Go to the alexander-the-great.co.uk homepage
alexander-the-great.co.uk
Talk about the Oliver Stone movie "Alexander"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

"300"
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    alexander-the-great.co.uk Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw it last Saturday. I liked it.
The monsters and all the fantastical creatures could have been avoided, though. Too much fantasy and graphic violence.
But you cannot deny one thing: Gerard is gorgeous as Leonidas. What a body!!!! (....sigh...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:27 am    Post subject: 300 Love Reply with quote

I also love it......Stelios aka Dienekes looks even better on the big screen... Embarassed but I had tears running down my cheeks at the ending... Crying or Very sad
If they ever get around to making Gates of Fire, they should use the same guys for the Spartans...they fight supurbly...
In my top films too.....and waiting for the DVD to be released...hopefully I will get to see it again at the cinema beforehand...!
300 Love...!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Catherine X



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 814
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My husband wanted to go see 300 with his brother but they couldn't agree a time. I didn't want to go and see it, but a female colleague said it is VERY ***, full of naked men cavorting... so maybe I will go with him after all Laughing Apparently its got lots of boring battle scenes tho... Sad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Catherine X



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 814
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That word that is asterisked out is not rude. It means:

1. Of or concerning homosexual love and desire.
2. Tending to arouse such desire.

So I'm sure you can guess what the word is.

Admins note: it isn't rude but it is a popular spamming word so is blocked. The word is homoe-rotic (without the dash)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to see it with two friends of mine. One was texting to her boyfriend all the time. The other came to see it because I asked her to.
The Result:
I was distracted and I couldn't appreciate it very much.

The Moral:
Don't go to watch a movie like "300" with these kind of friends (who don't care about these sort of films). You'd better go ALONE!


SO, I went to see it ALONE Very Happy and this second time I enjoyed it A LOT!
It's fantastic Exclamation It's not just the battle of Thermopylai; it is the battle between good and bad, in general. Greek or Persians who were corrupt were the monsters. Now, I understand the role they had in the movie.
And what to say about Gerard? He is so good! He IS Leonidas Exclamation
You know what, I don't think I can wait for the DVD. I am going to see it again. That's for sure.
Oh, the battle scenes. I haven't enjoyed battle scenes in a movie before as much as I liked them here. They are not boring at all, I assure you Very Happy .
And Xerxes was not bad himself. Rodrigo is very convincing as the Persian king.

An excellent movie for me Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday, I went eagerly and anxiously to watch the movie but, when I got to the cinema ("movie theater" for others, haha), what did I find out? Of the 20 shows that were programmed for the day at my regular cinema, ALL tickets had been sold since early in the morning. Wow! What a success for this picture.
Before watching it, so consider this as prejudice (but probably true), I am amazed and also somewhat concerned that most of the epic movies that rock at the box office (Gladiator, Troy, now 300) are either partially fictional or historically inaccurate.
In any case, I'll try again to go see it tomorrow.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Alexandros,
Alexandros_19 wrote:
Before watching it, so consider this as prejudice (but probably true), I am amazed and also somewhat concerned that most of the epic movies that rock at the box office (Gladiator, Troy, now 300) are either partially fictional or historically inaccurate.

That is true and yet a film that strives to present accurate and authentic detail is criticised and condemned....WHY? Evil or Very Mad
One good thing about '300' is that people are wanting to know about the real Spartans, you wouldn't believe the number of people talking about Thermopylae, who would a few weeks ago, have been discussing their newest mobile phone; there is also a whole plethoria of Spartan documentaries and reshowings of The 300 Spartans....!
Its a sad fact of life, I suppose, that if Oliver had filmed Alexander like '300', it may have been a huge success.... Sad
Regards
Cynisca
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to see it yesterday. I liked it, it has a high visual impact with those slow motion scenes, all the scenery, very interesting.
Yes, it made me think about a lot of things. The most important one that movies and messages directed to the general public are most effective when they are reduced to simple, primary ideas (love, honour, glory, courage) and when they deal with antagonistic terms (good and evil and such). Most complex scripts, such as those of Oliver Stone (which I love), have the risk or resulting too intricate for the general audience to understand (particularly when you don't have preliminary knowledge about the topics, facts, history) and the people don't feel they can associate to them.
I spent part of my afternoon thinking on how the same thing has happened with political regimes along time, that of the effectiveness of simple ideas, but I'll leave that for later, as I intend to speak of this in our book project.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
birdiemom94



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexandros_19 wrote:
Yes, it made me think about a lot of things. The most important one that movies and messages directed to the general public are most effective when they are reduced to simple, primary ideas (love, honour, glory, courage) and when they deal with antagonistic terms (good and evil and such). Most complex scripts, such as those of Oliver Stone (which I love), have the risk or resulting too intricate for the general audience to understand (particularly when you don't have preliminary knowledge about the topics, facts, history) and the people don't feel they can associate to them.


