Tuesday, March 27, 2007

300 Spartans and Isn't It Interesting...

Isn’t it interesting that no one or very few someone’s who’ve viewed the film have complained or even mentioned the coercive rape (male on female, politician on queen) in “300” added to “beef up” the female/domestic storyline, which was not kept in the frame of the time and culture period?

The film’s rapist called it “adultery,” which, writing-wise, is historically neither an acceptable nor feasible concept in ancient Sparta, only for other places and times, like our own. I understand and don’t totally hate how this was inserted and worked out in the film but something more culture-centric and inventive could have been profound.

At least Queen Gorgo (a documented real person, which is a rare thing for a woman in man’s history—to be mentioned and have her name given as well), anyway, film Gorgo did have the violent privilege of getting her own saving country, face, and honor point across in the end; a rarity for women still in much fiction/historical fiction beyond TV movies.

But her activity overall in “300,” besides wonderfully expressing feminine concerns at wartime, was to expose the traitor; or in other words, to serve the man’s story of glory and manly stuff. Yes, I love the abs, yes, I love sword movies, good or amusingly done sword films.

But, really, if you want to add sex or violent sex [and both concepts in our 21st century implicitly imply man on woman activity, not man on man—which is ultimately manly] to a film about ancient Greeks this is how it’s done now, I guess, see “Troy” and Brad Pitt’s Achilles’ “cousin” who has been known for thousands of years as no cousin but as lover.

Perhaps, he was a cuz, since Gorgo was Leonidas’ blood half niece. But I guess storylines incorporating the real divergent, messy, pederasty views and bisexuality and hard violence for babies, mothers, wives, and warriors of the time still prove too interesting, topical, and problematic for Hollywood and New York graphic comic storytellers’ fun about gory glory or the tender Persian/Iranian and Greek present day psyche; Google Greek complaints of gay fears around the “Troy” film.

Neale Sourna
Remember—PIE because Perception Is Everything
Project Keanu

Friday, March 23, 2007

300: Bitching, Reality, History, Character, and Fun

No one cares until you make a movie about it—whatever it is; a Hollywood movie; a successful, raking in the bucks and drachmas and attention film. Then, they must bitch. “Sin City’s” Frank Miller’s graphic novel turned film about the super famous battle of Thermopylae in “300” is it for now. Those who say it was done wrong, characterized and misrepresented didn’t have the forethought to make their own film of it; whether successful in cash or style or historical correctness.

It’s not completely perfect, but it’s damn good, especially the ancient pottery design [the original film motion/comic strip] battle scenes--beautiful, and BETTER THAN THE BOOK. More life, more interpersonal emotions and risks between husband and wife, king and citizen, general and hoplite. Ask any woman who’s seen Lena Headey here. This film is accessible to those not knowing of history, ancient battles, or….

Hey, am I the only person who accesses the encyclopedia after a film to see if they got it right, or changed more than liberal license?

Characterization points:

Sparta had no adultery. Really. So that’s wrong, but it suits us today still, doesn’t it? We know EVERYONE has adultery, but they don’t, or didn’t. So, how would you write a non-adulterous society through your today mental filters?

Is Gerard Butler just like the real Leonidas I? Considering we can’t get the history straight about Mr. and Mrs. William Shakespeare [Anne Hathaway, his wife not the actress, unless she’s reincarnated] or know what Leonardo DaVinci’s real, full name is…. Or historical Jesus, Cleopatra VII, and others more recent in history leaves us open to imagination, and emotional depth and truth.

--Neale Sourna