…by clicking here. Could use some latex to build up the facial protrusions, and the hair’s combed a little too neatly, but it’s not a bad visual impression. I just hope they don’t try to water down the dialect. The man didn’t sound like a newscaster.
Tag Archives: historical movies
I’ve always said that if somebody put me in charge of casting a Civil War movie and gave me an unlimited budget, I’d want Russell Crowe to play Grant. He’s a dead ringer.
If you’re going to cast an A-list actor like Crowe, though, it would probably be in a starring role, meaning you’d need some Grant-centric subject matter. So who’s up for a Shiloh movie?
I ran across a post suggesting some possible subjects for historical biopics. The LBJ idea is especially intriguing; I wouldn’t mind seeing a miniseries adaptation of Robert Caro’s work.
I’d also propose Frederick Douglass (great story), John Brown, Joseph Smith, and Daniel Boone as interesting film subjects. Boone’s life in particular is full of dramatic material; the deaths of his sons, the rescue of his daughter, his captivity, and his court-martial would all make for powerful scenes, and then you could wrap it up in melancholy fashion with his abandonment of the Kentucky for which he gave up so much and migration to Missouri.
Personally, though, what I’d really like to see is an Andrew Jackson biopic along the lines of Patton, depicting both his greatness and his faults. I’d start out with his boyhood in the Revolutionary Waxhaws and the beating he took for defying a British officer, and then flash forward to the War of 1812.
Either that, or just adapt David Nevin’s novel 1812 as a miniseries. I rarely read historical fiction—I don’t read much fiction at all, actually—but that was a genuinely great book, and anybody who could play Jackson the way Nevin managed to flesh him out would deserve a Golden Globe.
You can read her remarks about playing Lincoln’s wife here. She seems to have done more historical research than you’d expect for a vampire movie. This is going to be a strange film.
His “Lincoln” is “not a battlefield movie,” Spielberg says. “There are battles in it, and being in Virginia, we have access to those historic battlefields. It is really a movie about the great work Abraham Lincoln did in the last months of his life.
“We’re basing it on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, ‘Team of Rivals,’ but we’re only focusing in on the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life.
“The movie will be purposely coming out AFTER next year’s election. I didn’t want it to become political fodder.”
I was looking forward to hearing Daniel Day-Lewis do a rendition of the Gettysburg Address. Oh, well. Still looking forward to the movie.
…is shooting this fall in Virginia. It’s based on Mary Johnston’s 1900 novel To Have and to Hold, about a Jamestown settler who marries a girl pledged to a nobleman. The book was wildly popular when it was first published, and was the basis for two silent films. You can read it online for free, if you’re so inclined.
My favorite historical subject is, of course, America’s fight for independence, so I generally root for movies about the Revolutionary War.
Since I’ve been obsessed with dinosaurs, whales, giant squid, and other particularly large and fearsome creatures from the time I was a wee lad, I also generally root for movies about sea monsters.
I’ve yet to make up my mind about movies that combine the two.
Brian Helgeland has been hired to write “Here There Be Monsters,” a movie about Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones — except with sea monsters, individuals close to the project confirmed.
Producers of the Warner Bros./Legendary project are in talks with Robert Zemeckis to direct.
“Here There Be Monsters” is based on an concept by Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull.
Tull is producing along with Legendary’s Jon Jashni and Mandeville’s Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman.
Helgeland, who won the Academy Award for 1997′s “L.A. Confidential,” also wrote the 2003 “Mystic River,” the 2010 “Green Zone” and 2010′s “Robin Hood.”
Zemeckis directed a string of 1980s hits, including “Romancing the Stone,” “Back to the Future” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” as well as 1994′s “Forrest Gump.”
This is one of those occasions when I can sympathize with the Apostle Paul, torn as he was between his two natures. The mature, academic part of me that went to grad school is really, really nervous. The behemoth-loving part of me that squeals with delight when I watch the Kraken sequences from Clash of the Titans is thinking this could be one of the Best. Things. Ever.
Don’t settle for the 2010 remake, by the way. The only true Clash of the Titans is the 1981 Clash of the Titans.
…based on the book Forgotten Allies by Joseph Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin. The cool part is that the Oneida Nation is doing it themselves. They decided that a movie would be a good way to get this part of their story out there, so they’re putting up the $10 million for the film themselves. Here are the details.
I have no idea why this review of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto just appeared on one of Roger Ebert’s “far-flung correspondents” blogs, since the movie came out a few years ago. Anyway, it’s well worth a read, because it touches on an important issue regarding historical films.
Every historical movie will have some inaccuracies, either intentional liberties or simple mistakes. But regardless of how many historical flaws Apocalypto contains, it’s also saturated with details that ”allow us to feel when the credits roll, that we actually attended the events depicted here, what some call ‘the fly on the wall’ theory.” In other words, a movie like this creates a credible past.
Moviemakers create worlds, and it’s healthy for us to remember that when we’re talking about the past, a different world is exactly what we’re dealing with. Historical filmmakers should build their worlds from the ground up in the same way that good science fiction filmmakers do. Otherwise, the world they create won’t be credible. It will be nothing but the past lightly grafted onto the present, like a poorly-done reenactment.
For a great example of a credibly, thoroughly authentic past, take HBO’s John Adams. There is nothing modern about the world the characters inhabit. Indeed, there’s nothing modern about the characters themselves. They lack make-up. They have bad teeth. Even their speech is distinctive, since the filmmakers tried to reconstruct colonial dialects. (The result is sort of halfway between a British accent and modern American English; it’s like an entire nation inhabited by William F. Buckleys.)
The world of John Adams wouldn’t be a vacation for anybody but a hardcore reenactor. It would have all the hallmarks you’d associate with visiting a Third World village: unfamiliar speech, uncomfortable living conditions, strange food. Watch this excerpt from the first episode, and then ask yourself how long it would take you to get accustomed to living in this world:
This is a world where it’s hard to keep out the cold, where children curtsey when their father arrives home, where simmering imperial tensions can explode in the blink of an eye. This isn’t modern America in knee breeches. These people live differently, speak differently, behave differently. They are different, and they inhabit a different America. It’s a remarkable artistic achievement.
There aren’t many ways that entertainment media can advance historical understanding. Drawing attention to neglected people or incidents is one of them. Creating worlds with this level of authenticity is another. It reminds us of a fact we too often forget, one summed up memorably in Leslie Hartley’s dictum: “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” Movies like this are a valuable corrective for those occasions when we feel too comfortable with the past, when we forget the span of years that separates us from the people who lived there.