You hit this spot on, my friend! It's funny, I just posted something about this subject over on my board. I guess great minds think alike, Alexandros. Smile It is the simplistic and primary ideas that sell. I totally agree with you. The struggle of good vs. evil combined with the characteristics of love, honor, glory and courage (as you listed) are usually a formula for success. "Gladiator" is another one of those films that has this simple formula and look how well it did. It is one of my favorite films. But, I guess studios don't really care how the formula works, as long as it reaches it's target audience. But, I find that many times some of these films, no matter how simplistic can still substitute ideas that sell (like violence) for substance, which is sad. It's almost a compromise to reach the target audience, to me.

BUT, films that are outside of the box are really the ones that suffer, if they don't follow that formula or a variation of it. Some of Oliver Stone's films are a good example of this. A beautiful film like "Alexander", not made with the run of the mill, cookie cutter formula that everyone likes, is usually the type of film that is attacked and suffers the most at the hands of critics and the general public. "Troy" probably fits into this group, as well. These type of films make you think and emerse you in the world that they are portraying. They actually make you draw your own conclusions (a novel idea, right?). Their main function is not to entertain. They are patient films that are more character driven, not driven by what surrounds each character.

Yes, these are harder films to associate with, for a few of the reasons I stated above. But, many of these films are diamonds in the rough, if people are patient. But, many people don't pay their hard earned $9.00 (in US money), to go to the movies to think. If they are not entertained they won't bother. I think it's sad, but it is nice to see that there are at least a small group that appreciates films like "Alexander" (don't get me wrong it was entertaining, but not in the same way as say "300" is, for the masses and the studios bottom line) but leave room to be entertained, as well.

Dara Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
birdiemom94



Joined: 06 Jul 2004
Posts: 195

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

birdiemom94 wrote:
But, I find that many times some of these films, no matter how simplistic can still substitute ideas that sell (like violence) for substance, which is sad.


The above statement statement should read:

"But, I find that many times some of these films, no matter how simplistic can still substitute substance for ideas that sell (like violence), which is sad".

Sorry about the misinterpretation.

Dara Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Catherine X



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 814
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hm, didn't like 300 that much. There was too much fighting, which bores me. I know that obviously the Spartans did do a lot of fighting, but there wasn't much character building [as there was in Alexander Very Happy] so I didn't warm to any of the characters. It was like a cross between Gladiator, Lord of the Rings and the Matrix.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Cynisca



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 605
Location: Living in Yorkshire UK - ê tan ê epi tas

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catherine X wrote:
Hm, didn't like 300 that much. There was too much fighting, which bores me. I know that obviously the Spartans did do a lot of fighting.

The Spartans were bred to fight that was their greatest pride, that they gave birth to men who were the finest warriors of their time....they also gave birth to women who were said to be the most beautiful in Greece.
I've just started a new thread about a History Channel Documentary.. 300 - The Last Stand Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
isela



Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Posts: 385
Location: mexico

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion about 300

300 insults and kicks is what deserves the director of this foolish movie.
I am so offended with it and all I can say is nothing in comparison with the torture I suffered by watching it, it is definitely the worst movie I have ever seen. Mad Mad Mad Mad
Completely terrible, dull and RACIST full of hate phrases against the ancient Persians and of course for simple logic unfortunately everybody link it with the actual Islamic culture and people and this is not helping to the global politic situation we are suffering right now. Mad Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad
Instead of help or at least not to worsen this racial war this nasty and reproving thing is in my opinion serving to very dark interests to create on the occidental society an atmosphere of fear, hate and violence mixed with uncomfortable feelings against Arabs, maybe these group of people who surely is behind 300 wants to create an unconscious desire to kill Arabs to be the good guy on the movie. Mad

