Monday, May 24, 2010

A few 300 notes

--I don't know why I waited so long to watch this film. Well, actually I do. From the trailer, the film just seemed evil and loud; loud visually and sonically. The heavy metal didn't help. I didn't expect to like it, which is a good way to approach any film.

--Strange, that a film so rife with gratuitous nudity, sexuality and grotesquery should be one of the most morally sound, not to mention morally appealing films I have watched for a while. But those excesses, which are not merely 'excesses' but something profoundly at odds with modesty: typical graphic novel adolescence. They are not present in the film merely as those universal elements to be found in all great stories. And they are too enduring and indulgent to recommend the film.

--The film is not just 'comic book' in its visual effects, but in its gliding over the typical cinematic build-up to battle scenes. In regards to structure the film is nothing. But it's meant to be flipped through, like a comic book.

--I liked how the film pumps up the wiles of the Persians: tyranny wearing the mask of arbiter, making pleas for peace and the promise of shared power. All the while, their evil and hidden intentions, and uh, ugliness, are plain for all to see.

--My favourite line from the film: "Haven't you noticed? We've been sharing our culture with you all morning."

--Other favourites: "The old ones say we Spartans are descended from Hercules himself. Bold Leonidas gives testament to our bloodline. His roar is long and loud."


"This day, we rescue a world from mysticism and tyranny and usher in a future brighter than anything we can imagine."

Sheeeeeeeit. If My Big Fat Greek Wedding failed to make you want to be Greek, then those moments in 300 should prove the ticket.


Enbrethiliel said...


I never saw any promos for this. My mother just happened to get free tickets for us one night and got me to go along with her.

I totally agree with your assessment of the film's excesses, which I always found artistically inexcusable. A little restraint would have been nice. I still can't get over the way the director lingered, almost lovingly, over the decapitated body of the youngest Spartan.

(But perhaps the most embarrassing part of the whole movie for me was Queen Gorgo's big speech. I wanted to tell her to go home and weave something, like a proper little woman.)

Despite all that, I did like the movie. It reminded me of Chesterton's Ballad of the White Horse, except that instead of the varied forces of Christendom mustering against one heathen threat, 300 has the varied forces of Eastern mysticism (for lack of a better term) mustered against one defender of a reasonable world.

Paul Stilwell said...

I had the same feeling towards that scene of decapitation - the way the shot lingers. It was just so off.

LOL about your Queen Gorgo comment. Her speech (and her character, meaning both the screen character and the actress acting) didn't do anything for me either. Fake tough.

I *knew* the film reminded me of something, but didn't think of Ballad of the White Horse - with ratios reversed!