This … is … Athens!

We saw 300: Rise of an Empire over the weekend.


My thalassocracy sure rose!

Like Galina says in her review and account of the real Artemesia of Hallikarnassos:

As with Gods, this is why you don’t get your historical information from comic books.

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6 thoughts on “This … is … Athens!

  1. To be fair, the original 300, GN and film, weren’t in any way intended by the author, Frank Miller, to be historically accurate. The original comic run was a commentary the on propaganda (this is evident by the framing device, being set up as a highly “idealised” story of Leonidas being told by one of his soldiers to prep them for battle, after Leonidas’ death. The film kind of warped this a bit, twisting it into a (possibly unintentional) caricature of Middle East war propaganda.

    The big problem with 300 is that most people don’t understand the differences between “inspired by a true story/historical events (henceforth ‘true story’)”, “based on a true story”, and “a true story”. “Inspired by…” generally is filling out a word count for “historical fiction”, “based on…” isn’t that far removed from “inspired by…”, but generally assumes less artistic lisence, though some people (and publishers) use the two terms interchangably.


  2. I thought the first 300 film was just godawful boring. I can’t wait for slo-mo action scenes to go back out of style.


    • Blame THE MATRIX. Seriously.


      • Oh, I know.

        The part that’s maddening is that the “bullet time” in the Matrix was supposed to represent an actual thing in the plot, not just an aesthetic. How nobody else apparently got that is just beyond me.

        But the point is, slowing down action scenes is antithetical to, you know, action.


        • I admit, I never saw the first Matrix film, so I’ll trust itbwas plot relevant until I do –but yeah, if it’s something that is designed to say something relevant, then sure, slow-mo action works. I think maybe people were trying to justify it in 300 for the same reason as the super-stylised CGI –to make the film look like the comic. I don’t think it worked as well as other stylistic options could have –like maybe an action clipbwith a pause, and then cut to another part of the battle for another short clip ending with a pause. The slow-mo, 360degree action clips, not so much.


          • Yeah, the whole idea is that the Matrix is an illusory world like a giant VR game, so you can learn to bend and break the rules and be awesome inside it, including slowing down your perception of time do you can dodge bullets.

            The slo-mo action scenes were actually a thing happening in the story, not just a visual aesthetic for style’s sake.

            My understanding is that the semi-freeze-frame nonsense in 300 was indeed supposed to emulate the comic book, so I get that it was a conscious decision and not just slo-mo for slo-mo’s sake, but I nonetheless think it was a wrong conscious decision. What’s the point of film as a medium if you’re just using it to do exactly what the graphic novel medium already did?


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