Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
new King Arthur movie
#46
I think it is important to remember that all of these films are entertainment and it is only when the producer, or writer or director makes claims about their film being historically accurate that I (and perhaps many of us on this site) take exception. To make such a claim opens the film to close inspection. Now a days almost every film out of Hollywod starts with a title card 'Based On A True Story' as if that makes the film more important and more worthy of our money and our time than just an entertainment would.<br>
<br>
In fact I'm almost certain that Alien Vs. Predator starts out with a 'Based On A True Story' title card.<br>
<br>
Like Matt I am a big fan of 'I Claudius' and still see Brian Blessed in my mind's eye whenever I hear about Augustus, in the same way that I see Branaugh when I read Shakespear's Henry V. And I like to think of King Henry as a just and magnanimous victory after the battle of Argincourt as depicted in the play. But of course we know he wasn't and that the play skips over the ugly fact that Henry killed his POW's. (Shakespear could not afford to insult or anger either his partons in the nobility or his fans in the public, after all he had to eat too.) However, even knowing this I still like the play/film and admire the artistry of the author.<br>
<br>
Unlike Matt I do go and see all of these 'historic' films. Sometimes the mistakes drive me crazy (like Saving Pvt Ryan) and sometimes I perfer the artistic license (like Kelly's Heroes, just to stay in the same historic time frame). I think my level of annoyance is directly propotional to how strident the film is about its historcal accuracy.<br>
<br>
I do think that film makers should stirve to get the details as correct as possible. However, I am willing to forgive much if the story, and the storytelling, is compelling (as it is with Shakespear).<br>
<br>
In fact, at the risk of having someone throw something at me, I'll admit that I liked The 13th Warrior. Yes I know it is a shameless rip off of The Seven Samurai, but I like it none the less. Now the Seven Samurai I really like, but even that film has a history problem with it's title. However, that is a discussion for another site.<br>
<br>
One of the main reasons I come to this site is to ask questions, about these films and other things I see. "Is this armor correct?" "Did they really wear helmets like that?" "When did the signifers start wearing lion skins?"<br>
etc. etc. etc.<br>
<br>
Do I think or even hope that the gods of Hollywood will hear and heed our ranting? No. I'll still go to the movies and I will lamet the fact that kids are now certain that the US Navy captured the enigma and won WWII or that the Emperor Commodus was killed in the arena.<br>
<br>
Oh, and they had better get the armor right in Alien Vs. Predator or I'm writing a nasty letter to the editor!<br>
<br>
Narukami <p></p><i></i>
Reply
#47
Quote:</em></strong><hr>I swear I will never, repeat NEVER understand why sane people continually bash hollywood films for historical accuracy.<hr><br>
Its called harmless amusement (and its legal ). <p></p><i></i>
** Vincula/Lucy **
Reply
#48
Hi All<br>
<br>
I think that the problem with many historical films is that they are so visually persuasive so that when we are told they are historical the audience thinks 'well it looks real so it must be true'. The number of audience members who can stand up and say 'excuse me the armour/costumes/script are wrong there' are relatively small and never brave enough to do it in the actual movie theatre. What is more the reaction to our indignation will never be 'thanks for that'; it will be to the tune of 'shut up you git' or worse.<br>
<br>
My major problem with Gladiator was not the costumes or napalm but the line 'Rome was founded as a Republic'. However, when I pointed this out to my wife (after the film I might add) she told me I spoilt the film. I therefore keep my comments to myself. (As an aside I was very proud when she turned to me during Troy and asked 'did you see the plane lights blinking?' That was in the first sunset/dawn seen from the walls from Troy). Anyway, I too can leave the historian behind when viewing historical films of the older ilk and thoroughly enjoy them - Just watched Sign of the Pagan with Jack Palance and the new Spartacus and thoroughly them both.<br>
<br>
But I agree that it is when we are told that these films are the most accurate and based on a true story that opens them to criticism on those grounds. I like the irony of Gettysburg in that the 'extras' had more accuracy and knowledge in their depiction and costumes than the producers or director (and certainly their hair was at least real) could ever hope to gain. But that film is really the exception when it comes to taking advantage of specialist knowledge (I could probably include Gods and Generals but it didn't create anything like the buzz of Gettysburg). When we hear of the experiences of experts in other films it is really just a caution to others not to get involved with ideas of changing the world. That said, I am sure we all have plans for as close to a 100% accurate film as possible (though none as advanced as the Varus Project ). We are also in a time of resurgent historical epic and so it is very exciting to think of the possibilities and, correspondingly dissapointing when we see those opportunities wasted. Hence the venting here and on other sites.<br>
<br>
Having said all this I am going to do my bit in the wider public. I start teaching an eight week course next week called 'Watching History Happen' where I look at films from biblical epic to modern and compare them with what we know. Should be fun.<br>
<br>
Cheers<br>
<br>
Muzzaguchi <p>It is an unscrupulous intellect that does not pay Antiquity its due reverence - Erasmus of Rotterdam<br>
<br>
'Modern history, like a deaf man, answers questions no one asks' - Tolstoy War and Peace Ep. ii.1</p><i></i>
Murray K Dahm

