Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Am Spartacus. No, I'm Spartacus. No, I'm Spartacus!

This past weekend, most of my time was spent doing one of two things.
1. Unpacking my worldly possessions
2. Re-watching the first season of Spartacus

I find I'm totally in love with the show, even on a second go-'round, which is good, since I shelled out the buckaroos to buy the first season. There are a couple of fun extras on the DVDs, one of my favorite being seeing two of the actors getting ready to do a scene in what is basically a sewer/trash pit. The crew has some live cockroaches to add to the set and both of these very muscle-bound men are jumping around, crying, "Is there one on me?"

Aside from that, another interesting thing was when the show creators were talking about their line of thought in making the show. One aspect was wanting to create a show that had a very graphic novel feel in its visuals (think Sin City) and wanting to explore this larger-than-life character. It's an interesting journey, going from a pretty ordinary guy to a slave, to an epic legend.

Loads of our famous heroes started out as ordinary people. We've got loads of biopics and historical novels about the historical characters who fascinate us. It makes me wonder if our fascination comes from a desire to understand where we've come from? A desire to create identity and connect with the past? Some of it has to do with current political/cultural movements. What about the way that the past seems so exotic to us in the modern world? I mean, the Romans had many, many cultural norms that are completely out of our own context as Americans - I mean, just look at their perspective on sex relative to ours. Two very different animals.

So, here are two questions for you. What makes you interested in fictional stories about historical figures? Or, why do you think people in general are interested in the genre?

Oh, wait, one more question.

What do you think is the best movie/TV series/book you've encountered about a historical person?

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