Troy - The movie

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Moerus
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Troy - The movie

Post by Moerus » Sat May 15, 2004 2:03 am

You all know there's a new movie about Troy. They found a very original title: the movie is entitled Troy!
A fabulous cast, good publicity, ... what do you want more?
Maybe a good movie?

I went to see this movie. And I know there are aways little historic mistakes in this kind of movies. But mostly it does not disturb the performance. Nevertheless, after this movie I was very disapointed! And I was not the only one. I went with a group of classicists. They all study Greek and Latin and they all know what the storries are about. No one of them had a good feeling about this movie! There was really no exception!

In the beginning I really didn't know what they were talking about. Although I know the storry verry well, I first thought I was in the wrong room! After a little while I recognised the storry. But it was an other storry than the one I know. Briseïs had the leading role I think. She moved from one camp to the other. The fight about Briseïs? I didn't see anything about that. Even the temples were like they are now! They had no roof, they were only four pillars! I supposed that they were intact in that time, but the moviemaker thought differently!
The soldiers mostly ran into each other (literally) and did'nt really fight. The heroes did fight, but even with 50 wapons in their body, they were able to resist! When the horse was shown, they showed the sea, so I was expecting to see Laocoon, but nothing.
O yea, in Homer the gods play one of the biggest parts. Here there was no god at all, not one! How is it possible to tell the Homrian storries without gods? That's a part of the beauty of Homer, isn't it?
When I saw 'Inspired by Homer' at the end, I couldn' t resist, I had to laugh very loudly. The public didn't understand, cause the movie was already finished.

There was one positive thing: the room was filled with people! People are still interested in the ancients. That was a relief, I hope that some of them will read more about the storries, if it's only one of them, I will find my peace again ...

Troy or no Troy? I would say: stay home and read a good book instead!
I hope that the movies about Alexander that will appear are a little better.

Philippus Moerus
Last edited by Moerus on Sun May 16, 2004 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Borealis » Sat May 15, 2004 5:59 am

Well, I just got back from seeing it with a friend, and we both enjoyed it very much. I'll say this up front for those who are expecting The Iliad: Don't. It's a very well done movie, with a lot of action and a great duel between Achilles and Hector (and of course, archery from our favorite Wood Elf actor), but it doesn't present the story as a myth. Instead, the movie presents the story as perhaps being what INSPIRED the myths. It's showing what Troy would have been like as history, not as mythology.

SEMI-SPOILERS BELOW




While Paris and Helen are the reason for the war, Agamemnon sees them as a useful excuse to start a war he wants anyway. Likewise, Achilles is not shown as invulnerable, merely unbeatable. The gods are not completely absent; they are mentioned frequently. But they aren't characters, nor would their presence have fit in the way the story was told.






END SPOILERS

Overall, I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys epic history. This is a war story, with romance, heroism, nobility and treachery. Think of it as War and Peace or Saving Private Ryan, with spears and chariots instead of cannons and tanks.

But don't expect a retelling of Homer. This is more as Herodotus would have described it, or more accurately Thucydides.
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Post by klewlis » Sat May 15, 2004 6:02 pm

Moerus, your first mistake was going to see it with Classicists. ;)

Really, I think sometimes classicists need to stop taking everything so seriously. It's a movie, not an acaedmic treatise. The greeks were famous for ripping apart history and reconstructing it in *their* stories to suit *their* artistic purposes, so why can't we? :)

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Post by Episcopus » Sat May 15, 2004 6:53 pm

Why is it not in Ancient Greek? I've seen some previews and it's the american accent. That surely is the worst part!

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Post by Eureka » Sun May 16, 2004 10:57 am

This is probably the right board to ask, what's Linear B for 'woeful'?














