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Author Topic: Robert fisk saw kingdom of heaven... and loved it!
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 09 June 2005 10:59 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Long live Ridley Scott. I never thought I'd say this. Gladiator had a screenplay that might have come from the Boy's Own Paper. Black Hawk Down showed the Arabs of Somalia as generically violent animals. But when I left the cinema after seeing Scott's extraordinary sand-and-sandals epic on the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven, I was deeply moved - not so much by the film, but by the Muslim audience among whom I watched it in Beirut.

I know what the critics have said. The screenplay isn’t up for much and Orlando Bloom, playing the loss-of-faith crusader Balian of Ibelin, does indeed look - as The Independent cruelly observed - like a backpacker touring the Middle East in a gap year.

But there is an integrity about its portrayal of the Crusades which, while fitting neatly into our contemporary view of the Middle East - the moderate crusaders are overtaken by crazed neo-conservative barons while Saladin is taunted by a dangerously al-Qa’ida-like warrior - treats the Muslims as men of honour who can show generosity as well as ruthlessness to their enemies.


[URL=http://www.selvesandothers.org/article9784.html ]Hurray for Ridley Scott! [/URL]

I do like scott's movies. Blade Runner is and always will be a classic. (at least the version without the crappy narration and extremely silly happy ending) Legend, while incrdibly campy was enormus fun, and I thought Ridly did wonders with Gladiator, given the yucky script he had to work with.

[ 10 June 2005: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Epistrophy
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posted 10 June 2005 01:17 PM      Profile for Epistrophy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
After Blackhawk down, I was expecting another All-American Chuck Norris versus the monkeys flick but I've been pleasently surprised. The only characters depicted as evil are christians, and Fisk is spot on: the struggles inside both factions are more important to the plot than the conflict between the christian and muslim kingdoms. Most of all, Ridley Scott - and this must have been a tough one - tastefully restrained himself from adding a close up on the american flag, even at the end!


The only complain I heard coming from a arabophone is that a mourning prayer has been shortened, probably during the editing process.

All in all, it's a great popcorn flick. Blood, guts, viril leadership and cheesy romance applenty, served on a set that makes Ben Hur look like an amateur production.

Fisk also mentions Amin Malouf's "The Crusades through Arab Eyes". I highly recommend it. It's a short and easy read with a lot to be learned.


From: Quebec | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Erstwhile
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posted 10 June 2005 01:22 PM      Profile for Erstwhile     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Epistrophy:

Fisk also mentions Amin Malouf's "The Crusades through Arab Eyes". I highly recommend it. It's a short and easy read with a lot to be learned.


It is a good read, though Malouf never really seems to question the veracity of accounts of contemporary Arab chroniclers to the same degree that he questions those of European chroniclers. But it is entitled "The Crusades through Arab Eyes", after all, so perhaps that's forgiveable. Still interesting nonetheless.


From: Deepest Darkest Saskabush | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 10 June 2005 01:32 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I lvoe reading the chroniclers of the crusades by both sides and very enlightening it is!
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 10 June 2005 01:38 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here is a historian's review of the film. Link here. Pretty critical, though there are some things he likes.
quote:
... But to paraphrase Diry Harry from Sudden Impact: “no, it’s not the wrong geography or the fictional characters or the plot foibles that get to me….what really, really makes me sick is that nobody, and I mean NOBODY, in the 12th century was giving speechs about religious tolerance.”...

...But does anyone really believe that Balian rallied the Christians by giving a 21st-century-style exhortation about the equal religious value of the Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Temple of Solomon? He also sermonized that it was the people, not the holy sites, that really mattered. If that were the case, tens of thousands of western European Catholics would never have traveled thousands of miles to take Jerusalem in the first place...



From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
CMOT Dibbler
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posted 10 June 2005 04:03 PM      Profile for CMOT Dibbler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What does the guy expect? If Scott had chosen to be a stickler for historical detail, the movie wouldn't have been a blockbuster. No one would've gone to see it. Shipwrecks, affairs with busty princesses and huge battles with enormous armys are much more exciting then what actually happened.

[ 10 June 2005: Message edited by: CMOT Dibbler ]


From: Just outside Fernie, British Columbia | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged

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