Waste of 300 minutes...

Which is about the length of time I ended up spending today on 300 (includes also the time it took me to drive to and from the movie theatre,a lunch and a dinner). There is a good discussion of the movie and its politics here and also on Dr. Strauss' blog. The director Zack Snyder rejects the notion that he had a political agenda in the film. Is that is why we have this long discussion between Queen Gorgo and Theron over the to rationale for going to war against the Persians (Iraq?) and over the need to persuade the Spartan council (U.S. Congress?) to send reinforcements to Leonidas? In fact, Theron insists that he is a "realist" and that Leonidas and the other Sparatns who want to want to fight for "liberty" and "freedom" are "idealists?" The movie is basically Victor Davis Hanson for teens and for grown-ups who don't have enough time to read his books.


A.E. said…
Synder is being dishonest when he claims "300" is apolitical. He includes so many contemporary visual and thematic signifiers that it would take an entire book to point them all out. For God's sake, the Spartans shout the marine "Hoo-ah" battle cry and Queen Gorgo says "freedom isn't free." What a load of bullshit.
weknow music@aol.com said…
look at the box office...besides with lunch and dinner you contributed to the economy
yep, and the war in Iraq also contributed to the economy... And I agree that the film was a shameless neocon propaganda, but perhaps if you utilize post-modernist thinking, those who saw it thought that didn't get it that way...
mb said…
I have no interest in seeing the film, and I'm sure you're right about the director's intentions, but Matthew Yglesias had an interesting alternate reading.
Thanks for the yglesias' link. It's indeed an interesting perspective. But I think that he is stretching it. There are many movies with nationalist and against-occupation themes. And remember that the Neocons' argument has been to tie the Iraq War to the Islamo-fascist threat against America and the West which helps to spin the war in Iraq into against a threatening menace. The bottom line is the percecption one gets after seeing this movie.
A.E. said…
What I wonder, though, is why a comic book nerd like Snyder would be interested in such a neocon-ish message. The source material was bad to begin with, but he took it to another level.

Maybe Victor Davis Hansen did a consulting job with the film?
This is what Wikipedia says about Hanson and the movie: "Military historian Victor Davis Hanson, who wrote the foreword to a 2007 re-issue of the graphic novel, states that the film demonstrates a specific affinity with the original material of Herodotus in that it captures the martial ethos of ancient Sparta and represents Thermopylae as a "clash of civilizations". He remarks that Simonides, Aeschylus and Herodotus viewed Thermopylae as a battle against "Eastern centralism and collective serfdom" which opposed "the idea of the free citizen of an autonomous polis".He further states that the film portrays the battle in a "surreal" manner, and that the intent was to "entertain and shock first, and instruct second." Being nerdy and neocon can go together: see David Frum and John Podhoretz...I actually discussed the issue here: http://globalparadigms.blogspot.com/search?q=%22mansfield%22
weknow music@aol.com said…
wow...i feel so un-educated...listen up, the message is that this video game escapist extravaganza is apparently good enough to be consumed in mass quantities by us cowboys-maybe we're looking for a clue to victory...are we against the war or against losing........of course the war on terror contributed to the economy, that was the point...a purely Keynesian exercise to get us from the excess of the internet revolution to the fruition of the RFID robot life my one child will sleepwalk through and my other child prosper in or perish by...sorry, i'm glad the indians who survived have their pay-off and who knows what the irradiated survivors of Mesopotamia will do with their casino...the oil-men of the past got their revenge and i guess that's what mattered........hey the CD by Mary Shangri-la
(Weiss) comes out today and that hasn't happened for 40 years...i can never go home...anymore
william hope bacon
and that's called...sad

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