Monday, 12 March 2007
300: Forget everything you knew about fighting. Every single thing you were taught about survival. Every minor strategy you used until now to gain something. Actually, you have to go way back, perhaps at the very moment your ethical or whatever kind of education began.
"Spartaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaans!!! Attack!". The voice of the mighty leader tears mountains to two pieces. Audience thrilled, ecstatic; proud descendants of ancient fearless shapely warriors. Pop corn and Coke sips, greedy eyes staring at the giant screen waiting for moments of national pride and massacre. The important thing is to keep consuming. Stay focused.
I liked it. Not because of the artistic view (that was pretty good but actually I prefer pure, genuine Frank Miller) or because of the exciting effects. By now I believe that movie industry has already burned its card of special effects; yes gentlemen, you trained us so well that now you cannot impress us as easily as you could.
But I liked it! I, the "alternative/underground/miserably- looking-for-higher-aesthetic-or art- quality" type left my sit filled with a sense of being untouchable.I felt strong, concentrated, mighty warrior (not princess Xena though). So pondering upon this matter, unable to psychoanalyze myself and why (oh why?) I liked it, I ended up to a basic -but of great importance- conclusion.
Unlike most of the Greeks, the source of my excitement did not lie on feeling a proud offspring of Leonidas or Hercules nor on the fact that for the first time during the last decade an ancient Greek hero was not presented as a gay spoiled ancestor of a nation now proudly and consistently following that tradition. It lies upon the very essence of one of the aspects of good (or at least sincere) film-making: inspire the masses, entertain, be special BUT keep it pop. Make them identify with a hero just for a weak tiny little moment and then show what acts of grandiose one (with tons of millions and special effects) could do if only he had lived through a different period in history.
Seriously, it is quite important nowadays to have moments when you feel important (as an offspring of great men) or untouchable (even though your belly may be sweeping the floor). In that point of view "300" succeeded at what previous movies didn't even conceive.
Also, one should acknowledge the fact that it was a good effort in showing some of the essence of why ancient Greeks fought, besides the fact that it is in human nature. Glory through vanity; freedom through death. ... ? But, really, does movie industry truly expect masses of consumers, drown into pop corns, nachos and liters of Coke, hidden behind trademarks to understand that? No, but there's always gonna be a bunch of 300, somewhere, to defy trademark and challenge it holding a medal shield.
3:00 a.m.: Lying at the sofa, smoking a fag, my pride and sense of untouchable totally collapsed (like that wall of corpses), zapping... A kid, obviously a runaway from his skateboard, is so glad in his kitchen demonstrating fine art recipes. Zap. A fat lady surrounded by casseroles, holding a knife threatening to teach us how to cook salmon saute in a dip of caviar and... Zap. Off. Enough grandiose and pride for one day.
Really, in a country of eleven million habitants how many cook shows are considered enough? At 3:00 a.m. However, in a funny/mysterious/naive way, we feel, we ARE (?), the fallen offspring of great men who nowadays are making profit for Hollywood's sake. In a way we do that too. "Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks! Consume!" Oh, how untouchable and proud I feel!