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Guest Sao_Bento
That's laughable. Obvious implications for the Iraq war? IMO it's easier to argue that the spartans were the bloodthirsty ones. The guys in the masks, I'm not sure they were even necessarily supposed to be proper Persians... the Persians had conquered everyone else within reach, and Leonidas even commented halfway through the film that he'd slain more slaves than warriors. The mask guys were referred to as immortals, whatever that meant.

 

SPOIILER-

 

What sort of wartime propaganda portrays the enemy as scary-ass motherfuckers that are ten feet tall and will chew your ear off like a dog? I don't think that would have the effect you imply is intended. Not only that, but the Persians defeated the heroes of the film in the end (even if it did end on a slight uptick). Sounds like shitty propaganda to me.

 

I just gotta laugh when people find Iraq war parallels/cultural warfare/imperialism in a shallow action movie like this. I was even halfway shocked when Ahmadinejad said it.

 

All in all it's a decent flick. I went in expecting bloodshed and eye candy and got that tenfold. They could've left out all the shit with 'queen whore'.

I'm also surprised to hear this come up. I mean - Navy S.E.A.L.s with Charlie Sheen - maybe. The Outsiders? - maybe. 300? never. Wait a minute - maybe Braveheart was propaganda too. And "The Patriot" - those English bastards!!! We're being taught to hate the British, the same people who made up the cast of "300". OK, I'm confused. Can we just go back to being self important and overly critical?

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i don't really feel like getting into it, because i don't care all that much, but if you can't see the parallels, whatever... they ACTUALLY SAID "freedom isn't free" and "never forget." what more did you need, someone to look into the camera and grimly say "let's roll"?

 

edit- i think it's also worth noting that the nazis and survivalist weirdos LOVE this movie- read stormfront.org for the specifics if you really feel like it

Edited by SermonOfMockery

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i don't really feel like getting into it, because i don't care all that much, but if you can't see the parallels, whatever... they ACTUALLY SAID "freedom isn't free" and "never forget." what more did you need, someone to look into the camera and grimly say "let's roll"?

 

edit- i think it's also worth noting that the nazis and survivalist weirdos LOVE this movie- read stormfront.org for the specifics if you really feel like it

 

I haven't seen the movie yet myself, but i'm very curious how this will play out. It's a common fact that hollywood is often times a propaganda machine in war time, but this mostly in movies using the military.

Without having seen the movie, (ignoring the fact that it is about the Persian empire) one might be tempted to compare the Spartans with the Iranians, being the underdog in the story. But i don't know Frank Miller, if he's such a nutjob, it might indeed be as you stated, a very vile and racist film.

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dude, trust me- i never, EVER say stuff like this... but this movie is just dripping with nationalism, racism, etc. once you see it, you'll know exactly what i mean- the persian army isn't made of people, but a horde of beast-like subhuman creatures. if you look at the way the japanese were portrayed in WW2 propaganda, it's very similar. step 1 is to dehumanize the enemy, because it's much easier to understand the conflict if they're reduced to mindless creatures bent on destroying your culture. "why? because they hate our freedom."

 

read "war without mercy" for more details. it's a great book and a quick read:

http://www.amazon.com/War-Without-Mercy-Po...c/dp/0394751728

 

300 is a story about 300 white guys (who are explicitly stated to be the product of spartan eugenics) valiantly fighting against the brown hordes to defend their culture against the bad guys who want to take over for no specific reason other than being bloodthirsty tyrants. the brown guys are barely human, so it's a lot easier to deal with killing them.

 

oh, and while it's not one of the major themes of the movie, there is a healthy dose of homophobia thrown in as well, just for good measure.

 

frank miller is making a comic where batman beats up Osama:

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/story?...6836&page=1

 

the guy's agenda couldn't be more clear.

 

edit: here is a great review of the film from a conservative:

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/186928.php

There was no hidden agenda in "300". It was not a "metaphor" about Western Civilization standing up against the Asiatic hordes. There is no Rorschach effect here as I thought going into the movie--Leftists and Islamist apologists seeing the Persians as a metaphor for U.S. imperialism, while those on the Right and Liberals of all stripes seeing Sparta as representing the U.S. fight against Islamofascism.

 

Not hidden, but explicitly stated. The characters come right out and say that Sparta is protecting Enlightenment principles of reason, freedom, and liberty from the "Asiatic hordes". They actually use those words--"Asiatic hordes".

 

And, what did the "Asiatic hordes" look like? Muslim jihadis.

Edited by SermonOfMockery

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If there were evidence here of blatant propaganda or cultural imperialism believe me I'd be the first to cry foul. As it stands, these arguments are thin at best. It's just a stupid, shallow action film that also happens to deliver some amazing visuals. Stop reaching.

