...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Of Abs & Ancient Greece

Well now, we saw "300" at a special screening at Pixar ( since Sarah's working there, her dear ones get to enjoy such cool perks!). In the case of this particular film the term "enjoy" is being used liberally. It's one silly movie. I will concede that the filmmakers could get some special technological advancement award for the Ab Cam...all the Spartan warriors are most scantily clad and proudly display hyper-developed, smooth, and (clearly) courageous abs!!!

Honey, are you going to battle in THAT old leather thong? Well, this is the Castro, uh, I mean Sparta!

And don't forget about the inevitable Nipple Cam award, either (if you see "300" you'll know of what I speak). But don't let this talk of abs and nipples imply that I am recommending it, it is an astonisingly uninvolving and absurd protrayal of the events around the Battle of Thermoplyae--except for the fact it features the fab Lena Heady who plays Queen Gorgo (Gorgo--short for "Gorgeous", apparently). Sarah says she's the new Glenda Jackson. I dunno... that could very well be. But at any rate, every line Lena utters has this eerie quality in the context of the rest of "300" ... what was it? Oh, yeah...nuance! Something the rest of the less than subtle video game-- I mean film, lacks. Well, to be fair, Faramir (by that I mean David Wenham) is also good. And the dude from the Wire is properly villainous.

The film left me hungering for some actual ancient Greek history--and thus it made me wanna re-read "The Persian Expedition" by Xenophon (history is cool) which I found at a library book sale once. It's an account of a massive group of Greek mercenaries, the "Ten Thousand", who join in on a royal family fued--possibly unwittingly--between Cyrus the Younger (who wants the Persian throne even though he's the younger son of Darius) and his brother Artaxerxes II (who is eldest son and King). They march all the way to Syria to challenge Artaxerxes. At the battle of Cunaxa, Cyrus's forces are disastrously outnumbered (especially in the scythed chariot department--a useful vehicle for rush hour gridlock) and then he is slain in battle. Most of the book is about the march to Syria and about getting back home from Syria--finding/ "borrowing"/buying provisions from the villages they pass, sacrificing livestock to divine the fortuitousness of a given day for battle--those sort of daily details that really bring the past alive. Xenophon has a surprisingly modern sounding voice, which is pretty wild since he lived 2500ish years ago. Although, I am not clear how developed his abs were...alas.


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Tue Mar 13, 02:50:00 AM PDT  

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