Saturday, March 10, 2007
How to parse this one?
Let's see, three image title pic, so let's follow that layout: experience, film, subtext..
Tense moment 5 hours before showtime: did Justin get to the Box Office in time? Yep, 2 screens sold out, but we got the tix. Arrived at theatre 30 minutes early, got in line at the back end of the snake. Dammit. Ended up in the second row...too close. We had great center channel, but the bass broke behind us. Hoping for a better seat on second viewing(tomorrow). Picture was projected sharp, and focused.
300 was a visual tour de force. Who needs reality when you have the minds of Frank Miller and Lynn Varley to plunder? Like Rodriguez before him Snyder has attempted to capture the magic of the graphic novel. There are, of course, inherent risks in doing this, since not everything translates across media. Bringing Miller's world, steeped in Kirby and Frazetta, is certainly worth the time and expense.
Prior to the film I had a discussion about the timing of this film, mired as we are in "the war on terrorism" alternately called "operation iraqi freedom" or Viet Nam Redux, or as I tend to think of it "The Occupation of Iraq". I dismissed the whiners, this was a movie without political subtext, to be enjoyed from my fanboy interior without reality pushing in. Impossible to do when the audience is 75 percent soldiers.
What is clearly not the case is the amount of identification with the Spartan "freedom fighters" that should be applied. Spartans were defending there land against a hostile occupying force--not taking a pre-emptive strike at an underarmed, undeclared enemy. The pro-war sentiment overrode this reading and instead of leaving sobered these guys were elated by the film. I do fault the film here, the stakes are too high to bury our heads in the sand and make gorgeous revisionist films that whip up aggression. This film is clearly fantasy/fantastic, but I was unable to be transported out of the here and now.
I am no terrorist sympathizer, nor a Republican, but if you took out the President for "past human rights violations" and rolled a tank down my street? I'd fight back.