Here I list only a few of the many stupidities showed on this drag:

The mechanical wolf look like more than a diabolic robot than an animal.
The literal comparison with the Persians with the BEAST in these case the wolf was extremely offensive.
The wardrobe was vulgar just to give an example the queen Gorgo she looked more like a whore, a prostitute than a Spartan queen.
The allusions to the mistreatment and discrimination agaisnt the woman on the part of the oriental cultures, when we all know that that was and is still a problem which does not know about countries, religion, economic status, etc.
The oracles showed on the film point that it is not alone of the Persian ones of whom it jokes also does it of the former Greek beliefs and history on having showed to the oracle as a group of perverted and corrupt old men half monster-half human.
300 did scoff of both cultures that have given life to the dominant current culture.
Disagreeable scenes of sex
very very very poor dialogues now I now I can expect more from the fantastic 4 movie script or even from scary movie.
A very bad historic adaptation I know it is based in a graphic novel but… what really worries me is that out there exist millions of persons who are not interested in learn history but they are interested on this action pseudo historical films, for this reason they accept these ridiculous movie situations as something more or less real they confuse the real history with this stupid and nonsense fiction and then the problem appear when the person who is watching these movie receives a message of the struggle of west against the "savages" ancestors of the current Arabs or Muslim ones and he or she take a part on this psychological trick.
The rhino was like a nightmare I really fear the idea of watch suddenly appear a dinosaur or a dragon.
when Leonidas and his army arrived to a village and there were lots of massacred bodies hanging in a tree this part of the movie is giving us an image of cruel malignant and merciless about the Persian.
continuing with the evil and silly spindle of the history all the Persians who appears in 300 including the 10 000 inmortals were showed like monsters without heart, deformed both physical and morally so much this way that the orcs of the Lord of the rings are a few little angels compared with them.
The vulgar orgy full of deformed beings, lesbianism, etc which was offer to Efialtes by Xerxes; it is terribly obscene and it damages the ones who did it, the ones who had to watch it and clearly the culture and history that it wants to destroy with all these misunderstandings.


I feel furthermore annoyed because this movie is not only hurting my feelings and sensibility as a person Crying or Very sad also it is hurting and insulting my cultural and ancestral backgrounds. If Spain is the native mother of Latin America countries including Mexico with only three centuries of domination then the Arabic culture (succesor for this way saying it of the Persian one) is like a grandmother since it dominated Spain for eight centuries then I as a brown skin granddaughter feel twice offended, who knows perhaps my ancestors were Persians or Arabs or… well you know you got the point.

Happily I will give 300 slaps to Frank Miller and to Zack Snyder cause In my opinion they only seeks to polarize the opinions in the good one and the villain, white and black. Mad Twisted Evil Mad Twisted Evil Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

Quote:

Aristotle called them barbarian but he never saw Babilon

Imagine the minds that conceive this with architects and engineers like these we can build cities such as we have only dream.

What disturbs me the most is not your lack of respect for my judgement, is your contempt for a world far older than ours.

quoted from Alexander

Finally I could not resist the impulse of quoting the opinions of Ephraim Lytle, assistant professor of hellenistic history at the University of Toronto and Touraj Daryaee who is Professor of Ancient History at California State University, Fullerton.

