So many books to read, so little time.


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Dr. Frank had a funny post about the recent movie “Troy.” Even for the unintentionally funny parts, I wouldn’t give a nickel for anything with Brad Pitt in it. I started to write a comment, but it turned into a rant. I decided I’d post it on the blog instead. One guy in the comments mentioned Jason and the Argonauts. Ray Harryhausen. The BEST. Now THAT is ancient Greece, man. The Gods stride amongst the mortals. Giant beings shake the Earth. Dynamite babes frolic about in togas. Heroes slay monsters. It remains to this day an utter masterpiece. I showed it to my kids a few years ago. One kid was so scared by the winged harpies she had an “accident” right there in my sister’s living room. The skeletons coming out of the ground. Oh man.

Another guy suggested that Mel Gibson should make the movie in literal, word-for-word ancient Greek. Funny, maybe, but … .

That could be the TRUE and perfect Iliad movie. Yes. I can see it, almost. A 60 hour long, all ancient-Greek version directed by Mel Gibson would DOMINATE. Grunts, shrieks, running men, sweat, blood, dirt. Fleeting glimpses of spears being flung or thrust, of huge stones whistling down and splintering skulls, of limbs crunching under chariot wheels. Disembowellments, lower jaws hewn off, spears piercing thighs, bladders, lungs, eye sockets — each and every one of the harsh clinical, medical details of Homeric butchery. And the resonant Greek (with subtitles) of a voice-over of all of Homer’s incredible capsule biographies of one doomed warrior after another as he steps up for his moment of truth, only to be immediately felled into the dust by Ajax, or Hector or one of the other Heroes. Only an instant before a son, a husband, a father, a proud, strong man in the flower of youth, and now only food for the birds of the air and the wild dogs which prowl the edges of the battlefield. Death is never anonymous in Homer. Each one is personal. Each one has a story and a name. Each one hurts.

Strictly speaking the movie would be unwatchable. And not only because it would be a pitiless, unremitting cacaphony of screaming, bloody horror. The movie would also be way too long to watch even in a marathon session. We’d have to watch it in three hour segments over several months.

It would be the film equivalent of the Iggy & the Stooges Complete Funhouse Sessions — way, way too much for anyone entirely sane to want to listen to, but far, far too good to not eventually listen to it all.

All we need is someone with Mel Gibson’s money and contacts to take leave of his senses, and in an act of abject commercial lunacy embark on this cinematic dream quest for the perfect movie version of the ur-document of Western civilization. It will always remain only a theoretical possibility, I fear.

But I’d buy the DVD set for sure.

(Originally posted on ChicagoBoyz.)


Written by lexingtongreen

October 26, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Having read the Iliad and the Odyssey far too early in life, first in a toned down boy`s version and then in a 19th century translation I cannot but agree. I wd certainly buy the set, too.

    Incidentially the Odyssey wd be at least as interesting, or come to think of it, perhaps even better.


    October 26, 2008 at 7:52 pm

  2. Perhaps not a movie but an HBO series? How’s your command of script writing, Lexington?


    October 27, 2008 at 1:32 am

  3. I have never written a script.

    Of course, there is a first time for everything.

    The budget is the issue. If you had that, a good scriptwriter could be purchased like any other commodity.

    Lexington Green

    October 27, 2008 at 1:33 am

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