Saturday, September 08, 2007

Finally Saw 300

I finished seeing it last night, after Carol went off to scrap-booking with Juliet. Carol has been patiently watching the I, Claudius series with me (which gets bloodier and bloodier), but 300 would have been too much to ask. So I saw it via DVD in two sittings, the last sitting last night.

The medium of our old fashioned, rectangular-screened tv with a letterbox video is not the best way to see this movie. Carol agrees we should seriously upgrade our television set, but deciding which model to get looks like homework and we haven't found the time. (Any suggestions out there?) This was definitely one to see on the silver screen, or at the least on Sewell quality video, and I'm sorry I missed seeing it that way. Maybe one day I will.

But it was still good, if a little strange. Sean has a link to a review of the movie, which was generally favorable.

The review, however, criticizes the grotesque presentations of Ephilates and Xerxes, among others, and the other liberties that the graphic novel genre would allow. I thought that criticism misplaced, a little like criticizing Van Gogh for how unrealistic his panoramas are, if I can make that comparison.

Clearly it was not the artist's intention to present those characters as how they "were", as if one had a photograph of them. I think he meant to show them as how they saw themselves. Thus Xerxes was drawn as a sort of god, because he saw himself that way. Ephilates was repulsive and acted that way, because he saw himself that way. The Spartans were drawn as mythic heroes because they saw themselves that way, and that's the way they behaved. How do you look to yourself? Isn't that how you often behave, whether or not you see yourself as God sees you?

Anyway, I had no problem with that issue nor with much else in the film. I enjoyed it, and I continue to think about it.

1 comment:

Sean said...

hooray! glad you saw it and glad you liked it!