09 March 2007

300

I'm probably going to see the film 300 tonight. The movie deals with the battle of Thermopylae (~480 BCE). The number three hundred refers to the three hundred Spartans (along with seven hundred Thespians) who held a vital pass during the war between the Greeks and the Persians. By holding the pass and causing the Persians significant losses the Spartans and Thespians secured the retreat of their Greek allies and thus their ability to regroup and fight another day. Significant Greek victories against the Persians followed this battle (indeed they pushed Persia out of Greece and thus ended the war), therefore sealing the importance of Thermopylae and the sacrifices of the men there.

Thermopylae also of course helped secure Europe (for the time being) from an Asian conquerer, and a number of scholars see this as an important factor in the continuing development of European culture.

Addendum: Upon reading a few more reviews I've decided not to see this film.

8 comments:

smacky said...

So what in the reviews specifically made you not want to see it anymore?

I saw it yesterday.

Grotius said...

It basically looked like it was going to be a video game.

There were other things, like the Spartans tossing the ambassador down that well. The Spartans were sticklers when it came to religious piety. That seemed way, way out of character.

Anyway, did the film discuss the lot of the helots? Or the tyranny which the Spartans practiced throughout much of the Peloponnese?

Grotius said...

Plus, from the preview their seemed to be a great deal of yelling the word "freedom!" Sparta was an oligarchy, indeed the predominant oligarchy amongst the Hellenes, and individual freedom was not a value they really honored. Now community freedom was an important value (that is freedom of the small portion of the population who weren't enslaved), but I don't know if they presented it that way and I had no desire to find out .

Grotius said...

BTW, the script that we are thinking about writing would concern the Mytilene revolt and debate.

smacky said...

Anyway, did the film discuss the lot of the helots? Or the tyranny which the Spartans practiced throughout much of the Peloponnese?

Nope and no.

There were other things, like the Spartans tossing the ambassador down that well. The Spartans were sticklers when it came to religious piety. That seemed way, way out of character.

Yeah, I thought that well scene was pretty cheezy and overly dramatic. Typical Hollywood.

That's part of the reason I never got into comics very much...a lot of comic writers seem to have the characters acting predictably dramatic or heroic, but without all of the beautiful speech you might find in a classical author.

There *is* a lot of rhetoric about freedom in the film. At moments I was suspicious (but not really) that the film was commissioned by the US Army, it was so emphatic about fighting for freedom.

It wasn't painful to watch in any respect. Though there was a lot of video-game-quality blood flying in the air.

Grotius said...

Well, I might rent it on DVD. I just didn't see any reason to go fork over $20 (tickets plus soda, etc.) to see this movie.

Anyway, I will probably find more entertainment in the mental images I get from reading Herodotus or Aeschylus than I would from watching this movie. I guess that sounds snooty, etc.

smacky said...

I just didn't see any reason to go fork over $20 (tickets plus soda, etc.) to see this movie.

Or you could just sneak outside refreshments in like I sometimes do.

...But I agree. Ticket prices seem unreasonably high these days, especially for the quality of the entertainment.

Grotius said...

To me it seems that half the time they are trying to repeat the success of another movie. I'm a big fan of derviative works, but much of the time what is produced seems more formulaic than merely derivative.