Posted at 3:35 PM on March 13, 2007
by Euan Kerr
The mixed reviews of "300" and the raging debate as to whether the movie is a demand for an invasion of Iran, a movie enslaved in a recreation of a comic book, a stylish re-telling of a classic story, or as one critic put it making "homoeroticism safe for homophobes," make me wonder if we are missing something about Zack Snyder's movie.
Could it be it is a mirror?
Not a physical mirror, but a device for reflecting how an individual movie-goer sees the world just at that moment in time?
It's true to a certain extent of all films, but the tale of Leonidas and the Spartans just seems to be striking a chord, or a hideous clanger, with
a lot of people.
Last weekend we took Malcolm the 16 year old and three of his friends up north. The others came in from around the US to see the northland in the snow. It was a great time, except we spent a obnoxious amount of time discussing with them why we weren't going to re-organize a large part of the trip so they could see "300."
Whatever it's merits as cinema, "300" wins awards for its marketing to the demographic which inspires Hollywood bloodlust: the teenage male.
The news that the movie made more at the box office last weekend than the next nine films combined came as no surprise.
For your concern, about the "teenage male," it would do you due course to remember that it is this same "teenage male" that has been, and forever will be bleeding for you and your ability to criticize him.
And so it was with the Spartans, the Macedonians, the Romans, the Franks, Austrians and Britons that have never failed in defending Western values.
I find it interesting that a MOVIE based on a COMIC BOOK has created more debate than I have heard in ages about morality, war, racism, homophobia, politics, etc, than I have heard in years. All over the country. That is the power of ART.
As a photographer I would like to echo many of the comments I have heard from friends and coworkers. The 300 is the coolest LOOKING thing I have seen in ages. Groundbreaking.
Past that, I have always felt that great art inspires debate and lends itself to the interpretation of the beholder. I thought this was just a popcorn movie, but maybe it really is art after all.