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Gladiator: Film and History

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This is the first book to analyze Ridley Scott's film Gladiator from historical, cultural, and cinematic perspectives. The first systematic analysis of Ridley Scott's film, Gladiator. Examines the film's presentation of Roman history and culture. Considers its cinematic origins and traditions. Draws out the film's modern social and political overtones. Includes relevant ancien This is the first book to analyze Ridley Scott's film Gladiator from historical, cultural, and cinematic perspectives. The first systematic analysis of Ridley Scott's film, Gladiator. Examines the film's presentation of Roman history and culture. Considers its cinematic origins and traditions. Draws out the film's modern social and political overtones. Includes relevant ancient sources in translation.


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This is the first book to analyze Ridley Scott's film Gladiator from historical, cultural, and cinematic perspectives. The first systematic analysis of Ridley Scott's film, Gladiator. Examines the film's presentation of Roman history and culture. Considers its cinematic origins and traditions. Draws out the film's modern social and political overtones. Includes relevant ancien This is the first book to analyze Ridley Scott's film Gladiator from historical, cultural, and cinematic perspectives. The first systematic analysis of Ridley Scott's film, Gladiator. Examines the film's presentation of Roman history and culture. Considers its cinematic origins and traditions. Draws out the film's modern social and political overtones. Includes relevant ancient sources in translation.

31 review for Gladiator: Film and History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    I liked gladiator, I was 10 years old when that movie came out, son of an amateur self taught historian with a liking to military history and a fondness for the roman period, so yes we went to see it even if I was actually a bit to young. This collection of contributions dedicated to analyzing the movie gladiator is one of the better collaborative efforts I have read and even though coordination and dialogue between the authors is, as is often if not always the case with these kinds of works, mi I liked gladiator, I was 10 years old when that movie came out, son of an amateur self taught historian with a liking to military history and a fondness for the roman period, so yes we went to see it even if I was actually a bit to young. This collection of contributions dedicated to analyzing the movie gladiator is one of the better collaborative efforts I have read and even though coordination and dialogue between the authors is, as is often if not always the case with these kinds of works, missing, it still felt like a coherent whole. It is difficult to discuss this whole book because there are so many angles but as said it feels as if most of the topics relevant are discussed; how historical is the representation of Commodus and politics of Rome? How are gladiators represented and the Roman military? None of those come close to being accurate even if they get a lot of stuff right that according to several contributing authors the spirit of the movie has gotten the portrayed setting right. It is remarkable in fact how even after an entire chapter on how the Romans would never use those siege works in a field battle and how Commodus ruled for 12 years (and had been the openly chosen heir to Marcus Aurelius making the entire plot of a restored republic a weird anachronistic plea for democracy) but sill that most authors seem are rather happy with this movie. The bottemline seems to be that even if there is still a lot of room for improvement, historians should accept that movies on the period will never be able to be close enough to be deemed historically accurate (movies perhaps but HBO's Rome showed the world that it can be done in a TV series). Perhaps my favorite chapter is by Kathleen coleman who talks about the challenges a historian has to face when he or she agrees to collaborate on a project like this and adds some advice for those interested both historians and directors. As a historian myself (thanks dad) I had read up on the roman gladiatorial combat before and have seen the movie in recent times so I fully agreed with several contributors that it is a shame how the arena is represented as a massacre show where gladiators are represented as mere fodder for the show while they had more in common with WWE wrestlers even if death was part of their life it was more akin to a job risk then a certainty (for instance dull blades was the rule). Likewise I agree that the movie is very much so an american movie and has a clear conservative undertone of family, duty, a disdain for politics and ideal of the rustic farmer warrior that is at the hearth of one version of american self imagery since thomas Jefferson. The movie at the same time shows the dangers of autocratic populist rule obsessed with show and glamour (given our current age it is no wonder that the movie remains popular) and promotes a society with limited popular control as embodied by the senate who has had a american make over. I feel like I have been saying american a lot and it is true that this book as the movie is geared towards american audiences, the movies referenced are all american which brings me to my biggest remark, what about Europeans. It is funny that the sword and sandle movie is such an american dominated genre while all the stories take place in Europa and fertile cresent. What is an Italians view on this Americanized version of Roman history and how do they read the messages it sends out? I believe it should be included in particular because a sizable chapter is dedicated to discussing use of Fascist style of portraying, comparing the movie to Leni Riefenstahls Triumph des willens and camera angles used then and later. Again a very american approach where a German experts voice would have been appreciated. One other thing is the notion of spectator and violence, many of the contributing academics seem to be making the point that we aren't that dissimilar Romans and us because we crave violence in our entertainment that we gasp and shout the same as those Colosseum goers do. Yeah but we know no one died, you can make claims of our need for blood as much as you like but bottemline is that movies are fictional, if someone gets hurt it is an accident, none of the blood is real and that is a nuance that should be in the back of ones head when reflecting about this need for blood idea (how many times have video games been deemed instigators of violence even if no "proof" of this has ever been able to stand up to scrutiny?) I can recommend this book to anyone who saw the movie (preferable more then once but youtube can help to see the scenes discussed) and wants some academic opinions on it to make you reflect on it and other movies in the future and as always one does not have to agree with everything.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Westman

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miss M B MCGINTY

  4. 4 out of 5

    Salvatore Talluto

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cmfish

  6. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  8. 4 out of 5

    Matt Lewis

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jason Smith

  10. 4 out of 5

    Karl

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jack Mcclintock

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  13. 5 out of 5

    makenzie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Santiago Trillo

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katie Ladrido

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dominee

  17. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike Silverman

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gravy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Wikimedia Italia

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Cox

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hart

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  24. 4 out of 5

    T

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Taylor

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cory Monks

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gravy

  29. 5 out of 5

    ludovicc

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karli

  31. 4 out of 5

    Luciano Zottoli

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