Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Pretty Propaganda

Last night, I was thirsty and stopped at Streetside for a beer. My friend Matt and I were talking about how hard it is to be a grown-up (and have to bear our lives in pain) when Matt -- who is usually very regimented -- madly suggested slamming our beers and going to see 300 at the local Cineplex, which has half-price admission and free popcorn on Tuesdays.

What a visually satisfying movie! What a transparent piece of oil machine war propaganda! How does one movie manage to mingle so much sweaty homoeroticism with so much blatant homophobia? (Why must I be so emphatic with my punctuation?!?!) "Kneel before me!" insists Xerxes of Leonidas -- but Leonidas won't submit, so Xerxes shall stick it to him instead. (Read Dan Savage's snark on the blatant homophobia.)

OK -- first, Leonidas murders a Persian Messenger (everybody knows messengers are sacred) for requesting tribute. He defies the Congress and against the advice of the corrupt, leperous and lecherous Holy Fraternity of the Oracle brings 300 hundred soldiers to fight the seemingly inexhaustible population of Persians. They meet the Arcadians on the way and everyone joins up nicely as if the Peloponnesian Wars never happened, which is handy -- because in the Third Millenium A.D. we have other characters to villanize.

Leonidas may be king, but Spartans are free men who will die for that freedom -- in cod pieces to a heavy metal soundtrack. Meanwhile, his queen is quoting W in an attempt to get Congress to send more troops to support her husband, "Freedom isn't free." (Thank Artemis, I gave most of my free popcorn to Matt, or I would have vomited all over that line of dialogue.) It just seems like the type of movie that plays on the aimless anger and unformed idealism of drifting 18 year olds. Hey kids, are you tough, freedom-loving Spartans or perverted Persians? Join the Army. Join the Marines. Semper Fidelis! Blood is sexy, military actions can be pornographic, battle is righteous and titillating.

But aesthetically, the movie is wonderful -- and Matt and I agreed that the closing shot of the battlefield in and of itself was worth the half price admission.

Oh, and Dominic West is sexy, too.


dave bones said...

Freedom isn't free???

Did he really say that? You didn't switch over to Team America: World Police?

Its worth seeing the movie just for that.

But I'm not gay- right?

La Sirena said...

Freedom isn't free, it "...costs a buck-oh-five."

Now that you mention it, it was Team America: World Police. Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I'm mixing up my puppets.

"You had me at dicks fuck assholes."