Monday, March 12, 2007

Beefcake at Thermopoly

I saw 300 this weekend, along with a lot of other people. 300 pulled in $70 Million and apparently "shocked" Hollywood. There are a lot o fissues raised by this extremely cool looking comic book movie--how do you film a Graphic Novel and remain true to the original? Does 300 spell the death of properties and scenic artists the way tat Last Starfighter herralded the end of modlers and computer generated modle effects? Do women just want to see muscle men in speedos?

I'm going to review 300 on at, but there is something worth noting on this page: As with the other sword and sandle movie I reviewed last week, Conan the Barbarian, this is an extremely conservative film. The batle of Thermopoly has an important place in the Eurcentric ideal, in conservative politics, and in military history. I read somewhere resently that it is the first bttle you study at West Point. It shouldnt' be lost on us that this was a battle in which "the hordes of Asia" (which in this case meant the Middle East) were attacking "the civilized world." It wasn't the first version of orientalism in Western legend--that would be Troy, and the threat was certainly real. This film version has a valient king defying public opinion and his nation own law to send a small force of brave heroes to resist the invading army from what is now Iran. The paralells to the Iraq war, and the current conflict with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, can't be ignored. Considering how imensely popular this movie has proven to be, it can't be good news for advocates of diplomacy.


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