Monday, April 09, 2007

Sparta


300 in Leicester Square, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Fred and I went to see the film '300' on Saturday night and ended up almost walking out half way through, so terrible was the film. It became very quickly one long sequence or a repeat of the same sequence of fighting whereby 300 Spartans would be killing hundreds and hundreds of Persians without one of them even getting a scratch. In this respect it reminded me of the film 'Black Hawk Down' where the Americans went on a killing rampage shooting hundreds of Somalis, who would drop like flies. We were then asked to be concerned with and have sympathy with the handful of Americans who became trapped in Mogadishu and died. Why should we? What is so important about an American life over a Somali who is defending his country from foreign invasion and interference?

Anyway, back to Sparta, we were being asked to buy into the Spartan ideals of freedom and liberty against the dark brooding masses of Persians and feel sympathy when the son of one of the commanders is beheaded in battle.

Well, I have read my 'History of Western Philosophy' by Bertrand Russell where he devotes ten pages or so to describing Spartan society and political organisation. What is interesting is that almost all the elements of Spartan society described by Russell found their way into the film, albeit in a fictionalised way.

However, there was one major omission and that was to do with the fact that the aristocracy lived off the back of their serfs, called helots. They owned such serfs and could trade them. They also declared war on their serfs, the helots, so that they could legally kill them if they had any dispute with them.

One of the main taunts against the Persians in the film was that they were slave drivers. Well, maybe the Persians sent their slaves to war, in their armies (I am not sure) but it was hypocrisy of the highest order for the Spartans to be claiming to be fighting for this freedom and liberty.

What was strange in the film was that they showed very clearly what a militaristic society, Sparta was, showing how weak babies were killed at birth, how boys were put into schools to learn how to fight, to put up with pain and hardships and generally get tough and become highly skilled and well disciplined soldiers. (What the film did not show was that girls received a similar education and would perform sports with the boys, both sexes being naked - modern sensibilities being such that scenes like these could not be filmed). Anyway, the point is, even within the film it was clear to see that Spartan society was a militaristic, totalitarian society where individual needs were subjugated to that of the state, whereby the battle cries for SPARTA!!!, for freedom and for liberty ringed pretty hollow.

The film not only portrayed the Persians in a negative light but also the Greeks, the Arcadians, who were taunted as being boy-lovers and were shown as being weak, cowardly and unprofessional. Well, it was the Greeks who eventually beat the Persians (albeit with Spartan help) ten years after the battle of Thermopylae. And, it sems that the Spartans were also not averse to homsoexual love and relations themselves. However, in the context of the film, there was this easy association of homosexuality to weakness, which was quite distateful.

However, historical quibbles aside, the film failed because it lacked any real sense of drama and became very easily and quickly an exercise in digitally recreating bloody battle scenes, which despite the expertise involved, were very boring.

6 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

that pretty much describes that movie :)

23 April, 2007 01:43  
Blogger Charles Roffey and Fred Oosting said...

Thanks, but I was a bit surprised to see later that the reviews in the US were so positive and that it had been so popular over there. It is one thing to be historically inaccurate but quite another not to even be consistent within the film.

24 April, 2007 17:41  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 08.14
longchamp outlet, replica watches, tiffany jewelry, coach purses, tory burch outlet, coach outlet, christian louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors handbags, prada handbags, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin, prada outlet, nike free, tiffany jewelry, michael kors outlet store, ralph lauren polo, burberry outlet, nike air max, coach outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, chanel handbags, michael kors, longchamp bags, coach outlet store online, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry factory outlet, ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, cheap jordans, true religion outlet, oakley sunglasses, louboutin uk, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, kate spade

14 August, 2015 07:41  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

jordan pas cher, michael kors, nike free pas cher, hollister uk, nike roshe run pas cher, true religion outlet, lululemon outlet, mulberry uk, ralph lauren pas cher, sac guess pas cher, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet online, converse, new balance, longchamp pas cher, ray ban uk, burberry pas cher, abercrombie and fitch UK, longchamp soldes, polo ralph lauren uk, nike air max, north face pas cher, michael kors uk, polo lacoste pas cher, vans pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, north face uk, nike tn pas cher, nike air max pas cher, hermes pas cher, hogan sito ufficiale, true religion outlet, nike air force, nike air max uk, nike air max uk, lunette oakley pas cher, lunette ray ban pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, vanessa bruno pas cher, nike free, timberland pas cher, louboutin pas cher

14 August, 2015 07:42  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

longchamp uk, hermes handbags, chi flat iron, insanity workout, instyler ionic styler, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo outlet, p90x workout, nike air max, mont blanc, wedding dresses, mcm handbags, celine handbags, timberland boots, herve leger, valentino shoes, nike trainers uk, iphone cases, giuseppe zanotti, bottega veneta, soccer jerseys, north face outlet, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, beats by dre, softball bats, mac cosmetics, salvatore ferragamo, oakley, babyliss pro, vans outlet, nike air huarache, new balance shoes, hollister clothing, abercrombie, asics running shoes, nike roshe uk, soccer shoes, reebok outlet, lululemon outlet, ghd hair, nike roshe run

14 August, 2015 07:43  
Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

wedding dresses uk, vans scarpe, hollister, gucci, ugg uk, uggs on sale, karen millen uk, juicy couture outlet, uggs on sale, lancel, juicy couture outlet, marc jacobs, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, uggs outlet, coach outlet, replica watches, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, swarovski uk, nike air max, thomas sabo uk, polo ralph lauren, uggs outlet, bottes ugg pas cher, swarovski jewelry, converse, converse shoes outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, links of london uk, uggs on sale, montre pas cher, supra shoes, ray ban, hollister, pandora uk, louboutin, toms shoes, ugg pas cher
ninest123 08.14

14 August, 2015 07:44  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Locations of visitors to this page