Monday, February 02, 2009

#81: Spartacus (Kubrick)

I've seen Braveheart. I've seen Gladiator. Now I know that they are essentially unoriginal. Spartacus took me a long time to watch because it's another of those 3-1/2 hour epics and I've been busy doing other things like correctly naming songs in my iTunes library. To be honest, I don't think I've ever seen a Kubrick film except for a few minutes of Dr. Strangelove, which didn't leave me with the feeling that Kubrick was anything but weird. Well, he's pretty normal in Spartacus.

Having recently seen Ben-Hur, which is a very similar movie set in a similar period in history, I was impressed a little more with this one, as I guess the AFI also was. Judah Ben-Hur was upper class and got thrust down before returning to prominence, a fall and redemption story with the crucifixion of Jesus thrown in for good measure. Spartacus is a bit more interesting in that he's a slave, a nobody, who doesn't even win his gladiatorial match, yet becomes the leader of a slave revolt and the symbol for all the oppressed. I like how Kirk Douglas is quite mild-mannered in contrast to the sort of characters that Heston plays in many similarly epic movies.

I guess Kubrick's weirdness can be seen through his musical interludes that play with blank screens at the beginning of each act, like you'd normally see in a theatre. Before the opening credits. I look forward to seeing more Kubrick like 2001 and A Clockwork Orange. Well, anyway, that's that. Onward and upward.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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January 10, 2010 at 4:34 AM  

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