As some of you might know, I am a history buff. And I enjoy watching fantasy movies, so when those two things coincide, that's just my cup of tea.
Hollywood has recently rediscovered ancient Greece. I saw Alexander as well as Troy two or three years ago. And I agree, those were not the best of their kind ("Alexander The Great" with Richard Burton back from the 1950s is way better), their makers didn't care too much about the real historical background (the Trojan War as described in Homer's Iliad is at least partly legendary of course), but then again they never claimed to do so.
The latter is also true for the dream factory's latest artefact, "300" (the movie), which refers to the Battle of Thermopylae, when 300 Spartans under king Leonidas fought the Persian invasion army lead by their emperor Xerxes at the mountain pass of Thermopylae in 480 BC. The movie's artwork is based on Frank Miller's graphical novel of the same name.
I first saw the trailer back in November and its visual force simply blew me away, especially when combined with the background music by Nine Inch Nails. Again, let's not nit-pick about historical facts (e.g. there were several thousand Greek allies, not just 300 Spartans) - it's a novel after all. The movie also seems to mash in elements of Greek mythology, so there are appearances of cyclope-like creatures and similar characters.
I also noticed a scene where a Persian ambassador is thrown into a well by Leonidas. This goes back to the Persian tradition of demanding "earth and water" from their subordinates' soil as a symbol for accepting Persian domination on land and on sea. So the Spartans pitched them into the well and told them to go and look for earth and water down there. Now that's what I call coolness.
Just read: Bergkristall, Adalbert Stifter
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