Thursday, August 11, 2005

What should one do when one is trying to write a paper?

Why, naturally, one should post to her blog.

Procrastination is a natural part of being an undergrad student, even a dedicated undergrad student. Thus, it should be blogged in here, or my blog would not accurately demonstrate the struggles of an undergrad trying to make it into grad school. Half of the struggle is with yourself. Learn this well, anyone who might follow!

Actually, though, I am posting something a little more interesting than procrastination. It's the promised post of grad-school seeking progress. I was talking to one of the grad students in our department last week, and he pointed me to a very useful ranking site. Classics is one of the first links. This makes me happy. I've been messing around with it a bit. I'm still not sure what programs will actually take me, but this gives me a better idea of what's out there.

Also, I watched Alexander the other night, expecting to hate it, but I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The movie was certainly not completely accurate, but unlike Troy and The Empire, there was an obvious effort at research. It was also an engaging and mostly decently-written movie. Perhaps my standards have been lowered, but I'm not entirely sure why this one bombed as much as it did. I, for one, liked that they addressed homosexuality and made the story much more about Alexander as a person, rather than just being an action flick. One of the battle scenes was a bit excessive (as was the eagle bit), but I think it did a great job of picking the more human scenes, rather than the ones you'd normally expect. My favourite bit was glossing over Philip's death and Alexander's ascension in the beginning and saving that for later.

The one major thing that did bug me, however, was Alexander's excessive idealism about freeing other people and uniting everyone in freedom. I suppose it makes for a good movie, but it was a bit too excessive here. The other thing I would like to have seen, particularly after watching the National Geographic video on Alexander, was a little more demonstration of how he persuaded his troops to go so far before they started getting restless. I loved the scene when he talks to individuals in his ranks and calls them by name, but I wanted a little more of that. I wanted to see them following him dedicatedly and going far before they mutineed. I guess they thought they had to explain why his soldiers mutineed and wanted to build up to that. But I think that part is more self-evident. I wanted to see more about why they followed as long as they did.

And now I should actually get back to doing actual work. Vae!


Anonymous Allison said...

Darling, I loved Alexander! (And was convinced I was the only one.) I think it *is* a movie for Classicists. No one else seemed to appreciate the statues hanging about the palace in Alexandria, or the re-creation of Babylon. I could have died over Babylon.

And the writers *did* do their homework.

I thought it was presented very true to life: Ranging from the utter non-existence of a moral or point, to the manifestations of sexual tension between the characters. Yo, I loved that movie.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Cristina said...

It bombed in the United States but it was a success all over Europe. In my country, Spain, was well reviewed and made a lot of money. For an Alexandrophile like me the entry into Babylon and the view of Alexandria from Ptolemy's palace were a dream come true.

2:48 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Re: Allison

Yayness!! I'm glad you loved it too, or I'd be kinda bummed.

It's just SO damn refreshing to see a movie with homework done! And that's actually good! ::snerk::

Oh, and the other thing that totally had me geeking out was how much like Alexander he actually looked. I was so damn floored!

Re: Cristina

If I were in a more cynical mood right now, I'd say that this says something about Americans... ::snerk:: I'm glad it did well in Europe, though. At least *somebody* appreciated it! It's too bad the National Geographic documentary on it didn't air here, though.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take it you saw the DVD version and not the theatrical version? The theatrical version sucked so badly, they had to re-edit the whole thing for the DVD release.

I love oliver Stone and I was totally psyched about the movie. I was even going to take my Greek civ class. But after spending nearly 3 of the most painful hours of my life in the theater, I decided I couldn't subject them to it.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Yes, I saw the DVD. How did the theatrical version suck?

3:00 PM  
Blogger Scott Oden said...

My problem with Alexander had more to do with casting than content. Granted, no actor alive could play Alexander convincingly, but were I a soldier I wouldn't follow Colin Farrell across the room, much less across the known world. Some of the little things bugged me: skipping right to Gaugamela, for instance, or the annoying tendency of the writers to put people into scenes when they were never there (such as having Kassandros and Antigonos following Alexander into Further Asia -- Alexander was purported to have loathed Kassandros, thus leaving him in Macedonia, while Antigonos served as Alexander's governor in Turkey). The actor playing Kleitos the Black was excellent, being the only one of Alexander's on-screen generals who looked dangerous, as were the sets and costumes.

The theatrical version contained much more of Ptolemy expounding, and Gaugamela seemed longer, though I could be wrong.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Re: Scott Oden

Well, they did a disturbingly good job of making Colin Farrell look like Alexander at times. He wasn't an entirely convincing leader, but I was too distracted by him actually looking like Alexander.

I don't mind some changes here and there. After all, it's artistic license. But after all the crap that's popped up recently, I was just THRILLED that somemone had actually done enough research that I didn't have to poke my eyes out for the really GLARING inaccuracies and HORRIBLE script. At least, what I saw was mostly decent.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen the history channel's documentary on Alexander? I believe Peter Green was the main consultant for that one. I'm not sure how it compares to National Geographic's.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Re: Anonymous

Actually, I haven't seen that one. But with Peter Green, that might be worth looking for...

11:07 PM  

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