(I agree with Moerus.)
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Post by Moerus » Sun May 16, 2004 6:36 pm

I'm a classicist my-self. And I totally not agree with you. If homer wanted to tell a history, he would have written one. No instead he wrote an epic story! So leaving the gods out of the movie is a personal choice, but also a very bad decission. De gustibus non disputandum est. Indeed everyone has his own opinion: you have good opinions, and bad opinions. Make your conclusion. This movie is to much American and less Greek. That's my problem. If there was only a little fault, it wouldn't bother me, but no, they had to rewrite the whole movie and in a very bad way, that's all what I have to say about that!


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Post by Eureka » Sun May 16, 2004 11:49 pm

To top it all off, they misspelled Phthia (as 'Phtia'). :lol:

It was a shocking movie all round.
At many points the audience were laughing at the terrible script and hammy acting.

Paris: This is Hellen.

Priam: Hellen of Sparta?

Paris: Hellen of Troy.

I think Homer is brooding in his tent, plotting revenge.
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Post by Mongoose42 » Mon May 17, 2004 6:35 pm

Sadly, the biggest support for the movie comes from American teenage girls who don't care who Homer is, but like the fact that the line up of actors looks more like a beauty pagent than an epic history.

This is a great disappointment after the success that LOTR had by sticking close to the orignal story. :x
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Post by klewlis » Mon May 17, 2004 11:59 pm

Mongoose42 wrote:Sadly, the biggest support for the movie comes from American teenage girls who don't care who Homer is, but like the fact that the line up of actors looks more like a beauty pagent than an epic history.

This is a great disappointment after the success that LOTR had by sticking close to the orignal story. :x
Seriously. I'm 26 and to me it's worth the price of the movie just to see Brad and Orlando running around in short skirts and fighting each other.


lol

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Troy - The movie

Post by Lisa » Tue May 18, 2004 4:50 pm

Episcopus wrote:Why is it not in Ancient Greek? I've seen some previews and it's the american accent. That surely is the worst part!
Everyone in ancient times spoke the queen's English, didn't they? (Note the Crowe corollary: when an Aussie plays an ancient Roman we have to explain his less-than-perfect accent by calling him a Spaniard.)

Not having seen the film, I don't know how well or poorly the sole American lead actor does with his accent. I don't think that Mr. Pitt is there for how he delivers his lines, but that's just a guess.

Besides should one go the subtitle route with proper Homeric dialect, what do you do with the Trojans? We know what they speak in the world of the Iliad, but if you are looking for verisimilitude, it's going to be hard to approach their language with any certainty. (Leaving aside what you do in the sequel and Aeneas lands at Carthage requiring no translator...!)

Best,
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Post by 1%homeless » Tue May 18, 2004 6:37 pm

Everyone in ancient times spoke the queen's English, didn't they? (Note the Crowe corollary: when an Aussie plays an ancient Roman we have to explain his less-than-perfect accent by calling him a Spaniard.)
:lol: I remember in my acting class, we had to speak standard American English. We had to use the "neutral" accent if we weren't going to immitate the play's speech characteristics. It was in that class that I discovered that I had a Californian accent. To my astonishment, us Californians are lazy speakers... Anyway, I still don't have a good idea to what Standard American English sounds like. My teacher telling me to listen to news broadcasters doesn't really help...

Oh yes, since Spain didn't exist yet, aren't we supposed to call him a Hispaniard? :)

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Re: Troy - The movie

Post by annis » Tue May 18, 2004 8:45 pm

Lisa wrote:Besides should one go the subtitle route with proper Homeric dialect, what do you do with the Trojans? We know what they speak in the world of the Iliad, but if you are looking for verisimilitude, it's going to be hard to approach their language with any certainty.
It would lead to a golden age of Luwian Studies!
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Post by Episcopus » Tue May 18, 2004 8:50 pm

Mongoose42 wrote:Sadly, the biggest support for the movie comes from American teenage girls who don't care who Homer is, but like the fact that the line up of actors looks more like a beauty pagent than an epic history.
I can't agree with that more.

klewlis, if the classic 'beautiful' female 'stars' were fighting in some inaccurate depiction of nothing I would leave and learn something.

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Post by klewlis » Wed May 19, 2004 4:05 am

klewlis, if the classic 'beautiful' female 'stars' were fighting in some inaccurate depiction of nothing I would leave and learn something.
me too. ;)

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Post by Episcopus » Wed May 19, 2004 10:51 am

haha don't you find all of them, the males included, quite annoying? And everybody's obsession therewith?

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Post by Borealis » Wed May 19, 2004 12:18 pm

'Kay, people? It's just a movie. We knew going in that it wasn't going to be a transcription of the Iliad. Instead of picking it to pieces and decrying silly things like the accents of the actors, how about we just appreciate the fact that a lot of people went to see this movie, and you can bet that some of them are going to go out and read Homer for the first time because of this. The young woman I took to see it had never read any classical literature before; now she's considering borrowing my copy of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

To counter the negativity on this thread, here are some things I liked about this movie:

* bronze weapons and armor. No clashing of steel here, which is good attention to detail, considering this is a Hollywood movie. It's the first ancient epic since Quest for Fire that didn't use steel.
* Homer's themes were present in the movie; Achilles' desire for glory and remembrance above all, Odysseus' quick-thinking, Hector's reluctant participation in the war and his understanding that he was indeed going to die, and Priam's visit to the tent of Achilles. The dialogue might not have been exactly Homeric, but it was nonetheless there in spirit.
* The presentation of the movie as possible history instead of mythology. Yes, I liked that the gods weren't in the movie except by name. I like that it was a story focused on the human beings, not the divine ones. I'm well aware of the importance of the gods in Greek literature, especially Homer. But this made the story cleaner and easier for newcomers to grasp. It's not a fairy tale, not with a 14A rating.

This movie probably won't win any Oscars. But it might win some converts to reading, if not studying, the classics. Which would you prefer?
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Post by Thucydides » Wed May 19, 2004 7:16 pm

Hear hear.

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Post by Barrius » Wed May 19, 2004 8:19 pm

Borealis wrote:... how about we just appreciate the fact that a lot of people went to see this movie, and you can bet that some of them are going to go out and read Homer for the first time because of this. The young woman I took to see it had never read any classical literature before; now she's considering borrowing my copy of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

... The dialogue might not have been exactly Homeric, but it was nonetheless there in spirit.

... The presentation of the movie as possible history instead of mythology.
This movie probably won't win any Oscars. But it might win some converts to reading, if not studying, the classics. Which would you prefer?
It will win an Oscar for someone - I am glad that there is a revived interest in all things Roman & Greek.

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Post by Kopio » Wed May 19, 2004 9:16 pm

Saw the movie last night....I kinda liked it! But then again, I go to movies to be entertained, not to see if they live up to the book or the original. One thing I thought was funny though, was the "Sword of Troy" that had been there for 800 years (I think that's what he said)....wasn't this supposed to be early bronze age to start with?? That would place the sword circ. 2000BC??

hmmmm. All in all I liked it. I love it when heroes die....no happy sailing into the sunset, reality is pain, d3ath , and loss. Some of my very favorite movies are ones where the main character gets whacked! To me it adds realism that few directors care to risk....Americans like happy endings.

If you've never seen the movie Uncommon Valor (it's an older 80's war movie) it has the same kind of ending. Nobody wins :lol:

I must be a $adist!

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Post by Episcopus » Wed May 19, 2004 10:01 pm

I can't speak for the movie since I have not seen it, but I still do not think that people should be learning the classics as a result of some film. They would quickly find that learning the verb system of Greek is slightly less entertaining than handsome young men fighting in skirts, whether you be attracted thereto or not.

P.S. This movie could never beat 10 Things I Hate About You!!!

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Post by Eureka » Wed May 19, 2004 11:52 pm

Borealis wrote:'Kay, people? It's just a movie. We knew going in that it wasn't going to be a transcription of the Iliad. Instead of picking it to pieces and decrying silly things like the accents of the actors, how about we just appreciate the fact that a lot of people went to see this movie, and you can bet that some of them are going to go out and read Homer for the first time because of this. The young woman I took to see it had never read any classical literature before; now she's considering borrowing my copy of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
While I agree in principle with what you are saying, in my opinion the movie was truely terrible. It wasn't just that it reduced Achilles to an image-obsessed psycopath (and reduced Patroclos to a whinney brat), but most of the movie was just slow and boring. Many people are going to come away from the movie assuming the source material is to blame.
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Post by Amy » Thu May 20, 2004 3:35 am

Episcopus wrote:I can't speak for the movie since I have not seen it, but I still do not think that people should be learning the classics as a result of some film. They would quickly find that learning the verb system of Greek is slightly less entertaining than handsome young men fighting in skirts, whether you be attracted thereto or not.
You forget the thousands of Lord of the Rings geeks who learned Quenya after the movies!
see Troy as the bait and you as the...fisherman

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Post by Barrius » Thu May 20, 2004 8:22 pm

Amy wrote:You forget the thousands of Lord of the Rings geeks who learned Quenya after the movies!
see Troy as the bait and you as the...fisherman
The things you don't know you didn't know until someone points it's out. I feel SO ignorant :lol:

http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/qcourse.htm

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Post by Emma_85 » Tue May 25, 2004 9:01 pm

I just saw the film :D . We went to watch it with our teachers and most of the Greek and some of the Latin classes too. Of course we were all moaning about how different it was from the original and that some scenes didn't really make that much sense and so on... but I really liked the film and so did most of the others. The reason why is that eventhough it's no Homer's story it's Homer's message and I think that's more important. I was really afraid it would be some sort of film where the 'heoric' Greek fight glorious battles and win and so on, I'm just glad Homer's message was in there. And I know that that message does come across even if you haven't read the book, as some people who haven't read it got it (but of course have heard bits of the story and vaguely know it, I mean who doesn't?). They had been expecting the Greeks to be the 'goodies' and be 'proper heros' :P .
Of course it helps if you've read the book, but they wanted to make sure that even people who hadn't could understand it. I think it's ok that they changed it alot, they didn't claim to be filming the book anyway, they said: Inspired by Homer, in the credits.
I think it was a great film, I'm going to watch it again with my mum as she really wants to see the film.
One guy, I think he's 16, dunno really, just know he's a few classes under me, even suggested translating Troy into ancient Greek, hehehe. He was thinking along the same lines as Episcopus.
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Post by mariek » Wed May 26, 2004 1:57 am


I've avoided this thread until I could go see the movie. The story is pretty loose, but it's still an entertaining movie. I'm not a great fan of Brad Pitt, but he certainly looks good in this movie.

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Post by Democritus » Wed May 26, 2004 2:45 am

Amy wrote:
Episcopus wrote:I can't speak for the movie since I have not seen it, but I still do not think that people should be learning the classics as a result of some film. They would quickly find that learning the verb system of Greek is slightly less entertaining than handsome young men fighting in skirts, whether you be attracted thereto or not.
You forget the thousands of Lord of the Rings geeks who learned Quenya after the movies!
see Troy as the bait and you as the...fisherman

Not to mention the trekkies who learn Klingon. :)

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Post by Democritus » Wed May 26, 2004 3:16 am

Eureka wrote:
Borealis wrote:'Kay, people? It's just a movie. We knew going in that it wasn't going to be a transcription of the Iliad. Instead of picking it to pieces and decrying silly things like the accents of the actors, how about we just appreciate the fact that a lot of people went to see this movie, and you can bet that some of them are going to go out and read Homer for the first time because of this. The young woman I took to see it had never read any classical literature before; now she's considering borrowing my copy of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
While I agree in principle with what you are saying, in my opinion the movie was truely terrible. It wasn't just that it reduced Achilles to an image-obsessed psycopath (and reduced Patroclos to a whinney brat), but most of the movie was just slow and boring. Many people are going to come away from the movie assuming the source material is to blame.
I agree with Borealis. I went into this movie with very low expectations, so I was not disappointed. It was not a great film, but then again, who cares? Instead of comparing the film to Homer, try comparing it to some of the other films playing this weekend: New York Minute, Van Helsing, 13 going on 30, Hellboy.

Or try comparing Troy to Jason and the Argonauts: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057197/.

Think how much worse it could have been. Imagine a Happy Ending to the Trojan war. This film at least ended sadly. The screenplay was questionable, but some of the acting was not too bad.

Two actors from LOTR were in Troy, Sean Bean (Boromir) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas). During the battle scenes in Troy I kept expecting to see Gimli turn up, but he never did. :)

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed May 26, 2004 3:46 am

Eureka wrote:I think Homer is brooding in his tent, plotting revenge.
That one made me laugh for about five minutes. Nice.

I haven't seen it yet, but I think I'll be able to appreciate it for what it is. Of course, if you want the history behind the myth, you should read the Ramayana.
and you can bet that some of them are going to go out and read Homer for the first time because of this.
Actually, this is quite true; a friend of mine did exactly that after seeing Troy twice; she borrowed it from the Library the next day. Though, since I work in the Library, two days later I found the selfsame book in the dropbox. Quod amat amat...
You forget the thousands of Lord of the Rings geeks who learned Quenya after the movies!
Hey! I learned Quenya before I saw the movies, okay? ... oh wait ... that doesn't make me cooler ... not at all. Hrm. Manen faica ná sina.
Not to mention the trekkies who learn Klingon.
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Post by Emma_85 » Fri May 28, 2004 4:06 pm

Eureka wrote:
I think Homer is brooding in his tent, plotting revenge.
I think Homer would of have quite liked the film... well maybe not :P , but I don't think this film is something he would have really hated. Like he might be disappointed that they sort of forgot 10 years :roll: , but very glad how important elements like for example Achilles being portrayed as a killer machine, but one with soft spots too, were in it. The film was not that close to the original's story, even so - the various characters were portrayed very well and it showed how pointless this fight for glory and honour is.
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Post by Eureka » Sun May 30, 2004 1:07 am

Emma_85 wrote:I think Homer would of have quite liked the film... well maybe not
No, I'm pretty shure Homer wasn't a 16 year old girl. :P


In terms of Homeric elements in the film, I counted two. First Boagrius throwing a spear at Achilles that pierced his shield, although that scene itself was less Homeric because of the fact that Boagrius wasn't wearing any armor (and the fact that he wasn't a river!!!). Second was Briseis saying that Achilles wasn't a "dumb brute". However that less effective, considering he acted like a dumb brute throught the film.

Conversely, we had a wimpy Patroclus, a Hector who was reluctant to kill people, a Priam who rambelled on about "honor", and to top it off, as Achilles stood within range outside the gates of Troy, the Trojan archers just looked at him (???).

The whole film felt like a fanciful story about medieval chivalry, rater than a Greek myth.
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Post by Emma_85 » Sun May 30, 2004 12:53 pm

Second was Briseis saying that Achilles wasn't a "dumb brute". However that less effective, considering he acted like a dumb brute throught the film.
But that's what Achilles is a killermachine.
In terms of Homeric elements in the film, I counted two
Well I counted a few more...
Priamos and Achilles for example.
Achilles nearly killing Agamemnon.
Achilles as a guy born to fight.
Achilles caring for Patroclus (who wasn't so wimpy, wimps don't like to go and get themselves killed)
Hector was reluctant to kill people, especially he own. He would rather not fight this war, but live a happy life.
Hector say goodbye before the fight was Achilles.
Odysseus was also characterised very well I think.
Agamemnon as a powerhungry guy...etc.

Achilles stood within range outside the gates of Troy, the Trojan archers just looked at him
Priam stood in front of Achilles and he just looked at him.
The whole film felt like a fanciful story about medieval chivalry, rater than a Greek myth.
In medieval chivalry you normally have some guys killing each other, but in the end it all makes sense because one of them wins and lives happily every after sort of thing. Wanting honour and glory are not protrayed as idiotic I think (don't know that much about the middle ages though, so correct me if I'm wrong.)
And I wouldn't call Homer 'greek myth', his story is bases on a greek myth, but it's literature and not myth. He didn't write the Ilias cause he liked people killing each other for glory, and that's just my point. Instead of singing about their 'great' deeds in war in the film and in the original this war is just about glory (Agamemnon wanting power and Achilles a form of immortality) and because of this it is a pointless war.
Homer didn't write a greek myth about heoric deeds that should be remembered because they were so glorious, but because they were so dumb and pointless.
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Post by mingshey » Mon May 31, 2004 1:44 am

Eureka wrote:
Emma_85 wrote:I think Homer would of have quite liked the film... well maybe not
No, I'm pretty shure Homer wasn't a 16 year old girl. :P
Oh, you wouldn't know. Some say the real Homer was the princess Nausicaa, daughter of Alcinoos who was fascinated by Odysseus and wandered without marrying, singing the deeds and stories of Odysseus and the warriors. She was then a young girl about the age to get married.

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Post by Lucus Eques » Mon May 31, 2004 2:51 am

Eureka wrote:The whole film felt like a fanciful story about medieval chivalry, rater than a Greek myth.
*gasps!* Don't you dare insult chivalry! There wasn't even anything vaguely chivalric about the film, or about the Greeks. They were horribly misogynistic in general and mistreated their women in a manner fit only for the barbarians they so looked down upon. And as for the movie, if anything, it portrayed a sense of the warped concept of "chivalry" held by the hundreds of leaders and generals who started World War I -- and that's not what chivalry is (and nor did it die with their perversion of it). Watch Man of La Mancha; that'll shed some light on the subject of true knighthood.

Anyway, I just saw the film last night, and I thought it was hilarious! I could barely contain my laughter at some of the spots, in particular the pseudo-dramatic moments where my friend would lean over and whisper to me facetiously, "Oh no...!" And when Menelaus died, it was almost unbearable; I beseached my learnèd friend beside me, "But...! who's Telemachus going to have dinner with?!" And when Agamemnon died, well! there goes Aeschylus and Euripedes! Maybe they could have taken after Aristophanes and done comedies instead. I feel certain that Aeschylus's morbid, twisted sense of bloodlust would have played great with the Athenians in a Family Guy sort of way. And the acting was so lacking, in particular from the supposèd seasoned and well-trained ones, Bradley among them. And what was with that Helen? I'll be the first to admit I'm attracted to almost any woman I see, but this one was just the plainest and least interesting ever. Hell, I thought Orlando Bloom looked prettier than she did, and I'm not even gay!
But really, it was great; I only laughed more at Shrek 2. If you want to go and recline in a big, dark room for a few hours and watch some pretty lights flash on a wall, this is so the movie for you. Don't worry! there's no dramatic tension at all! you can just fall right to sleep.
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Post by Eureka » Mon May 31, 2004 11:33 am

Emma, I'll agree there are more than two Homeric elements to that film (three to be exact), I'll agree that Odysseus was well acted.

Achilles was much more than a killing machine, as was shown at the funeral of Patroclus.
Homer's Patroclus is a great warrior. Troy's Patroclus would lose a fight with a reasonable sized spider.
Homer's Hector's stated aim was to kill every last Achaean. Troy's Hector would have let them go, if he had the option.
I probably shouldn't go on.


My reference to chivalry was not about real chivalry, it was about the myth of chivalry. i.e. Emphasis on "honor" over pride, quarter to defeated enemies. These are not Homeric themes.
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Post by Eureka » Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:51 am

Lucus, I couldn't agree with you more about Helen. At this point I should point out that I am a guy. I know my screen-name is amiguous, but I chose it before I found out that masculine Greek alpha declension nouns don't ever actually end in alpha.:? (I'll put a sigma on the end if I ever have to write it down in Greek.)

Anyway, I have a theory: The actress who played Helen is apparantly a model (or super-model, I don't know). I think she's attractive, but in a Paris Hilton sort of way. She's the sort of woman that fashion designers (who appear to all be homosexual) seem to like a lot. Her face has no major blemishes, but also no striking features. Perfect for being used as a clothes-horse (no pun intended). I think the actress who player Briseis would have been a far more appropriate Helen.
Lucus Eques wrote:And when Menelaus died, it was almost unbearable; I beseached my learnèd friend beside me, "But...! who's Telemachus going to have dinner with?!"
He can have dinner with Odysseus, because, considering the gods have been removed, he shouldn't have any trouble getting home.

Then the suitors can turn up (for no reason), and Hector can kill them (why not? he seems to kill everyone else).
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Post by klewlis » Tue Jun 01, 2004 2:35 pm

Eureka wrote:At this point I should point out that I am a guy. I know my screen-name is amiguous, but I chose it before I found out that masculine Greek alpha declension nouns don't ever actually end in alpha.:? (I'll put a sigma on the end if I ever have to write it down in Greek.)
It's ok-- eureka is a verb anyway, not a noun ;)

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Post by mingshey » Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:58 am

klewlis wrote: It's ok-- eureka is a verb anyway, not a noun ;)
And it's "heureka(<εὕρηκα)" to transliterate in latin. :mrgreen:
(Er, my daughter's "εὖ" couldn't be the first syllable of "heureka", just to add a comment ;))

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Post by Lucus Eques » Wed Jun 02, 2004 4:31 am

Eureka wrote: My reference to chivalry was not about real chivalry, it was about the myth of chivalry. i.e. Emphasis on "honor" over pride, quarter to defeated enemies. These are not Homeric themes.
Indeed!
Lucus, I couldn't agree with you more about Helen. At this point I should point out that I am a guy. I know my screen-name is amiguous, but I chose it before I found out that masculine Greek alpha declension nouns don't ever actually end in alpha.:? (I'll put a sigma on the end if I ever have to write it down in Greek.)

Anyway, I have a theory: The actress who played Helen is apparantly a model (or super-model, I don't know). I think she's attractive, but in a Paris Hilton sort of way.
Agreed. Though and I think that's giving Paris Hilton too much credit.
She's the sort of woman that fashion designers (who appear to all be homosexual) seem to like a lot. Her face has no major blemishes, but also no striking features.
Precisely. Nothing interesting at all. I've been more inspired by Roman statues. What you say of fashion designers is quite true; I have many male friends who work in fashion, and indeed they are oriented gay (and also found Troy's Helen very beautiful). And since homosexual men by nature cannot be attracted to a woman on a passionate or emotional level, their interpretation of female beauty becomes an intellectual and theoretical pursuit, aesthetic to these fashionable gentlemen in the way that art critics judge paintings. Thus the designers are necessarily disconnected from the underlying purpose of their work, and so attempt to construe beauty academically -- which results in fashion models who are grossly thin and peculiarly tall, quite a logical conclusion drawn from the hypothesis that tallness and thinness are desirable traits in a woman. Though these two characteristics, in moderation, can sometimes indeed by lovely, the hideous results are these totally repulsive fashion models who set the standard for contemporary international "beauty." I can't remember the last fashion model I was attracted to; though Victoria's Secret models, for instance, used to be quite attractive, these new ones I've been seeing are just as bad as any other runway sort.
And so "beautiful" has to be of this skinny, skeletonic type; therefore, the most beautiful woman, Helen, must needs be of the same ostean breed. And that the dreadful unattainable standards of "beauty" are set not by those who are attracted to women in the first place is so ironic it is almost tragically Greek.
Perfect for being used as a clothes-horse (no pun intended).
*laughs* Gold.
I think the actress who player Briseis would have been a far more appropriate Helen.
Without a doubt! She was so unbelievably lovely and alluring. The Helen Troy had possessed blue eyes and blond hair, as well as other stereotypes of "beauty," and nothing more. But Briseis was divine by comparison; she and Orlando Bloom might have gone great together.

