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300

C and I are walking back to the car.

"That was pretty fucking bad," I say. "I wonder if I can get my money back?"

"You always say that." He parked the car at the far end of the car park and so we are walking through the empty lot, the dark around us, and everything still. A trolley emerges before us. C says, "I thought it was okay."

"You thought it was good?"

"I didn't say that."

The trolley is kicked over, stomped in on one the side.

"For example," C says, "I would have liked it if Leonidas hadn't sounded Scottish."

"There was a bit of Sean Connery in him, wasn't there?" I step up on the trolley. "I would have liked to have seen some Greek actors."

"You're so picky. I suppose you would have liked some historical accuracy as well?"

"Would that have been too much?" I step down. C's car is black, and I can make out as a shadow at the end of the lot, surrounded by tiny trees. "It's not hard to do a bit of research. Read a couple of books for fuck sakes. Check the wikipedia. The director read the comic--he's clearly semi literate."

"The anti gay stuff was in the comic." C kicks a dented can. "Yet, it's totally gay. I mean, remove that one line about boy lovers, and the film is totally pro-gay, just without any fucking. Which is a shame."

"I thought Xerex's and Leonidas were going to get it on at one stage."

"Me too."

Silence. The car draws closer.

"It was the racism that really bothered me, though," I say. "I mean, 'Asian Horde'. Is term really appropriate in this day and age? A bunch of white guys standing against the Asian Horde. That just didn't sit well with me."

"That's just cause you have a thing for Asian girls."

"They're all so cute."

"I'm just saying it influences you."

We are at the car. I lean on the top as C walks around to the driver's side, pulling out his keys. "So, you didn't mind the Asian Horde part?"

"No, it bothered me. But it bothered me because at the start of the film, the Spartans are throwing their deformed and small, weak children, off fucking cliffs, and that's presented in a positive light. Hardcore, but positive. The Persian's, though, they nail people to trees, and employ freaks and shit--but they're the fucking villains that need to be drove off. They're the Asian Horde, as it's said. Whereas the Spartans are beautiful and heroic, even as they chuck kids off cliffs."

"It's like a Nazi wet dream."

"Well, if they'd been blond." C opens the door, gets in, unlocks my side. As I get in, he says, "In many ways, Xerex's was the more admirable figure."

"This is cause he liked the freaks, yeah?"

"Totally. See, in Xerex's world, a girl with no arms and legs, she's still a sexual object when she's naked. Okay, she's reduced to a sexual object, and you can say there's a whole nasty kind of misogyny there--but she wasn't fucking thrown off a cliff, you know? She lived and had a semi-fulfilling life as a sex object."

"And the man born with fucking blades attached to his arms, he was like an executioner."

C starts the car. "See, in Xerxes' world, everyone has their chance to succeed."

"I think you're missing two things here, though. Firstly, you're missing the freedom that Spartans fought for--"

He laughs.

"--And secondly, you liked it."

"It was kinda cool," he says, stopping at a set of lights. "It was like a video game, where every new fight is a new level of threat."

Silence.

I let the silence continue.

C looks at me. The lights are still red. He looks at them. Then to me. He says, "What?"

"You," I say, intently faux seriously, "are what's wrong with America."

Comments

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(Anonymous)
Apr. 8th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC)
Americans?
I don't believe I've ever heard an American ever blame anything on Australians...well excepting a certain Crocodile and Steve something or other but that's besides the point...you're going to have to start taking responsibility because America's not always going to be around screwing things up :)

---factory farmer
underdogautopsy
Apr. 8th, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
Re: Americans?
I'm an American, and I blame The Wiggles on Australia.

For real.





...And guns.
benpeek
Apr. 8th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
Re: Americans?
the wiggles were once a band called the cockroaches, and didn't do so well at that, so they became the wiggles.
benpeek
Apr. 8th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
Re: Americans?
but america is so easy to blame!

anyhow, no, i just thought that was funny to add at the end. cause you never hear anyone say, 'you're what's wrong with australia'.
ataxi
Apr. 8th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
Random factoid: the Athenian word for "sodomise" was "Spartanise". Apparently pederasty was mandatory in the Spartan military institution. You know, in "real" history.
benpeek
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:31 pm (UTC)
i didn't know the sodomise thing, but i knew the other. it wasn't uncommon for a lot of greek men to have a thing with a young boy, i believe.
shadowsandice
Apr. 8th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
Yup...going to see it when I'm done with nightshift. Hamish said that all the dialogue in the trailer was practically it.
benpeek
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC)
yeah, most of the dialogue you don't see is a voice over that never stops. god. it has a point, but there are places where it's clearly doubling up on the narrative.

i imagine there'll be things for you to enjoy in this film that i didn't--if i had been gay, however, i would have just closed my ears :)
(Anonymous)
Apr. 9th, 2007 12:58 am (UTC)
I dunno, the speedo look has never done much for me.
shadowsandice
Apr. 9th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
whoopsie.
ex_chrisbil
Apr. 8th, 2007 11:31 am (UTC)
What really gave my the fuckin' shakes while watching this film, which I surprisingly haven't heard too many people foaming at the mouth about, was lines like "FOMGZZ we must send ALL our army to fight Ahmadinejad Xerex!"

Funky as elements of the film were (I'd like to see more from the cinematographer, more than the director), it was a rolling republican riot throughout... even if it didn't mean to be? (I have no idea about the directors political stance.)
benpeek
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC)
i don't know much about the director, but i do know that all that queen stuff wasn't in the graphic novel. miller isn't exactly a great writer when it comes to women, but 300 wasn't a very political book at all, so all that ridiculous stuff has come from the writers (of which the director is one).

draw your own conclusions, i guess.
ex_chrisbil
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:38 pm (UTC)
Frank Miller? Not a great writer when it comes to women?

Oh, yes: http://www.shortpacked.com/d/20060207.html

:)
benpeek
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:47 pm (UTC)
yeah, i saw that a while back. he has his limitations does miller--it's been interesting to watch that, as his graphic novels have become popular films, and his latest comic work is recieving poor reviews, how people have turned on him. personally, i gave up after 300, but some of the early stuff was quite good--but those ticks he has get in the way sometimes, yes they do.
ex_chrisbil
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:48 pm (UTC)
Aye. He's no Whedon, who just keeps on surprising me. Doesn't let himself get stale, in my opinion.
benpeek
Apr. 8th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
i must be the only person who thinks whedon isn't much chop. there's some nice moments in what he does, but that's kinda all it is--and his ticks are perhaps worse than miller's, in that they often extend to his characters all resembling each other.
elenuial
Apr. 9th, 2007 04:41 am (UTC)
You aren't the only person. But I tend to get shouted down and over whenever venturing such an opinion.
strangedave
Apr. 10th, 2007 05:37 am (UTC)
It's like a Nazi wet dream.

The most interesting response to the film I have read is that a lot of the criticisms of the film disappear if you take the stance that the film (with the framing narrative of a spartan narrator explaining events to spartan soldiers) IS a spartan wet dream, its spartan propoganda, Fox New Sparta. And Spartans aren't too far off nazis. Which is to say that the bits we find politically unacceptable might work artistically.
benpeek
Apr. 10th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
i dunno--i don't think the film really argues the propoganda aspect of it for you. to me, it's just bad--the historical innaccuracies, the contradictions in characters and how spartans are said to be (no sentimentality, for example, but every time they say this in the film, the film is telling you exactly the opposite). the political stuff puts me on the wrong side of it, but i don't think it's a good film, either.
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