http://www.thestar.com/article/190493

Quote:
Sparta? No. This is madness

An expert assesses the gruesome new epic
Mar 11, 2007 04:30 AM
The battle of Thermopylae was real, but how real is 300? Ephraim Lytle, assistant professor of hellenistic history at the University of Toronto, has seen the movie and offers his view.
History is altered all the time. What matters is how and why. Thus I see no reason to quibble over the absence in 300 of breastplates or modest thigh-length tunics. I can see the graphic necessity of sculpted stomachs and three hundred Spartan-sized packages bulging in spandex thongs. On the other hand, the ways in which 300 selectively idealizes Spartan society are problematic, even disturbing.
We know little of King Leonidas, so creating a fictitious backstory for him is understandable. Spartan children were, indeed, taken from their mothers and given a martial education called the agoge. They were indeed toughened by beatings and dispatched into the countryside, forced to walk shoeless in winter and sleep uncovered on the ground. But future kings were exempt.
And had Leonidas undergone the agoge, he would have come of age not by slaying a wolf, but by murdering unarmed helots in a rite known as the Crypteia. These helots were the Greeks indigenous to Lakonia and Messenia, reduced to slavery by the tiny fraction of the population enjoying Spartan "freedom." By living off estates worked by helots, the Spartans could afford to be professional soldiers, although really they had no choice: securing a brutal apartheid state is a full-time job, to which end the Ephors were required to ritually declare war on the helots.
Elected annually, the five Ephors were Sparta's highest officials, their powers checking those of the dual kings. There is no evidence they opposed Leonidas' campaign, despite 300's subplot of Leonidas pursuing an illegal war to serve a higher good. For adolescents ready to graduate from the graphic novel to Ayn Rand, or vice-versa, the historical Leonidas would never suffice. They require a superman. And in the interests of portentous contrasts between good and evil, 300's Ephors are not only lecherous and corrupt, but also geriatric lepers.
Ephialtes, who betrays the Greeks, is likewise changed from a local Malian of sound body into a Spartan outcast, a grotesquely disfigured troll who by Spartan custom should have been left exposed as an infant to die. Leonidas points out that his hunched back means Ephialtes cannot lift his shield high enough to fight in the phalanx. This is a transparent defence of Spartan eugenics, and laughably convenient given that infanticide could as easily have been precipitated by an ill-omened birthmark.
300's Persians are ahistorical monsters and freaks. Xerxes is eight feet tall, clad chiefly in body piercings and garishly made up, but not disfigured. No need – it is strongly implied Xerxes is homosexual which, in the moral universe of 300, qualifies him for special freakhood. This is ironic given that pederasty was an obligatory part of a Spartan's education. This was a frequent target of Athenian comedy, wherein the verb "to Spartanize" meant "to bugger." In 300, Greek pederasty is, naturally, Athenian.
This touches on 300's most noteworthy abuse of history: the Persians are turned into monsters, but the non-Spartan Greeks are simply all too human. According to Herodotus, Leonidas led an army of perhaps 7,000 Greeks. These Greeks took turns rotating to the front of the phalanx stationed at Thermoplyae where, fighting in disciplined hoplite fashion, they held the narrow pass for two days. All told, some 4,000 Greeks perished there. In 300 the fighting is not in the hoplite fashion, and the Spartans do all of it, except for a brief interlude in which Leonidas allows a handful of untrained Greeks to taste the action, and they make a hash of it. When it becomes apparent they are surrounded, this contingent flees. In Herodotus' time there were various accounts of what transpired, but we know 700 hoplites from Thespiae remained, fighting beside the Spartans, they, too, dying to the last man.
No mention is made in 300 of the fact that at the same time a vastly outnumbered fleet led by Athenians was holding off the Persians in the straits adjacent to Thermopylae, or that Athenians would soon save all of Greece by destroying the Persian fleet at Salamis. This would wreck 300's vision, in which Greek ideals are selectively embodied in their only worthy champions, the Spartans.
This moral universe would have appeared as bizarre to ancient Greeks as it does to modern historians. Most Greeks would have traded their homes in Athens for hovels in Sparta about as willingly as I would trade my apartment in Toronto for a condo in Pyongyang.