 

And just because some knucklehead nazi conservatives and that holocaust-denying president of Iran agree with you doesn't make you right. In fact, in all likelihood it makes you wrong.

 

On a different note, what about my man McNulty? He was naaaaastay.

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Guest Sao_Bento

I think that if you're too familiar with the guy and your knowledge of his politics is influencing the way you see this movie. War movies always require a huge amount of generalization to avoid being derailed by the inevitable human suffering that results from any war. This movie is the extreme stylization of an actual event. It really was the Persian army who fought the Spartans. They really did use slaves as canon fodder up front and conscripts and mercenaries - like nearly all armies did back then. I imagine there were a lot more actual Persians involved in the real event than were shown in this movie. I think the "beastification" of the Persian armies was just a literal dehumanizing of the enemy.

 

The idea that the army was composed of very few people who "looked" middle eastern kind of flys in the face of it being US vs. the middle east. The on-the-ground leaders all appeared to be Egyptian or at least North African. The immortals were wearing east asian armor and masks, and they fought using east asian weaponry and techniques. They weren't in head scarves, using "ali baba" swords whilst wearing slippers with curled up toes. Their motivation was to expand their empire, not to kill everyone based on religious diffs. That's all based on the actual event, not something that's spun for political purposes.

 

If there was a message, it was that playing politics for your own benefit while being disconnected from the actual effect on peoples lives is a horrible reality. To me, that summarizes exactly what's wrong with Iraq right now. Some moron who's never been successful in anything was given the power to send other peoples parents, children, etc. to their death for nothing more that his own political gain. I guess I came out with the exact impression you did. The obvious difference to me is that I don't know anything about Frank Millers opinions on anything.

 

As far as hollywood being a pro-US propaganda machine, most of the war movies of late that I can think of off the top of my head stand in stark contrast to that viewpoint. Saving Private Ryan, Jarhead, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, etc. all left me with the impression that they were trying to portray the brutality and senselessness of war, not celebrate it. The last purely propaganda war movie I can think of is "The Green Berets" with John Wayne. I'm sure I'm missing some though.

 

 

edit: I do agree that it was homophobic in a very jock-like way.

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Guest Sao_Bento
On a different note, what about my man McNulty? He was naaaaastay.

He just needs to have a few beers with Bunk.

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Honestly, I think we're giving Miller and 300's scriptwriters too much credit. There is no outright propagandistic goal here, unlike Warner Bro's efforts during WWII, to demonize a particular enemy for a particular war. As has been said, this was written closer to the first war in Iraq, and we can't assume that this was about that war either.

 

I believe all we're seeing is the same shit in new clothes. Demonization of the east, the 'orient' once again. It's not original. Said laid it out brilliantly in 'Orientalism'. Portraying the eastern unknown in our literature and other art forms has been a cornerstone of western civilization for centuries. Even LOTR has the same shit going on. Elephants, ancient Arabian clothes etc. And Tolkien was a medievalist, he wasn't even referencing modern politics.

 

The dark skinned, 'barbaric' foe makes an easy enemy. Welcome to western civilization. Coupled with intense disinformation campaigns doesn't it make sense how powerful a tool this has been in facilitating our involvement in Iraq and plenty of other awesome adventures?

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saving private ryan was so pro-war that it almost seemed like it was funded by the pentagon. it was the worst kind of pro-war crapness-- because it was a sheep in wolf's clothing. it tried to present itself as some kind of humanistic story about the horrid ugliness of war, but all it really did was make war seem like a cool stylized-looking video game with aesthetically awesome sound effects and particle-laden explosions, while it took the purpose of war -to kill and destroy your enemy into submission- and transcendentally changed that purpose to... saving the life a single human being?... the ultimate bullshit.

 

also there was the character/moral arc of the conscientious objector. and the act of sparing the german soldier, who later ends up being some ridiculous super evil naziman. remember kids, sparing your enemy execution will only result in your good friend getting a big rambo knife through his heart by the same person you let live... so don't forget kids, that it's better to just kill 'em all as soon as you get a chance. also, that opening scene where the old dude is crying at the graveyard while his megahottie twin bimbo granddaughters look all paris hilton clueless in the background is completely hilarious in my opinion, like a clip from stangers with candy or something.

Edited by jaan

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Guest Sao_Bento
saving private ryan was so pro-war that it almost seemed like it was funded by the pentagon. it was the worst kind of pro-war crapness-- because it was a sheep in wolf's clothing. it tried to present itself as some kind of humanistic story about the horrid ugliness of war, but all it really did was make war seem like a cool stylized-looking video game with aesthetically awesome sound effects and particle-laden explosions, while it took the purpose of war -to kill and destroy your enemy into submission- and transcendentally changed that purpose to... saving the life a single human being?... the ultimate bullshit.

