why? fiction and realism have no correlation. why can't he create a fictional narrative while staying true to certain realistic elements of the time?
Because he's shit at it. When I'm engrossed in a film only to be wrenched out of that believing by retarded, implausible Hollywood cliches I get pissed off. It's not that I'm averse to historical fiction. I'm a pretty big fan of Bernard Cornwell, who's hardly the most high-brow of writers in that genre. Compared to Ridley Scott, though, he's frigging Tolstoy.
Take Robin Hood for example, I was starting to get into it when he goes and pulls one of the most shockingly contrived, bullshit twists I have ever seen. "Herp! I knew your father and he was a revolutionary who wrote the Magna Carta. Derp!" That is one egregious sin amongst many in that film and others.
What irks me especially is that events and characters develop into these ridiculous cliches only in films his films that are set before the 20th Century, as if the history of earth is really the work of a third-rate Tolkien knock-off. What is it about Ancient or Medieval times that bring this out in Scott? He's perfectly capable directing realistic characters and storylines in films set far far in the future...in space. He's perfectly capable of making the history of a few decades ago come alive without plagiarising Terry Brooks. Does he seriously believe that the fiction of such periods are true reflections of how people acted? Clearly not because he gets the backdrops to these films so right.
There's nothing wrong with historical fiction...if you do it well. What is the point of spending so much time getting the general feel of a particular historical period, only to waste it on cheesy storylines and, when you get called on your bullshit, claim that you decide what's history or not. This is my main problem with Scott. He's very capable of making a relatively historically accurate film, he just wilfully chooses not to. He doesn't - Gladiator excepted - make good historical fiction. I don't think, based on his other films, that he's incapable.
boo boo wrote:
I swear you're the kinda person who would call Wizard of Oz a travesty because of "scientific inaccuracies" like why The Witch never melted before from the moisture in the air.
Wizard of Oz is fantasy. I'm a massive fan of fantasy if the world created is somewhat believable on it own terms. I don't the Wizard of Oz, not because The Witch melts when she's exposed to water, but because it's pretty crap.
boo boo wrote:
it's an action drama, not a historical piece, the historical setting is just a back drop for the story.
Then why set it in Ancient Rome? This is what I don't understand. The whole point of historical fiction is to portray past socities, events and real life people. Ridley Scott has shown that he can do the first, but I've seen little or no evidence of the others. There are two options he can go for, either of which would make me happy as a clam.
1) He could stick pretty close to a period of history, bringing to life not only the social and geographical landscape of that period but also the people who actually lived during that time, treating them as the real human beings they were. This does not preclude the inclusion of fictional characters, but their place in the storyline should be realistic and believable. I understand films need to leave our or change certain aspects of history when creating a film, but this does not mean you should cobble together the events from several periods of history, whack in afictional, all conquering hero who's a driving force behind the progression of this hodge-podge of events and still claim its set in a period of the world's history.
2) If he won't do that, and his contempt for history suggests he lacks any inclination, then he can set his pick n' mix of historical events and his fictional badasses and put them somewhere made up, with no direct reference to the history that inspired him. This is perfectly doable. GRR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
series is clearly heavily influenced by the Wars of the Roses. R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing
is heavily influenced by the Crusades. Both are excellent sets of books. If you want to take massive creative license, don't be a lazy pussy, do what these guys did. Of course setting his films in a fictional world doesn't give him license to do anything he wants. It still has to be believable.
boo boo wrote:
Probably the most retarded reason to write off a whole movie in like ever.
I'm actually pretty fond of Gladiator, though I'm not sure how I would react to it if I watched it now.