Sunday, 10 August 2008

Directing for Crumbs

I just finished watching "300" which having been impressed by Sean Connery's efforts as King Agamemnon in Terry Gilliam's "Time Bandits", I was pleased to see that Gerard Butler as King Leonidas pulls off a cheery stew of Sean Connery and Brian Blessed playing King Richard IV in "Black Adder". Now, normally I don't much flock to see action packed historical fantasies but having been given this film to watch, I popped it on whilst sharing a packet of sultanas with my son midst doing silly walks, washing up, and in between catching what is happening on the screen.

I was suitably impressed with "300" having not long ago watched "Meet the Spartans" with my other slightly older son, and feeling like I was watching "The Simpsons" meets "Saturday Night Live" meets "National Lampoon". I was all out of context, but now having watched "300", I don't really see the point in making an entire spoof from the film unless you are Mel Brooks and can do it with style. I ask you, was the dance off between the Spartans and Persians slightly reminiscent of a certain scene in "History of the World Part One"?

Anyway, back to my musing on "300". I was impressed with the fact that $60 million dollars was spent on a movie shot entirely with blue-screen but that was balanced with the brilliant use of animatronics instead of relying on CGI, I was also impressed that being that it was a movie shot entirely with blue-screen that it was mostly set on one sea inlet, this quite stunned me because you'd think with a budget of $60 million you could shoot in some of the wildest real locations on earth, but there you go. I did think the casting was sensible and having read up on the film I enjoyed one historian pointing out that the Spartans created a society of pederasty yet in the film the Spartans called the Athenians "Nancy Boys" so to speak. All that oil the Spartans wore on their bodies was actually applied lovingly by each other, but they omitted having any scenes showing that, however if Ken Russell had been able to have had a crack at directing it ...

I enjoyed the historical fantasy of it and thought it quite acute a comment of the director to label it an "Opera", and indeed where we might muddle what is being said in Tenor song, I did at times muddle what was being said in growling grunts. Despite its stylistic coloring which didn't bother me in the slightest, I think Zack Snyder is a dab hand at taking the Graphic Novel and translating it into film, as Frank Miller is also being that he actually illustrates them, and also Robert Rodriguez in his directing style.

So, now I must put forward a suggestion to either Zack Snyder, Robert Rodriguez or Frank Miller to take up a challenge. From fantasy action to existentialist satire keeping within the Graphic Novel framework, and produce and direct Robert Crumb's Graphic Novel "Kafka". I know this will be a metamorphosing of their usual palette, but I think the outcome might be very interesting indeed.

A page from Robert Crumb's Graphic Novel "Kafka" from the Symbolic Collection.


Mike Everleth said...

I recently watched "300" for the first time, too. (on cable all by my lonesome) You're spot on regarding the spoofiness of the film. I thought 95% of the dialogue in "300" was laugh-out-loud ridiculous, the action more-so.

And be careful what you wish for. Those guys will give the poor roach a big gun and a couple of skanks to hang all over him.

Rups said...

Bad Mike,

Also Kafka was reclusive so perhaps 50 million of the budget could be reserved for shooting blue-screen of Kafka alone in his room!

Feed me, Seymour!

I like to watch



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