Sunday, May 20, 2007

The movie "300" -- not fantastical enough

If there are any student in NU's upcoming course on Ancient Civilizations reading this blog -- instead of having fun in the sun -- here's a topic worth thinking about.

Will McLean in his blog Commonplace Book says you shouldn't be thinking about ancient Greece when you watch the recent movie on "Thermopylae," 300. Lots of people have said the same but Will provides us with a science-fiction rationale that makes sense of the 300 scenario -- sort of.

That's amusing in its way but then Will goes on to make quite a profound point. When the Frank Millers of the world try to make an edgy fantasy of the past, they seldom are fantastical enough. This analysis is not offered in a mean-spirited way, but with full acknowledgement that for any author, filmmaker, or other artist, recreating even the known aspects of the past is hard -- especially if you harbor any hope that your audience will be able to relate to the finished product. This is a really fine post.

Update: link to the entry is now fixed.

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Blogger Another Damned Medievalist said...

Thanks! I am sooo going to use that this fall. Of course, I'm trying to figure out how to deal with 300 -- and whether I should actually go ahead and assign it as part of a presentation. I think my "history Channel Majors" are already frothing at the bit ...

10:24 PM  

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