20 March 2007

Art lie, now with more science fiction

Neal Stephenson calls 300--now get this--Classics-based sci-fi and that behind critical complaints lies politics and not aesthetics or history. 300 came out of the Rotten Tomatoes starting gates strong but has since fallen to 60%/51% where its defenders revel in its action-fluff and its detractors see merely fluffy-action. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon sets the tone for most of the complaints:

A recent, characteristically beard-stroking New York Times article pondered the way reporters at an international press junket for the computer-generated extravaganza "300" zealously attempted to read the movie as a metaphor for George W. Bush's war on Iraq. ... The bigger question to ask about "300" is why, for a supposedly rousing tale of heroism, it's so curiously unaffecting.

And I baffle at Stephenson's sucking up to his readership by turning 300 into some sort of a techie history that it is not. I guess he'd consider A Knight's Tale to be included in this new form of sci-fi with its heavy metal soundtrack and Hollywood-based history.

I wonder if the TMNT adaptation will have as many fervent defenders?

[ posted by sstrader on 20 March 2007 at 12:00:27 AM in Cinema , Culture & Society ]