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Rotten Circuits
March 27th, 2007
10:02 pm

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Spreading the love
I've been inflicting the best of goodbad movies (as opposed to bad bad movies, which I like, and bad good movies, which I don't) on fuskyb and missyvortexdv recently - they enjoyed (I think!) both "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera" and "Slither". I also have "Psycho Beach Party" lined up for a future date.

I promised a film cat on 300:

Cinema is art, kittlings. The story, the image, the sound, all carefully combined to produce one, spectacular work. 300 is such a piece.

Some of my colleagues, my siblings, bemoan the simple story and lack of complex plot twists. They miss the point. 300 is a tale, by now almost a fable, based on history. Once events occurred, that after countless retellings became this story. And more complex, twisted tales than this have been told of these events.

But complexity, cleverness, surprising the viewer is not the reason for 300. It is a simple tale, almost a children's story - a condensing of a legend into a campfire tale, as might be taught as a lesson to tribesmen, or indeed young Spartans. But more than that, it is an excuse. An excuse for stunning, beautiful imagery, and an excuse for violence and gore, as simple and primal as the story in which they occur. And for the you, it is a chance to be swept up, carried along by the beauty and the savagery, and to marvel all the way to the end.

As always, Hollywood has taken its toll. So simple is the tale told in Frank Miller's book that it required extending, with added women so as not to appear to be wholly misogynist. The padding is done fairly well, not detracting from the core of the film, but for some reason the makers of the film still felt the need to tinker, despite faithfully recreating every scene. At the risk of giving a little away, Ephialtes is demonised, his honour and Spartan nature stripped from him by cruel (possibly bored?) screenwriters. And Leonidas is somewhat unmanned in the final battle, resorting to cheap tricks. These small changes would have been the easiest things to avoid.

So, kittlings, I heartily recommend that you go and bathe yourself in the blood of fallen Persians at earliest opportunity - it'll do you good.

Other good things: half of my stuff has been moved to my new place, and I'm well enough to go back to the gym!

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From:rumor_esq
Date:March 27th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
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Gary Brecher disagrees!

Admittedly, he's really looking at the film through different glasses. I tend to veer more in line with film cat.
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From:wererogue
Date:March 28th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
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He's basically right about everything, but as you say, different glasses.

One thing I've often wondered is whether greek history paints an accurate or fair picture of Sparta - I've never read any legends that were written initially by Spartans, for obvious reasons, whereas Athenian legends are commonplace, and a theme throughout them is fear and ridicule of the more violent, warlike Spartans. Yet every time they go to war, there's a little panic about whether the Spartans will come with them this time.
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From:freakwoman
Date:March 27th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC)
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Oh man I love Psycho Beach Party. I've seen it maybe a million times too many, but it still makes me happy to hear "Don't tell me how to handle MY man's flippity floppity! I just grease up the cake pan, slide it in the oven, and let the batter RIIIIISE!"
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From:wererogue
Date:March 28th, 2007 05:06 am (UTC)
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It does have some amazingly good lines :V
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From:missyvortexdv
Date:March 28th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
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You think correctly.
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