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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

300 reasons to debate

Early screenings of the new Warner Brothers' movie 300, which will go into general release this Friday, have sparked a lively discussion about whether the film is slyly anti-Bush or slyly pro-Bush. Read this solid New York Times piece for all the ins and outs.

One way or the other, I'm definitely seeing the film this weekend, if only to try to recapture the excitement I experienced when, as an 11-year-old, I saw the original The 300 Spartans on Granville Street's "theatre row" in downtown Vancouver.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on March 6, 2007 in Media | Permalink


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I'm definitely going to see 300. In fact, I bought "The 300 Spartans" on DVD a couple weeks ago. I saw it for the first time in an ancient Greece class while I was in college. Most of this story is myth, but it's a thrilling story of the few who stood against many.

The trailers and clips available look awesome.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-03-06 3:32:09 PM

It struck me initially as the defence of Western civilization from the Persons (Iran). I'll wait to see the movie to see whether the film supports that interpretation.

Posted by: murray | 2007-03-06 4:21:29 PM

Mark Twain could have been reviewing the film when he wrote:

"Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."

But he probably should have added:

"Persons attempting to find a contemporary politcal metaphor in it will be permanently committed to the insane asylum"

Admittedly, it's does not quite flow as well. But it is fitting

Posted by: TSH | 2007-03-06 4:32:32 PM

Sorry I couldn't bring myself to finish that New York Times article. Reporters these days are complete retards.

I can tell you that George Bush couldn't possibly be portrayed by either Xerxes or Leonidas, and for the reporter to even suggest George Bush was Xerxes tells you how bad things have become in the west.

George Bush is not a dictator leading slaves, and he surely has no coherent plan on how to deal with his enemies. This is simply a movie loosely based off of a historic event, that helped ensure that democracy and western values were allowed to evolve in Greece.

The link I'm posting here is to a review from Victor Davis Hanson, a respected Professor of History and expert on Greek warfare. His review is far more useful than anything you'd find on any mainstream media report, and is written by someone who actually knows the history of the event.

Ironically, my understanding is that this movie with its digitized imagery is a far more historically accurate than Troy and that Oliver Stone fiasco Alexander. I'm definitely in for seeing this film.


Posted by: niv | 2007-03-06 4:44:12 PM

Since the movie looks like a panel-by-panel recreation of Frank Miller's 300 comic, which predates Presidents GWB and MA (I'm pretty sure it was late '90s) the current allegorical elements are most likely only in the eye of the viewer.

Politically, Frank Miller belongs to the "mugged liberal" camp.

Posted by: Eric Grant | 2007-03-06 7:53:08 PM

It's an un-ethical movie based on false historical stories.

Posted by: Winston | 2007-03-06 8:51:05 PM

Granville Street's "theatre row"

Ho camonie, now that's going way back. Remember hitting those movie spots back in the 70's. Now I imagine it's drug row. Is there still a MacDonalds on the corner?

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-03-06 10:06:06 PM

Winston, can you elaborate on your statement.

Are you saying the battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC never took place?

This movie is based on a cartoon which loosely portrays a real event. In Greece this battle holds a great deal of significance, and has been taught for 2500 years.

Please don't tell me that this never happened.

Posted by: niv | 2007-03-07 11:17:39 AM

There was a Battle of Thermopylae. It took place in 480 BCE, as part of the Greco-Persian War. The principle sources are from the Greek historian Herodotus. While Herodotus isn't very reliable - his work reads more like a travel narrative than a history - his Histories give us detail accounts of the entire war to 479 BCE. His narrative are certainly embellished, but it's the only available source. This is unlike Homer's The Illyad about the Trojan War, for which no reliable evidence can confirm its happenstance.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-03-07 11:42:46 AM

Herodotus is the main source for the battle of Thermopylae, but the events have been deemed reliable by pretty much any historian of value.

The numbers of 1,000,000 are believed to be an exaggeration, but no one has ever disputed that the Persians left 300 - 350,000 troops behind in Greece to fight the battle of Plataea. Seeing no one has disputed these numbers one must agree the Persian forces that invaded Greece were enormous. 300,000 + left behind from a force that retreated to Persia speaks for itself.

As for the Trojan War there is no reliable evidence, but more and more seems to be uncovered proving it did in fact happen, though there is no evidence that the Trojan Horse ever existed.

I'm just perplexed by Winston's statement that the events are false historically and the movie is unethical, I find that very strange.

Posted by: niv | 2007-03-07 2:54:15 PM

"I'm just perplexed by Winston's statement that the events are false historically and the movie is unethical, I find that very strange."

He's Iranian (Persian). In light of his ethnic interests it makes perfect sense.

Posted by: DJ | 2007-03-07 10:11:07 PM

Winston wrote: It's an un-ethical movie based on false historical stories.

I suspect you also believe that the Battles of Marathon, Gaugamela and Issus are also “false historical stories”. Even with “the immortals” fighting for Persia they couldn’t defeat the smaller Greek armies. Not much has changed to this day has it Winnie.

Posted by: No Spin Zone | 2007-03-08 12:51:24 PM

Thanks for filling me in on who Winston is. I'm now perplexed as to why use the name Winston?

Posted by: niv | 2007-03-08 3:19:14 PM

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