http://www.iranian.com/Daryaee/2007/March/300/index.html

Quote:
Go tell the Spartans
How "300" misrepresents Persians in history

March 14, 2007
iranian.com
What do you get when you take all the “misfits” that inhabit the collective psyche of the white American establishment and put them together in the form of a cartoonish invading army from the East coming to take your freedom away? Then add a horde of Black people, deformed humans who are the quintessential opposite of the fashion journal images, a bunch of veiled towel-heads who remind us of Iraqi insurgents, a group of black cloaked Ninja-esque warriors who look like Taliban trainees, and men and women with body and facial piercings who are either angry, irrational, or sexually deviant. All this headed by a homosexual king (Xerxes) who leads this motley but vast group of “slaves” known as the Persian army against the 300 handsomely sculpted men of Sparta who appear to have been going to LA (or Montreal) gyms devotedly, who fight for freedom and their way of life, and who at times look like the Marine Corps advertisements on TV? You get the movie “300.”
It is these insinuations in the film that are more troublesome to me as a Persian immigrant to the U.S., than as a historian of antiquity. After all, Hollywood tries to sell movies and does not care if they are historically accurate, but movies also carry a subtle message which has very effective and current consequences. Some passages from the Classical authors Aeschylus, Diodorus, Herodotus and Plutarch are spilt over the movie to give it an authentic flavor. Aeschylus becomes a major source when the battle with the “monstrous human herd” of the Persians is narrated in the film. Diodorus’ statement about Greek valor to preserve their liberty is inserted in the film, but his mention of Persian valor is omitted. Herodotus’ fanciful numbers are used to populate the Persian army, and Plutarch’s discussion of Greek women, specifically Spartan women, is inserted wrongly in the dialogue between the “misogynist” Persian ambassador and the Spartan king. Classical sources are certainly used, but exactly in all the wrong places, or quite naively. However, my response is not so much to the inaccuracies of the film, but rather to its ultimate motive and its possible use in the current issue of war on terrorism.
The movie begins by showing an idyllic Sparta, where women go about freely, children play in safety, and become real men by going through the agoge system, as our movie hero King Leonidas does. From the distance an African-looking man with piercings all over his body appears with the head of the king who had the audacity of resisting Xerxes, the Persian ruler. There are some haphazard exchanges between King Leonidas and the Persian ambassador, who looks like a science fiction freak monster with his Al-Qaida entourage behind him. The king’s wife dares to talk and invokes the passage from Plutarch on women in Sparta “We are the mothers of men…” to the freakish, body-pierced bully who is the Persian ambassador, and a number of slogans about freedom, faith, etc. which sound like they came from Fox News or the Bush Administration, are spouted through King Leonidas. The sentence “We are the mothers of men” was actually never said to the Persians in history, but rather was part of a completely Greek debate on the position of women, regarding the fact that Athenian women were forced to stay in the andron (inner sanctum of the house) so that their reputations would not be tarnished. Spartan women were different than the Athenian women, but Persian women of this period had more freedoms than either the Spartans or Athenians and interceded not only in political matters, but also joined with the army, owned property, and ran businesses. The only time Persian women are shown in the film is as the usual fanciful Odaliskic Oriental women who do nothing but crawl on the ground, perform sexual acrobatics to fool the Western man, or just swarm around the water-pipe, high and happy.
So King Leonidas represents the fearless king who wants to keep Sparta “free” and to preserve “their way of life” and “democracy.” These mantras are repeated throughout the film. Even though the Spartan Gerousia (Congress) does not want to declare war, only King Leonidas knows what is needed and he makes the unilateral decision that he and his 300 Spartan men must go to battle for truth, justice and the Spartan way. I don’t think I was the only one who by the end of the film had a sense that Leonidas was a bit like President Bush and that the Gerousia was a bit like our U.S. Congress. But I am sure this is a coincidence since President Bush has himself never fought a war and since he will retire soon to have an airport or library named after him. But, on the other hand, King Leonidas lays down his life for the mantras that slavishly emanate from Bush’s official pulpit (Fox News) and other media outlets since the tragedy of September 11, 2001. So perhaps it is correct to equate the Persians of “300” with some of our enemies today, the Iranians, and King Leonidas with our war hero, i.e., President Bush.
Another side note to this battle is the clear identification of the Eastern Oriental Persian army with the Muslims, almost taken from Medieval imagery of the Moors who attacked Europe. They are dark, have head covers, and are very angry and disorganized. On the other hand the great general of Leonidas who receives continual praise from his king bears an uncanny resemblance to the Jesus in Franco Zeffirelli’s landmark “Jesus of Nazareth” and even experiences Christ-like suffering. Thus Bush, with Jesus at his side, defends Western Civilization against the Eastern Islamic-esque army who are coming to invade the West and take away our freedoms.
