Movie Essay - A Comparison of Satire in Voltaire's Candide and the Film Lexx

Movie Essay - A Comparison of Satire in Voltaire's Candide and the Film Lexx

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Satire in Candide and Lexx


Voltaire's Candide is a story about a young man learning about the realities of the world; realities he never could have believed to happen in life because his education heavily involves the idea that this is the "best of all worlds." Salter Street Films' Lexx is a story about a group of misfit adventurers and the calamity that befalls them after they steal the Lexx, a Manhattan-sized insect with the ability to destroy planets. Though the two stories have more in common than one might expect, given the difference of medium, much more is different between the two, even with satire present in both

The first and most obvious difference between Candide and Lexx is the setting of the two. The Earth as visited by the Lexx is, in itself, unrealistic with its portrayal of everything we consider 'normal' being completely outlandish to the crew. It also follows that if the settings are drastically different, the characters must be as well. Kai is not only an assassin and last of the Brunnen-G, but he has been dead for six thousand years. Stanley Tweedle, captain of the Lexx, has seen enough while traveling on the giant insect to know that such is not the case. The characters between the two stories even journey with different methods; while the cast of Lexx travels through the Light and Dark Universes on an insect spaceship, the cast of Candide travels around the Earth on foot or by transportation such as boats. Even the crew of the Lexx travels around Earth not by such methods, but by using the giant Moths grown on their ship.

The second, and perhaps most important difference between Candide and Lexx is the methods by which the two stories satirize things. As typical of most mode...


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...asm comes when the Lexx has finished its meal and, on its way back to orbiting the moon, lets out a burp and licks its chops. The one exception to season four's satire is the series finale during which, among other things, 790 fools the now-senile Lexx into destroying the Earth. This is the ship's final shot before it passes on of old age.

Satire is nothing new. Things have been wrong in the world since recorded history and there have always, and will always be people to criticize the flaws in the way things work. While satire today is often told differently then that of Voltaire's time, the principle is certainly the same.

Works Cited

Lexx. Screenplays by Paul Donovan, Lex Gigeroff, and Jeff Hirschfield. Sci-Fi channel.

Produced by Salter Street Productions. 1997-2002.

Voltaire. Candide. Trans. Lowell Bair. Bantam Books. New York, 1959.

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