Not just tan: Spartan

In keeping with my inner classics-geek of that previous post, here’s Victor Davis Hanson on 300, the movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s comic book about the battle of Thermopylae:

[T]he impressionism of 300 is Hellenic in spirit: its buff bare chests are reminiscent of the heroic nudity of warriors on Attic vase paintings. Even in its surrealism — a rhinoceros, futuristic swords, and an effeminate, Mr. Clean-esque Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) who gets his ear flicked by a Spartan spear cast — it is not all that different from some of Euripides’ wilder takes, like Helen or Iphigeneia at Taurus, in their strange deviation from the party line of the Homeric epics. Like the highly formalist Attic tragedy — with its set length, three actors, music, iambic and choral meters, and so forth — 300 consciously abandons realist portrayal.

I don’t remember a ton of the comic book. The one time I read it, I was at a friend’s house in Auckland, NZ, trying desperately to stay awake till nightfall, so as not to get wrecked by jetlag. Fortunately, he was one of the greatest cartoonists in the antipodes, and had a room full of comics that I hadn’t read.

And, yes, I’m thinking of catching 300 at the local IMAX. Sue me.

(Here are some terrible pix from the premiere.)

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