The Persian ambassador/Al-Qaida agent is killed in Sparta and so war begins and the Persians make plans to take away Spartan women, children, and freedoms. King Leonidas is not going to let this happen so he takes his elite fighting force to the pass of Thermopylae to stand against the million man slave-army of the kingdom of Persia. The Spartan fighting men very much act and sound like the U.S. Marine Corps with their slogans and their growls. Of course, this is only a coincidence. Then appears the powerful and *** King Xerxes who first tries to deal with the Spartans by sending a conveniently stereotypical angry, fat Black man to brandish his whip at them. Then comes the almost baboonish Persian army, composed of monsters who cannot speak (another way of identifying the Persians as barbarians, i.e., the Greek name for those whose language is unintelligible). Although they resemble Iraqi insurgents, cinematic events unfold differently than they have in President Bush’s Iraq: the 300 Spartans kill thousands of the enemies of freedom without receiving so much as a scratch.
The battle between the outnumbered Spartans and their Persian enemies took place at the pass of Thermopylae in the year 480 BCE. In the movie version, the Spartan warriors kill the Persian soldiers without any losses until one wave of the Persian forces begin throwing fanciful explosives that shoot shrapnel into the chiseled physiques of our Greek “heroes.” Are we to believe that the Improvised Explosive Devices which are killing our soldiers in Iraq, and which the Bush/Leonidas administration claims to be manufactured by the Iranians/Persians (Iran was called Persia until an official name change in 1935), can suddenly appear on a fifth century BCE battle field?
Along with the IEDs, the doom of our Hellenic heroes is encompassed by a deformed half-Spartan who turns traitor and shows the Persians the backdoor route which results in the entrapment of the Greeks. Although King Xerxes comes one last time to convince the freedom-loving Leonidas to surrender, and even tempts him with the whole of Greece just for giving his obedience to the Persians, our hero does not give in. In an almost sexual gesture Xerxes holds Leonidas from the back and asks him to submit, to bend before the Persian ruler. The king goes into a dream (lifted from the Russell Crow film Gladiator) about his wife, child, and city, raises the battle cry, and then dies along with his entire regiment while the Spartan Congress, crippled by bribery and backstabbing, debates whether or not to send aid.
One Spartan survivor is sent back to tell the story and so the heroism of the 300 Spartans who fought a hopeless battle against the overwhelming Persian slave army is remembered for posterity. This event galvanizes Greece into a unified force that can withstand the Persians (although unity soon dissolved into the Greek civil conflict known as the Peloponnesian Wars), and defeat them at the battle of Salamis (although Athens was sacked and burnt). The moral of the story is that 300 men sacrificed their lives for freedom, their way of life, and Democracy, something echoes in today’s broadcast updates on the war against so-called Islamic terrorism. Again, another coincidence.
But let us address the historicity of the film and the way in which the film uses history to mount a defense of “Western Civilization” against the invading “Other.” The reasoning for King Xerxes’ invasion of the continent of Europe is never discussed in the movie, and is rarely mentioned in the West. This is because accuracy is sacrificed in order to manipulate ancient history to buttress the Western view of the world. The borders of the Persian empire stretched from the Indus and Oxus Rivers in the East, to the Mediterranean Sea in the West, extending through Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and Egypt. This way the rivers and the seas were to provide a natural defense. But one of the cities along the cost of Anatolia, Miletus, ruled by a Greek tyrant named Aristagoras in 499 BCE staged a revolt and turned to the Athenians for aid. Until then the Persians had no plan or desire to go into Europe. The tiny Greek archipelago was probably almost beneath the notice of the Persian king. But then an Athenian attack on a major Persian province, which culminated in the sacking and burning of the city of Sardis, naturally alarmed the Persians. It is this destructive event that started what is known as the Greco-Persian Wars. It was not an unprovoked Persian invasion of Greece. Nor did Aristagoras start this trouble for “freedom” or “democracy,” but rather as step in his intrigue to take control of another Greek city (Naxos) on the Anatolian coast. The Athenians did not bring freedom or democracy to Sardis either. It was burnt and looted. So much so for the cause. In 494 BCE the Persians soundly defeated the Greek forces at the battle of Lade, and the coast of Anatolia was once again peaceful. Of course most of these preliminary events are of no significance today in the West and the subsequent battle between Xerxes and the Greeks is taken out of context, manipulated, and the freedom-loving, democratic Greeks are set against the slave empire of Achaemenid Persia. Is this is a fair and balanced view of history?
The result of these events was that the revolt started by Aristagoras was stopped by the Persians, the Athenian forces retreated, and then the Spartans and others were the defeated at Thermopylae. Luck was with the Greeks since in the subsequent battle of Salamis they gained the upper hand. However, Athens was sacked and burnt for its indiscretion at Sardis in 480 BCE. But if you read any history book in the West, none of these events really are highlighted, and only the Persian defeats are emphasized and such modern mantras as “freedom” and “democracy” are projected into the past onto ancient warfare.