 

also there was the character/moral arc of the conscientious objector. and the act of sparing the german soldier, who later ends up being some ridiculous super evil naziman. remember kids, sparing your enemy execution will only result in your good friend getting a big rambo knife through his heart by the same person you let live... so don't forget kids, that it's better to just kill 'em all as soon as you get a chance. also, that opening scene where the old dude is crying at the graveyard while his megahottie twin bimbo granddaughters look all paris hilton clueless in the background is completely hilarious in my opinion, like a clip from stangers with candy or something.

I didn't think the extremely graphic atrocities really made the recruiting count go up. To me, again, this is another movie where the theme is that the guys on the ground's lives are being manipulated by a bureaucracy thousands of miles away. Risking all their lives because of the man-made rules. The thing with Vin Diesel asking the other guy not to let his dad see his letter with blood on it? Didn't motivate me to think of war in any way other than at the real, human level. I thought the thing about the German soldier was the same thing. Not unlike "Lifeboat", you learn that the other guy is a person, just like you. Then you question the motivations for why he should be killed, etc. To me that's introducing the human complexity which is counter to propaganda. When the German translator guy hides instead of saving the life of his friend - that's very counter to what John Wayne would have done.

 

 

edit: Jaan - I really wish we were syncing up on this. Now I'm starting to question your Tarantino->Jaan story about Top Gun being based on homosexual themes.

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I didn't think the extremely graphic atrocities really made the recruiting count go up. To me, again, this is another movie where the theme is that the guys on the ground's lives are being manipulated by a bureaucracy thousands of miles away. Risking all their lives because of the man-made rules. The thing with Vin Diesel asking the other guy not to let his dad see his letter with blood on it? Didn't motivate me to think of war in any way other than at the real, human level. I thought the thing about the German soldier was the same thing. Not unlike "Lifeboat", you learn that the other guy is a person, just like you. Then you question the motivations for why he should be killed, etc. To me that's introducing the human complexity which is counter to propaganda. When the German translator guy hides instead of saving the life of his friend - that's very counter to what John Wayne would have done.

 

you're right about having all those humany things in it-- but those are the sheep costume. again, the german soldier that the audience empathizes with is later the same mega-evil heart stabbing guy with a scowl on his face, and the objector guy ends up walking up to him and shooting him unarmed (thus demonstrating that he now thinks killing/war is the right way to deal with things)... what this says is that all those humany things are the wrong way. and in the end it ultimately conveys that all those sacrifices were worth it and now everything's okay and all we need to do is wave a flag once a year for everyone who didn't make it out alive. and most of all-- next time don't bother wasting time with all those humany things, just kill and destroy without questioning it. and that shit is reprehensible since it's using a very ethically & morally lopsided war to use as an example.

 

also, i have no articles or anything to link to, but i'm pretty sure i remember hearing multiple reports that military recruiting experienced an increase after the movie.

 

and the topgun-gay paradigm totes applies to 300 because of the "iraqiinsurgents-to-usforces" = "spartans-to-persians" irony.... (often, contextually veiled) subversion on a massive scale is what people really wanna see in movies. for anyone who wants to know what sao's referring to, it's from a scene in the movie "sleep with me" with tarantino explaining how topgun is really about a dude conflicted about his own homosexuality. also, the orig starwars trilogy is about allowing the viewer to revisit the vietnam conflict and transcendentally help the vietcong defeat the us forces, thus alleviating any unresolved & repressed anxiety and guilt about the matter.

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Guest Sao_Bento
and the topgun-gay paradigm totes applies to 300 because of the "iraqiinsurgents-to-usforces" = "spartans-to-persians" irony.... (often, contextually veiled) subversion on a massive scale is what people really wanna see in movies. for anyone who wants to know what sao's referring to, it's from a scene in the movie "sleep with me" with tarantino explaining how topgun is really about a dude conflicted about his own homosexuality. also, the orig starwars trilogy is about allowing the viewer to revisit the vietnam conflict and transcendentally help the vietcong defeat the us forces, thus alleviating any unresolved & repressed anxiety and guilt about the matter.

I do agree that the 300 is both homo-erotic and homophobic at the same time. The were flyin right in-to the danger zone.

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You guys are nutty as hell. Nobody just enjoys a movie anymore. It has to be racist and homophobic and whatever else. Damn I hate liberals.

 

sorry if top gun was your fav movie and now you can't watch it without getting man-randy.

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Guest Sao_Bento
pro-war-735076.jpg

I'm so glad that guy's wearing a shirt from my home town. There are a lot of similarly "gifted" people around there.

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