Dr. Frank has a funny post about the new movie “Troy.” Even for the unintentionally funny parts, I wouldn’t give a nickel for anything with Brad Pitt in it. I started to write a comment, but it turned into a rant I decided I’d put on here instead.

One guy in the comments mentioned Jason and the Argonauts. Ray Harryhausen. The BEST. Now THAT is ancient Greece, man. The Gods stride amongst the mortals. Giant beings shake the Earth. Dynamite babes frolic about in togas. Heroes slay monsters. Still an utter masterpiece. Showed it to my kids a few years ago. One kid was so scared by the winged harpies she had an “accident” right there in my sister’s living room. The skeletons coming out of the ground. Oh man.

Another guy suggested that Mel Gibson should make the movie in literal, word-for-word ancient Greek. Funny, maybe, but …

That could be the TRUE and perfect Iliad movie. Yes. I can see it, almost. A 60 hour long, all ancient-Greek version directed by Mel Gibson would DOMINATE. Grunts, shrieks, running men, sweat, blood, dirt. Fleeting glimpses of spears being flung or thrust, of huge stones whistling down and splintering skulls, of limbs crunching under chariot wheels. Disembowellments, lower jaws hewn off, spears piercing thighs, bladders, lungs, eye sockets — each and every one of the harsh clinical, medical details of Homeric butchery. And the resonant Greek (with subtitles) of a voice-over of all of Homer’s incredible capsule biographies of one doomed warrior after another as he steps up for his moment of truth, only to be immediately felled into the dust by Ajax, or Hector or one of the other Heroes. Only an instant before a son, a husband, a father, a proud, strong man in the flower of youth, and now only food for the birds of the air and the wild dogs which prowl the edges of the battlefield. Death is never anonymous in Homer. Each one is personal. Each one has a story and a name. Each one hurts.

Strictly speaking the movie would be unwatchable. And not only because it would be a pitiless, unremitting cacaphony of screaming, bloody horror. The movie would also be way too long to watch even in a marathon session. We’d have to watch it in three hour segments over several months.

It would be the film equivalent of the Iggy & the Stooges Complete Funhouse Sessions — way, way too much for anyone entirely sane to want to listen to, but far, far too good to not eventually listen to it all.

All we need is someone with Mel Gibson’s money and contacts to take leave of his senses, and in an act of abject commercial lunacy embark on this cinematic dream quest for the perfect movie version of the ur-document of Western civilization. It will always remain only a theoretical possibility, I fear.

But I’d buy the DVD set for sure.

8 thoughts on “TROY”

  1. Thanks Lex, saved my 20 bucks. I was thinking of seeing it with my wife, but after reading Dr. Frank’s review, I don’t think we will. Pretty funny!

  2. Not two hours ago I was reading Patrick O’Brian:

    “…and the truly heroic scale…and the infinite art from the beginning to the noble end with Achilles and Priam talking quietly together in the night, both doomed and both known to be doomed–the noble end and its full close… The book is full of death, but oh so alive.”

    Few in Hollywood would have a clue what O’Brian was writing about…and fewer still would care.

  3. Paul, solid O’Brien quote. Thanks for sharing.

    If you can come up with maybe $300,000,000 bucks, send me an email. We’ll make the damn movie ourselves.

  4. Glad to see a fellow appreciater of the ancient Gods. I’m surprised with todays kids growing up on CGI that she was frightened of the claymation harpies!

  5. “300,000,000 bucks…”

    Yes, that’s the other problem. The more money at risk, the more fear of innovation and falling back on lowest-common-denominator appeals.

    “…appreciator of the ancient Gods…”

    May I plug Gene Wolfe’s novel “Soldier of the Mist” for those who love the world of ancient Greece? Wolfe is not to everybody’s taste, but I pesonally love him for his depth and detail. The novel is about a soldier who suffered a head injury that leaves him without long-term memory (he keeps a daily account of his life in a scroll on which is written the reminder “read me every day”) but in compensation he can see the Gods when nobody else can–and they occasionally speak to him. Fascinating and deeply moving.

  6. Sounds interesting…..Unless there’s the normal book copout at the end where the guy finds out that the Gods aren’t really talking to him and he has dementia or something lame like that. That really pisses me off when they do that. I know a lot of people don’t like him, but at least in the Tim Burton movie “Big Fish”, the guy wasn’t totally crazy or a liar, he was just an exaggerater.

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