Such jargon relating to “freedom” and “democracy” as used in the movie “300” is utterly untrue and exactly the opposite of what is revealed in the historical sources. It was not the Persians who were the slave nation. In fact the Persians allowed the different peoples of their empire to carry on their lives and traditions as they liked. Thus, the ancient city of Babylonia and the Greek-speaking settlements on the coast of Anatolia continued to use slaves, but in general the Persians hired people and paid them regardless of sex or ethnicity. This is made amply clear by the cuneiform documents from Persepolis, the capital of Achaemenid Persia. There were Persian women supervisors who controlled various economic activities in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. Such women were granted a stipend for the support of their children and even given maternity leave. We find none of this in Greece. But in “300” we hear the “we are the mothers of men” quote, out of context, as if it applies to Persian ideas about the low status of women.
In the “freedom”-loving and “democratic” Sparta, slaves called helots were owned communally and there was an annual festival during which young Spartan men were allowed to terrorize the slave population and even kill a few of them to remind the rest of their place. And Sparta was not a democracy. It was a militaristic monarchy with a council of elders which decided political matters, but it was not a democracy. It was constantly on the warpath and constantly attempting to control and enslave its neighboring Greek city-states. Likewise, “democratic” Athens did not behave any better after it became the Hegemon in the fifth century BCE and began enslaving its neighbors, taking their lands, and destroying their way of life. Democracy (literally, rule by the people, Greek demos) was but a brief experiment in Greek history. Some estimates suggest that even when Greek democracy was at its height in 431 BC, less than 14% of the members of this society were allowed to participate in this “government by the people.” Not only was the vast majority of the population, including women, excluded from policy making, but nearly 37% lived in actual slavery [See: " Decolonizing Persian history"]. In contrast those who joined the Persian army, which included many non-hunchbacked Greeks, were paid for their service!
In the film “300” there is a constant reiteration that only 300 fought against two million, of which probably one million died in the course of the film. In reality the “freedom”-loving Spartans used slaves along with free “citizen-soldiers,” while the Persians employed paid forces and no slaves. The battle of Thermopylae (480 BCE) has been recorded as the last stand of 300 Spartans who died to the very last man to protect free Greece, which is a myth happily held up by the modern West as a symbol of resistance against the East. In fact, each of the Spartans had seven slaves (the same helots mentioned above, who also fought to the death) with him in battle, bringing the total to 2400, plus another 2,000 non-Spartan Greeks (Thespians and Lacedaemonians) who also died. Some estimates put the Greek forces at Thermopylae as high as 7,000. The Persian force was not in the millions. An ancient army could never have mustered so many people, even if the Persians had resorted to slavery. But of course 300 against millions sounds much better than thousands of Spartans against thousands of Persians.
In the end, what is most troubling is the timing of the film’s premier. The fight between the Greeks and Persians, two civilizations representing the West and East, is screened in many movie theaters just when the U.S. and Iran are facing off in a bitter battle of words and ideologies. The two countries claiming descent from these two ancient peoples. On the one hand the movie Persians are shown as the representation of all that is alien and distasteful to the white Western life. Then there is the added ingredient of Black people, homosexuals, pierced and tattooed people, who in many way represent the archetypal outcasts in the collective imagination of middle America. And on the other hand there are the beautifully sculpted men who are moral, righteous, and willing to die together for freedom and Democracy. They obviously represent Western values.
In a time when we hear the sirens of war over Iran (Persia), it is ominous that such a film as “300” is released for mass consumption. To depict Persians / Iranians as inarticulate monsters, raging towards the West, trying to rob its people of their basic values demeans the population of Iran and anesthetizes the American population to war in the Middle East. This way Bush, Cheney, and other “compassionate” conservatives can more easily rain their precision guided missiles down on the heads of my parents, family members and other Iranians, establish Abu Ghraib detention centers, and perhaps take revenge for the death of the 300 Spartans in antiquity and finally bring democracy, peace and a better way of life to the East. Iraq was such a success, now the Spartan Marines need to head out to Iran and destroy it in order to protect our American freedoms. The fantasy movie “300” is just another of the propagandistic tools to reiterate this preposterous belief and to get the American people, children and adults, ready to endorse another Shock and Awe operation. I am saddened that we never seem to learn from history! Comment
About
Touraj Daryaee is Professor of Ancient History at California State University, Fullerton.
See:
* Academic page
* TourajDaryaee.com
* Sasanika.com
* Features in iranian.com