Moderator

\'\'\'\'No matter how many you kill, you cannot kill your successor\'\'\'\' - Seneca to Nero - Dio 62

\'\'\'\'There is no way of correcting wrongdoing in those who think that the height of virtue consists in the execution of their will\'\'\'\' - Ammianus Marcellinus 27.7.9
Reply
#49
Well said Muzzaguchi-san.<br>
<br>
You course sounds interesting. Are you aware of the book "Past Imperfect - History According To The Movies" edited by Mark C Carnes copyright 1995 ?<br>
<br>
If you have not seen this book you might find it interesting and even useful. It contains some very good essays on various films and the history they tell, or don't as te case may be.<br>
<br>
Good luck with your class!<br>
<br>
Narukami <p></p><i></i>
Reply
#50
<br>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>I start teaching an eight week course next week called 'Watching History Happen' where I look at films from biblical epic to modern and compare them with what we know. Should be fun.<hr><br>
<br>
<br>
Good idea! Well done.<br>
<br>
Vale,<br>
Titus <p></p><i></i>
TITVS/Daniele Sabatini

... Tu modo nascenti puero, quo ferrea primum
desinet ac toto surget Gens Aurea mundo,
casta faue Lucina; tuus iam regnat Apollo ...


Vergilius, Bucolicae, ecloga IV, 4-10
[Image: PRIMANI_ban2.gif]
Reply
#51
I saw it yesterday. It was very entertaining. Very exciting combat scenes but it continues the time-honored tradition for directors of medieval/ancient movies to add fire/napalm like weapons started in Spartacus, 300 Spartans, Braveheart, Fall of the Roman Empire and Gladiator. I liked the characters, all strong individuals bound together by loyalty to Arthur. I did not like the fact that Arthur led only six other cavalrymen. I don't care how much 'quality' you have you must have some 'quantity' as well. I was also surprised that they would portray the Battle of Badon Hill as occuring on Hadrian's Wall. On the other hand I don't expect accuracy from movies, just entertainment and the movie had that in abundance.<br>
<p></p><i></i>
Reply
#52
Waay off topic for a Roman Forum, but I thought that "Master and Commander" was a good example of a "historical" movie that:<br>
<br>
- was completely fictional, though set in history<br>
- was very authentic<br>
- and also very entertaining<br>
<br>
I am not an expert in the time period, though I have read the entire Aubrey-Maturin series (which is *incredibly* detailed; the late Patrick O'Brian was by far the best historical fiction author that I have ever read).<br>
<br>
The only non-authentic part that I detected might have been during the very first engagement, when Aubrey gets the Surprise's quarterdeck crew to take cover (literally, "hit the deck") during the opening broadside from the Acheron. In Naval engagements of the Napoleonic era, it was considered cowardly to take cover, and the officers proudly stood on their quarterdecks even during the fiercest engagements. However, since the opening attack was sort of a sneak attack, firing through the fog, perhaps the same rules of honor did not apply.<br>
<br>
OK, the role of that one midshipman may have been romanticized a bit -- but not much. They really did have child officers. Good movie.<br>
<br>
/offtopic.<br>
<br>
Rich<br>
<br>
PS - I liked "The 13th Warrior", too! <p></p><i></i>
Reply
#53
Yes, Master & Commander is the most recent example of a film that is both exceedingly entertaining (easily in my top 5 of 2003) and at least made an attempt at being accurate. <p></p><i></i>
Reply
#54
M&C is very true to details, but then the "bad boy" in the movie is French, when it was American in reality. Btw I wish we could get rid of that "Good vs Evil" crap of Hollywood movies, any effort to make an historically accurate film fails from that start alone. <p></p><i></i>
Reply
#55
Some of you have stated that because a Hollywood director states a movie has "historical evidence" that we should scrutinize it. Would this be the same scrutiny then, that certain people supposedly apply when a world leader tells his nation there are certain types of objects in another country, and sends a massive amount of people there to go find it?<br>
<br>
Last time I checked, many of the people involved in that fiasco or living in that place, thought it was a load of beans, because they knew better.<br>
<br>
May I then draw the conclusion, that people here are saying that Jerry Bruckheimer is now a credible, historical source? HAHAHAHAHAH... Come on now...we all know he's a movie producer, someone who is definately not qualified to make such a statement.<br>
<br>
What is he going to say? No, my movie is based on some dream I had? People want believability whether it's based on fact or fiction. As Matt said, throw in a few historical names, places and battles and you have enough to satisfy the masses.<br>
<br>
My point is that EVERY time a movie comes out with some type of pre-modern theme, the armchair warriors come whooping and hollering, throwing their historically accurate spears and firing their anti-anachronistic bows. I find it amusing, if anything.<br>
<br>
I guess, like the uneducated masses, everyone needs a band wagon yes? <p>Magnus/Matt<br>
Legio XXX "Ulpia Victrix"<br>
Niagara Falls, Canada</p><i></i>
Reply
#56
Hi Matt<br>
<br>
Quote: 'the armchair warriors come whooping and hollering, throwing their historically accurate spears and firing their anti-anachronistic bows.' Isn't that what armchair warriors do, by definition? <p>It is an unscrupulous intellect that does not pay Antiquity its due reverence - Erasmus of Rotterdam<br>
<br>
'Modern history, like a deaf man, answers questions no one asks' - Tolstoy War and Peace Ep. ii.1</p><i></i>
Murray K Dahm

