For some reason, we went to see ‘300’ this weekend. Spartan values don't need such glorification – particularly in this age, which doesn't exactly seem to be a new Enlightenment. The Village Voice had it about right: “Spartan hotties trounce Persian trannies.” I heard someone behind me shout “Take that, faggot!” when Leonidas reached Xerxes with his spear. (I'd like to hear that repeated directly to Xerxes, who – despite some eye liner, facial hardware, and gold body paint – was portrayed as about 3m tall.)
Shallow parallels to today's geopolitics abound, but I wonder how ‘pro-life’ warmongers interpreted the portrayal of Spartans chucking less-than-perfect newborns off the cliff.
To its credit, there was some truly spectacular imagery. And I enjoyed lines that revealed (in my view) that the film wasn't taking itself too seriously:
King Leonidas: “Dilios, I trust that scratch hasn't made you useless.”
Dilios, bandaging half his head: “Hardly, my lord. It's just an eye. The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare.”