- How unsurprising, a movie about the Crusades. How completely predictable. You know, it’s interesting seeing this show up on the big screen while reading Edward Said’s Orientalism for the first time. Say what you will about the guy, but he did kind of have a point about how entertainment, scholarship, and imperial interests intersect. It sure goes a long way to confirming arguments that America on some level sees its relationship with the Middle East through the lens of the Crusadesa lens constructed by commonly very specious Medieval historiography, you know, in which it was commonly believed the British were the descendants of the fleeing Trojans, for exampleand that Orientalist imagery and narrative obliterate a great deal of the change that has come in the intervening 900 years since the time in which this movie is set.
- Catapults! Cool!
- Please, please, please let that be trailer music! Please tell me they didn’t use cheese-rock on the actual film soundtrack! It’s offensive!
- Uh, weren’t the Crusades at least as much a foreign-treasures-seizure project? (Really, an honest question: I studied a much later chunk of the Middle Ages and don’t know much about the Crusades at all.) People weren’t “making a better world”, were they? At best, they wanted to take the “Holy Land” and place it under the rule of the West, didn’t they? The rhetoric strikes me as not just ahistorical, but distractingly disconnected from anything except the modern rhetoric of the modern “crusade” in Iraq. Then again, the swarming religious rhetoric contrasted with the realitypillage and slaughter of heathens, and conquer, conquer, conquercould, if treated properly, be profoundly illustrative of the false uses of religious rhetoric. Not that I expect that in this film, but that’s the film that should be made: the knight who, sent to the Crusades, realizes what a sham it all is, and then, unceremoniously, is killed. (UPDATE: In battle, I mean.)
Damn, if only I wasn’t interested in the Middle Ages. Then I could just skip this film altogether.