Moderator

\'\'\'\'No matter how many you kill, you cannot kill your successor\'\'\'\' - Seneca to Nero - Dio 62

\'\'\'\'There is no way of correcting wrongdoing in those who think that the height of virtue consists in the execution of their will\'\'\'\' - Ammianus Marcellinus 27.7.9
Reply
#57
<em>If Mike Bishop had a 100 million dollar budget and was the director, things would be different.</em><br>
<br>
Coming Soon...<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
<strong><em>Lorica Segmentata</em>: the Movie</strong><br>
<br>
Starring Brad Pitt as a left-hand upper shoulderguard, Harrison Ford as a girth hoop, and a special guest appearance by Woody Allen as a Thomas Type ii Newstead type tie loop.<br>
<br>
Inspired by Truffaut, Eisenstein, and Beckett, sit and thrill as a <em>lorica segmentata</em>* rusts quietly in the rain for three hours.<br>
<br>
'It changed my life' said one critic, sobbing in the gutter after seeing the movie.<br>
<br>
*Authenticity note: for artistic reasons, all <em>lorica segmentata</em> has been finished in leopard-skin effect fake fur - we don't know that they <em>didn't</em> do this and it sure sets off the eyes of our stars really well.<br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
Mike Bishop<br>
(Who still has $99,999,998.56 left after producing that) <p></p><i></i>
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
Reply
#58
Greetings!<br>
<br>
I just went to the movie last night having previously read through the posts on this thread and read a number of reviews. There is some valid commentary in everything that has been said regarding this movie, both good (not much in evidence) and bad. The movie, how shall I say, "sucks" as far as weapons and equipment. How much simpler would it have been to give the "knights" some form of spatha and armor them in something closer to Roman influenced armor? I mean, there were only seven main guys. How hard would it have been to equip them correctly?<br>
<br>
Additionally, as someone else mentioned, the little speech that Arturius gives just before the final battle was dry and uninspiring. It was also unneccessary since his comrades came back on their own and didn't need to be pumped up.<br>
<br>
Still, I enjoyed the movie. Like Troy, we are dealing with historic legend here, not pure history. I think the film makers did a credible job of splicing the history to the myth, giving plausible possibilities as to how the myths were started in the first place. Also, in recent years and with this picture, the battle scenes get better and better--a far cry from the usual melee scenes of older movies. Even the Saxons at least attempted to keep some sort of formations in this film. Arthur's knights smashing through the arrow-thinned ranks of the initial Saxon attack was impressive.<br>
<br>
Yes there were inconsistancies in the story line (how did that Roman official manage to get so far up north, build an elaborate manor and enslave the people without the "Woads" getting him? Not to mention the gate to the wall hadn't been opened in years), and the story line was weak at times, but overall I thought it was a good movie. Beats the pants off of "First Knight"!<br>
<br>
Vis Superavi Ignarum <p></p><i></i>
Reply
#59
"Lorica Segmentata: the Movie" -<br>
<br>
Welcome to RAT egostomus! <p>-------------------------------------------------------<br>
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings -- they did it by killing all those who opposed them.<br>
<br>
<br>
</p><i></i>
gr,
Jeroen Pelgrom
Rules for Posting

I would rather have fire storms of atmospheres than this cruel descent from a thousand years of dreams.
Reply
#60
Something I noticed while watching the movie but forgot about afterwards...<br>
<br>
When Arthur and his knights first set off to rescue the pope's favorite godson living off beyond the wall, we are treated to a 30 second long bit in which several men and a team of horses expend a great amount of energy in order to open the gates to Hadrian's Wall. The attention paid to the rather elaborate barring methods and the sheer weight of the doors must've been done to make the fortifications seem more impressive.<br>
<br>
However, in the finale of the movie, after everyone but Arthur has abandoned the wall, the gates magically open and close on their own so that Arthur can go and talk to the Saxon leader and later so that the Saxon army can be admitted into the fort. How the heck did these doors, so heavy that they needed a pair of horses just to budge them, open by themselves?<br>
<br>
Pretty sloppy bit of filmmaking, that. =p <p></p><i></i>
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  History Channel program on King Arthur Anonymous 14 1,862 06-24-2004, 12:45 PM
Last Post: Anonymous
  Arthur, King of the Britons Q Rutilius 2 796 01-13-2003, 08:15 PM
Last Post: derek forrest

Forum Jump: