Thursday, November 25, 2004

Alexander has taken a beating more withering these past fews weeks than probably any in his actual life. And this because Oliver Stone is more interested in viewing history from his strange and perverted perspective with which he then imbrues his movies. That's unfortunate, for it is really a great story to be told.

Hindrocket thinks its a turkey (hat tip Instapundit) and remarks by Colin Farell in the article he highlights about the Greek threat of a lawsuit indicates Stone has a some intellectual turkeys in the cast, too. (Angelina Jolie is also quoted in the linked article which is why turkey is pluralized.) Take Colin (will ya please take him!) and his studied view of humanity which, if he develops it a little more, could have Freud standing outside the schoolhouse door with God:
"Get out of your bigoted frame of thinking and just see that it was a beautiful thing. If anything we have... de-evolved because of out [sic] ability to judge and our insistence on judging. Why is it even a big deal? Just go and see the movie."
Right. Don't judge the movie (Or Farrell's acting, which he didn't ask, so I won't. You just did. Ed) you lower being, you! Go piss on a hydrant, eat some moldy clumps of grass clippings, lick your heinie and see the movie. Why does this sound like a roundabout plea to let the movie make some money. Maybe it is just a subtle plea to go see Farrell's heinie.

As this is an equal sexual opportunity movie, I should not overlook Anjolina. Adding emotional substance to Farrell's abstract analysis:
Angelina Jolie, who plays Alexander's mother in the movie, adds, "It's not about sex in the film. It's is actually love, which I think is the bolder thing to portray and the deeper thing to portray."
Far be it from me to just quote the cheap gift in fine wrapping paper and leave it at that, but should I blame Jolie for getting her history from a Hollywood script and ignore the echos from the past of Alexander singing "What's love got to do with it" to Hephaestion in the war tent (if that characterization is, in fact, true)?

As the Oxford Companion (no not that kind of companion, silly) to Classical Civilization explains dryly,
"It is not illegitimate to employ modern sexual terms and concepts when interrrogating the ancient record, but particular caution must be exercised in order not to import modern, western sexual categories and ideologies into the interpretation of the ancient evidence."
It's doubtful the Alexander who laid waste to Thebes and enslaved the survivors for their audacity in rebelling and ruthlessly put down discordant attitudes from his troops at Opis in 324 (instances noted in OCCC) was much interested in a seeking his yin-yang(warning: Oliver Stone interview) personality or getting in touch with his feminine side. And, contrary to Jolie's wisdom, would it have been really love if Alexander subjected a free Greek man, his closest friend, to the shame and derision that comes with public knowledge that that man was the front man in their dealings, society's view at the time being that was not the honorable end?

A more interesting approach to the story of Alexander for Stone might have been portraying Alexander as a man driven to build an empire just to get away from Macedonian pop-psychologists dabbling in poetry and producing plays.


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