http://movies2.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/movies/09thre.html?em&ex=1173675600&en=f6ee4b6ad489acf4&ei=5087%0A

Quote:
Battle of the Manly Men: Blood Bath With a Message
“300” is about as violent as “Apocalypto” and twice as stupid. Adapted from a graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley, it offers up a bombastic spectacle of honor and betrayal, rendered in images that might have been airbrushed onto a customized van sometime in the late 1970s. The basic story is a good deal older. It’s all about the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, which unfolded at a narrow pass on the coast of Greece whose name translates as Hot Gates.
Hot Gates, indeed! Devotees of the pectoral, deltoid and other fine muscle groups will find much to savor as King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) leads 300 prime Spartan porterhouses into battle against Persian forces commanded by Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), a decadent self-proclaimed deity who wants, as all good movie villains do, to rule the world.
The Persians, pioneers in the art of facial piercing, have vastly greater numbers — including ninjas, dervishes, elephants, a charging rhino and an angry bald giant — but the Spartans clearly have superior health clubs and electrolysis facilities. They also hew to a warrior ethic of valor and freedom that makes them, despite their gleeful appetite for killing, the good guys in this tale. (It may be worth pointing out that unlike their mostly black and brown foes, the Spartans and their fellow Greeks are white.)
But not all the Spartans back in Sparta support their king on his mission. A gaggle of sickly, corrupt priests, bought off by the Persians, consult an oracular exotic dancer whose topless gyrations lead to a warning against going to war. And the local council is full of appeasers and traitors, chief among them a sardonic, shifty-eyed smoothy named Theron (Dominic West, known to fans of “The Wire” as the irrepressible McNulty).
Too cowardly to challenge Leonidas man to man, he fixes his attention on Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey), a loyal wife and Spartan patriot who fights the good fight on the home front. Gorgo understands her husband’s noble purpose, the higher cause for which he is willing to sacrifice his life. “Come home with your shield or on it,” she tells him as he heads off into battle after a night of somber marital whoopee. Later she observes that “freedom is not free.”
Another movie — Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s “Team America,” whose wooden puppets were more compelling actors than most of the cast of “300” — calculated the cost at $1.05. I would happily pay a nickel less, in quarters or arcade tokens, for a vigorous 10-minute session with the video game that “300” aspires to become. Its digitally tricked-up color scheme, while impressive at times, is hard to tolerate for nearly two hours (true masochists can seek out the Imax version), and the hectic battle scenes would be much more exciting in the first person. I want to chop up some Persians too!
There are a few combat sequences that achieve a grim, brutal grandeur, notably an early engagement in which the Spartans, hunkered behind their shields, push back against a Persian line, forcing enemy soldiers off a cliff into the water. The big idea, spelled out over and over in voice-over and dialogue in case the action is too subtle, is that the free, manly men of Sparta fight harder and more valiantly than the enslaved masses under Xerxes’ command. Allegory hunters will find some gristly morsels of topicality tossed in their direction, but you can find many of the same themes, conveyed with more nuance and irony, in a Pokémon cartoon.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
LEONIDAS



Joined: 08 Aug 2004
Posts: 201
Location: southern califorina

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:19 am    Post subject: the 300 Reply with quote

hey isela leonidas here in southern calif I read your article about the 300 you made a big time mistake posting that material on the spartans. You will be hearing from me real soon on this subject. M aybe it would be better if kevin deleted all your crap on what you wrote as well as mine. I am pissed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
LEONIDAS



Joined: 08 Aug 2004
Posts: 201
Location: southern califorina

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 3:29 am    Post subject: the 300 Reply with quote

H ey people I dont post that much in here I dont confess to be a history expert either but what she did was uncalled for. W hat everyone wants is the gates of fire to be filmed the 300 was just a comic book. get real isela '
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    alexander-the-great.co.uk Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 2 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group