18 March 2007

300

I just saw 300..again..this time with Rebekah.

In a word: wow.

No matter any other evaluation of the movie, it is a remarkable piece of cinema. Visually it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen, both modern and in the fashion of old melodramas there is so much to see.

But I was really fascinated with the movies themes of freedom vs. slavery, honor vs. corruption, good vs. evil. I know there is a lot of buzz about the movie, and one particular question is whether or not George Bush is best cast as Xerxes or Leonidas. But c’mon, I don’t care how much you might disagree with the particular politics of the movie, but the movie makes very clear that this a battle against Xerxes, who is in name and history an Arab (Iranian) and Leonidas who in as many words sees himself as defending the world by defending the west. It takes some serious America hating mixed with some massive twisting to see Dubya as Xerxes. Like I said, you don't have to agree with that vision, but at least let the film speak for itself.

I also noted that film actually portrays an incarnate Satan as living in Xerxes tent. He’s never given that name, but no modern Westerner can see a black, horned, bipedal goat playing the flute to be anything but the Devil as portrayed in Anton Levay’s living room. And he’s presiding over a tent filled with more temptation, abomination and perversion than you can shake a hunchback at. Again – the writer’s goal to portray Xerxes as not only the antagonist, but as supernaturally evil is almost impossible to miss.

Anyway, I don't want to review every aspect of the film here, but if you can stomach a lot of stylized violence and a little skin, then you really must see this movie. There is a lot of water cooler talk for a reason.

2 comments:

Holly said...

I must agree, this movie was awesome. Even with the violence and really gross, disfigured people, it was great. The goat thing was a little unsettling.

Devin said...

I'm glad to hear that you had this reaction. I'm not a big fan of Frank Miller, unlike many of my colleagues here at art school, but I read and enjoyed the graphic novel 300 (if nothing else, it was one setting where the characters would have had the killer attitudes he portrays, and there could be no girls in rollerskates with katanas). I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. For all of the creepy things about Spartan society, they were certainly committed to their causes.

In working on my graphic novel script (which deals with similar themes as "300," amongst others), I'm stricken by the courage and commitment of past warriors. They may have had flaws we consider ourselves to be beyond these days, but I don't think our generation could equal their passion. We scoff at the notion of nobility of purpose and distrust every kind of commitment as "overzealousness." I love our conveniences, but I'm weary of living in a cynical postmodern generation.