Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It is a Ridley Scott movie

Why expect that he would suddenly become a different movie-maker?

Originally Scott wanted to do a revisionist movie about the Sheriff of Nottingham (who becomes Robin Hood?), but he decided to do a more "traditional" tale about Robin Hood instead. I was actually looking forward to a story that focused on the Sheriff, who decides he must pretend to be an outlaw in order to right injustices--though now that I think about it, it does sound too much like Zorro.

Anyway, I watched the UK trailer for Robin Hood -- it is better than the US one, but it also features a Cate Blanchett fighting and donning armor. Please don't tell me her character was inspired by St. Joan of Arc, who, according to Hilaire Belloc, never took up arms except to protect herself,

or that Ridley Scott is making up for what was lacking in Lord of the Rings. Give me the Audrey Hepburn Maid Marian any day.


At first I thought Robin Hood would not be as PC as Scott's Kingdom of Heaven; this bit of feminist fantasy is on par for Anglo-American movies today, and it's not entirely new to Ridley Scott. (Alien.) But if he was going to aim for realism, why put this in? (I believe the same claim of realism was made about Kingdom of Heaven as well.) In this respect, I suspect it is like the most recent BBC series (which is probably worse overall in catering to the PC orthodoxy of the BBC).

In both trailers Robin Hood makes the sign of the cross. Will Scott show a greater respect for the Catholic religion and its influence on the period than he did in Kingdom of Heaven? There's no mention of the Crusades, or Robin Hood going to the Holy Land with King Richard the Lionheart--instead the story begins towards the end of King Richard's reign. The French make an appearance as the enemy of the English, and Robin Hood's credentials as an English national hero are established.

The populism of Robin Hood does remind me a bit of Mel Gibson's Braveheart; does it refer to the republicanism of the Anglo-American political tradition (with its appeals to the Magna Carta?), or to the modern democratic spirit? Russell Crowe's speech-giving as Robin Hood is identical to his speech-giving Gladiator and Master and Commander. Not a good thing.

I will probably see the movie, but the experience will not be free from annoyances.

William Lind on cultural Marxism. (See also "Who stole our culture?.")

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