Thursday, October 05, 2006

This is Sparta

This year has pretty much sucked for movies, so I am all kinds of psyched for 300, coming out next year. It's based on the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name and covers the Battle of Thermopylae. In that famed battle 300 Spartans faced thousands of Persian Imperial troops. They lost of course, but they delayed the Persians enough that the Greeks won the war. I've not read the novel, but this is the same guy who brought you the Dark Knight Returns and Sin City, so it can't be that bad. I did read Stephen Pressfield's great Gates of Fire, a novel about Thermopylae.

I think Kieran Healy is correct that many commentators will make great hay out of the movie and how we aren't militaristic enough, although I think he is a tad pissy about it. Those looking to set up Sparta as some great model for the US should think again. Back in the Cold War days, Sparta vs. Athens was a metaphor for Soviets vs. USA. On the one side a communtarian, militarized, land power and on the other, a democratic, trade oriented sea power. Both sides were empires that kicked around the little guys, which made the comparison all the more apt. Everyone in international relations read Thucydides back in those days. Maybe they still do.

But let's leave the politics to the chattering classes. Instead, check out that trailer. Stylized violence action galore. It looks like they are trying to capture the look and feel of the comic book, as was done so well in Sin City.

No comments: