Culture · Politics

300 Thumbs Up

Frank Miller, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love the ferocious warriors of your vivid dream portraits. I love their translations into film, the roaring soldiers of the past or future noir. I love your goddess women who float with violent beauty above the men with swords for hearts, loving and fighting as if they were the same thing. I love the ageless passion of your visions and how they coincide with mine. With your art, I feel home. You get me closer to understanding.

Oh, 300. Aside from the rippling half-dressed male forms that remind us of how beautiful the male body can be (while half-dressed, of course, good luck looking anything but silly while nude!), 300 is a stunning visual feast. The cinematography is a three layer chocolate cake I could have easily feasted on for hours longer. Why didn’t they make 300 into three parts like Lord of the Rings? Oooooo, six 300 hours. 300 300 hours and I am happy. I suppose this will mean a DVD purchase and lots of late night viewings at some point in the future.

But apart from being a beautiful film, it is a political film. 300 is about the battle of Thermopylae where 300 of the hardest-core Spartans take on the entire army of the Persian king Xerxes. What is so amazing about this story in history is not that the 300 soldiers won, but how long they kept Xerxes at bay being literally 300 men strong. Oh strong. Those were some strong men and they had the rippling 12-pack abs to prove it. Oh men with muscles, oiled up and in slow motion. Throw that spear. Oh muscles, rippling. Oh yeah. Wait. What was I talking about? Xerxes, right. 300 as a political film, sorry got distracted. Like I said, beeeeuuuutiful. Visual feast of glorious bodiness. Yum. Men.

Anyway. So. You have these 300 renegade ultimate warrior Spartans who go to defend their homeland from the Persian invasion. Apparently, the Republicans have been all over this movie like male cats over a bitch in heat claiming that the Spartans represent the USA and yada yada yada, but that just goes to show how fucking stupid and inbred those Republicans really are. Anyone with even half a brain who sees this movie knows that Xerxes represents Great Empire, the dictator who perpetuates the myth that he is a God-King. Sound familiar? Anyone remember when the Republicans were saying Bush was Jesus’ return to earth? If you don’t well, they did. You can Google it and read the articles. It was so ignorant and country, such a cheap shot. The Spartans do not represent Americans. The Spartans, as fierce as they may be, represent the Underdog who does not give up without a fight. The underdog who actually does have principles, integrity and are willing to give their lives to fight the good fight, to protect their families, to stand before injustice and do their very best. Xerxes the Persian represents enslavement, attempts at world dominance, misinformation, and all of those negative traits we associate with empires and colonial powers. Fuck Xerxes. Fuck asshole Republicans. At least we can go to sleep thinking, Thank You Goddess for blessing me with a fully functional brain and intellectual capabilities. Thank You, Amen.

So if you have yet to see the gloriousness that is 300, think about that. Xerxes is Bush. Everyone who is anti-Bush, anti-empire, anti-dictators is Sparta. Oh yeah. We are Sparta. Sparta all of a sudden rocks my world and I am so gonna read the Iliad again and read about how the Greeks kicked the Trojans asses. Oh yes, I so am.

There is something about warriors that really gets me. Something so cool about how well this story translates into a crazy comic book fantasy. And oddly enough, for being such an extended political and sexual fantasy, it translates beautifully onto film. There is magic in the screen at these glorious warrior specimens hurling their spears in slow motion with a crazy industrial/classical soundtrack. The performances are amazing. Their eyes burn with fire and honestly, I began to think that the men who play the 300 in this film have some past life experiences as warriors because of how clearly that spirit emerged from their eyes. So intense, so wonderful. And the Spartan Queen: what a badass. The Tank Girl of 480 B.C. This movie is a real treat, all around.

Frank Miller. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.