And speaking of Briseis; that night that Menelaus had given her to the "men" (by Aphrodite, I think everyone in the entire theater shuddered at that line, myself most certainly included), had she not already been raped many times? For nothing more than abstract justice, I pray not, but it didn't seem that way. And not only did this formerly totally virginal priestess conduct herself with wit and spunk with her savior Achilles, she has sex with him! I'm not a woman, but from all I know of rape trauma victims, the absolute last thing a woman would want to go through after such an ungodly experience is to place her already injured genitalia under more diress, Brad Pitt or not. That was more unbelievable to me than the Trojan archers refusing to shoot Achilles.
He can have dinner with Odysseus, because, considering the gods have been removed, he shouldn't have any trouble getting home.
lol! that's fantastic!
Then the suitors can turn up (for no reason), and Hector can kill them (why not? he seems to kill everyone else).
But he would regret it horribly, and then make sure the suitors' families could recollect the bodies for a proper burrial.
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Post by chad » Wed Jun 02, 2004 5:18 am

hi, since this thread is still going i'll add my opinion as well...

i liked the movie and i thought it brought out aspects of the trojan war well, from the iliad (obviously) but also the aeneid book 2, the basic woman-stealing issue in herodotus book 1... but i wasn't going to see that, since i've already read all about it, and am still reading about it, like u guys. i was going to see the costumes and reconstructed trojan temples and warships and stuff, because that's the stuff which is only in pathetic little etchings in greek textbooks, or static on vases and paintings and mosaics... this brought all that to life because they did their homework and obviously had a few historians to fill in the director on the details. e.g. i never realised how that many greek ships must have looked on the ocean... it takes a movie like this to make u realise.

that's why my only "criticisms" of the movie go to those details, and it's not because they did it wrong, some bits just clash with what i imagine. the greeks thought of the heroes of that time as about 10ft to 12ft tall: read herodotus book 1.67-68, and so i've always imagined the heroes as looming over the others, like achilles on that famous vase painting where he's skewering someone: just like e.g. pharaoh rameses 2 smiting his enemies at Kadesh on egyptian temple walls.

the movie casters didn't get that wrong though, casting normal-sized people (except for Aias): it just clashed with how I imagined it.

also, i imagine the heroes to be much younger... even though if you calculate their ages, and the stuff they've done before the trojan war, it's probably about right having heroes in their 30s and 40s, even so i imagine them (and the gods/goddesses, including zeus) to be late teens/early 20s, full of youthful aggression, like all the statues and paintings of warriors from ancient greek times: they're not in their 30s and 40s. i imagine the greek kings to be young... the recent Italian movie Respiro, showing youthful mob aggression, captures the image i have about the iliad and about ancient greek heroes: a few big guys running around hungry for power and respect, and massive mobs just following them around and instantly taking sides.

i also imagined odysseus to look much stockier and hairier :)... more like the agamemnon actor, if they had to pick someone around that age.

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Post by annis » Wed Jun 02, 2004 12:20 pm

Lucus Eques wrote:And since homosexual men by nature cannot be attracted to a woman on a passionate or emotional level, their interpretation of female beauty becomes an intellectual and theoretical pursuit, aesthetic to these fashionable gentlemen in the way that art critics judge paintings. Thus the designers are necessarily disconnected from the underlying purpose of their work, and so attempt to construe beauty academically -- which results in fashion models who are grossly thin and peculiarly tall, quite a logical conclusion drawn from the hypothesis that tallness and thinness are desirable traits in a woman.
At the risk of derailing the main point of the thread, I've often noted that gay male designers produce female models with the bodies of young men. There are a few grotesque statues of women by Michaelangelo, generally not paraded before first-year art history classes, which seem to have the same problem.

So I don't see the beauty as academic, but rather aiming for something else entirely, though probably not on purpose most of the time.
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