other way of achieving this. Interesting. Rjurik Davidson Rjurik Davidson is a writer, editor and speaker. Rjurik’s novel, The Stars Askew was released in 2016. Rjurik is a former associate editor of Overland magazine. He can be found at rjurik.com and tweets as @rjurikdavidson. More by Rjurik Davidson › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202326 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000) Editorial Team Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (that is writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world. In 2023, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career.