dangermousie: (Anime: Trigun Vash bero by howdyrockerba)
I have about 600 unanswered comments and I promise to get to them ASAP, but for now I am about to embark on a rewatch of one of my favorite movies of all time - El Cid with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, a grim and larger-than-life epic made in 1961. The story is about a Spanish nobleman and superb fighter (El Cid was a real historical individual) and his fight against corrupt Spanish noblemen, Islamic invaders (while made almost 50 years ago, the movie does distinguish between average/enlightened Muslims and the violent fanatics - it is the latter which El Cid fights and the latter which the native Muslim population itself is portrayed as not keen on. I appreciated the distinction), and anything that is against his unforgiving code of honor, including himself. At his side is his strong, fierce wife Chimene with whom he is locked in a love-hate relationship - she loves him (they were voluntarily engaged) but believes it is her duty to kill him because he fought and killed her father due to an insult to his own father's honor.



El Cid is very long - 3 hours - but I never feel as if I had to look at the clock. It manages to combine tragic romance, heroism and epic battles into an irresistible package. Its three "G"s (gorgeous, glorious, and grim) make me love it the way I love few other epics. Perhaps my love for it stems from my love of Icelandic sagas and Medieval epics - somehow it manages to get the same feel which one would get reading Chanson de Roland or Njal's Saga. It is based on the medieval chronicles about El Cid but it also owes a large debt to Pierre Corneille's famous play (which was my first exposure to the El Cid story).

I love Charlton Heston to bits in general - no man has ever been more suited to be in a larger-than-life epic or to portray unflinching, weary heroism - and he does not disappoint. Next to Ben Hur, this is my favorite role of his. I love El Cid for being an honest-to-goodness hero even as I pity him because his inability to bend or stay silent whenever he perceives anything against his too-rigid code utterly destroys his life. I love Chimene (but have I ever not loved Sophia Loren in anything?) because she is strong and smart and someone who is "allowed" the typically male prerogatives of honor and revenge. The complicated chemistry between El Cid and Chimene burns the screen. I love the weak, complicated King Alfonso and his strong, possibly incestuous sister Urraca. I love the look and feel of the movie.

It's not exactly a feel-good story, perhaps the opposite, but it really is something that emotionally draws me in. The modern movie I can think of that comes closest to the feeling is Kingdom of Heaven, but Balian is both more naive and a lot luckier.

Have a MV:



By the way, is anyone interested if I make old movies a semi-regular feature of this LJ? They have always been one of my loves. I know this LJ is rather drama-centric but in real life, dramas are only one of my many interests, and I'd like to talk about the others too.
dangermousie: (Anime: Trigun Vash bero by howdyrockerba)
I have about 600 unanswered comments and I promise to get to them ASAP, but for now I am about to embark on a rewatch of one of my favorite movies of all time - El Cid with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, a grim and larger-than-life epic made in 1961. The story is about a Spanish nobleman and superb fighter (El Cid was a real historical individual) and his fight against corrupt Spanish noblemen, Islamic invaders (while made almost 50 years ago, the movie does distinguish between average/enlightened Muslims and the violent fanatics - it is the latter which El Cid fights and the latter which the native Muslim population itself is portrayed as not keen on. I appreciated the distinction), and anything that is against his unforgiving code of honor, including himself. At his side is his strong, fierce wife Chimene with whom he is locked in a love-hate relationship - she loves him (they were voluntarily engaged) but believes it is her duty to kill him because he fought and killed her father due to an insult to his own father's honor.



El Cid is very long - 3 hours - but I never feel as if I had to look at the clock. It manages to combine tragic romance, heroism and epic battles into an irresistible package. Its three "G"s (gorgeous, glorious, and grim) make me love it the way I love few other epics. Perhaps my love for it stems from my love of Icelandic sagas and Medieval epics - somehow it manages to get the same feel which one would get reading Chanson de Roland or Njal's Saga. It is based on the medieval chronicles about El Cid but it also owes a large debt to Pierre Corneille's famous play (which was my first exposure to the El Cid story).

I love Charlton Heston to bits in general - no man has ever been more suited to be in a larger-than-life epic or to portray unflinching, weary heroism - and he does not disappoint. Next to Ben Hur, this is my favorite role of his. I love El Cid for being an honest-to-goodness hero even as I pity him because his inability to bend or stay silent whenever he perceives anything against his too-rigid code utterly destroys his life. I love Chimene (but have I ever not loved Sophia Loren in anything?) because she is strong and smart and someone who is "allowed" the typically male prerogatives of honor and revenge. The complicated chemistry between El Cid and Chimene burns the screen. I love the weak, complicated King Alfonso and his strong, possibly incestuous sister Urraca. I love the look and feel of the movie.

It's not exactly a feel-good story, perhaps the opposite, but it really is something that emotionally draws me in. The modern movie I can think of that comes closest to the feeling is Kingdom of Heaven, but Balian is both more naive and a lot luckier.

Have a MV:



By the way, is anyone interested if I make old movies a semi-regular feature of this LJ? They have always been one of my loves. I know this LJ is rather drama-centric but in real life, dramas are only one of my many interests, and I'd like to talk about the others too.
dangermousie: (Anime: Trigun Vash bero by howdyrockerba)
I have about 600 unanswered comments and I promise to get to them ASAP, but for now I am about to embark on a rewatch of one of my favorite movies of all time - El Cid with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, a grim and larger-than-life epic made in 1961. The story is about a Spanish nobleman and superb fighter (El Cid was a real historical individual) and his fight against corrupt Spanish noblemen, Islamic invaders (while made almost 50 years ago, the movie does distinguish between average/enlightened Muslims and the violent fanatics - it is the latter which El Cid fights and the latter which the native Muslim population itself is portrayed as not keen on. I appreciated the distinction), and anything that is against his unforgiving code of honor, including himself. At his side is his strong, fierce wife Chimene with whom he is locked in a love-hate relationship - she loves him (they were voluntarily engaged) but believes it is her duty to kill him because he fought and killed her father due to an insult to his own father's honor.



El Cid is very long - 3 hours - but I never feel as if I had to look at the clock. It manages to combine tragic romance, heroism and epic battles into an irresistible package. Its three "G"s (gorgeous, glorious, and grim) make me love it the way I love few other epics. Perhaps my love for it stems from my love of Icelandic sagas and Medieval epics - somehow it manages to get the same feel which one would get reading Chanson de Roland or Njal's Saga. It is based on the medieval chronicles about El Cid but it also owes a large debt to Pierre Corneille's famous play (which was my first exposure to the El Cid story).

I love Charlton Heston to bits in general - no man has ever been more suited to be in a larger-than-life epic or to portray unflinching, weary heroism - and he does not disappoint. Next to Ben Hur, this is my favorite role of his. I love El Cid for being an honest-to-goodness hero even as I pity him because his inability to bend or stay silent whenever he perceives anything against his too-rigid code utterly destroys his life. I love Chimene (but have I ever not loved Sophia Loren in anything?) because she is strong and smart and someone who is "allowed" the typically male prerogatives of honor and revenge. The complicated chemistry between El Cid and Chimene burns the screen. I love the weak, complicated King Alfonso and his strong, possibly incestuous sister Urraca. I love the look and feel of the movie.

It's not exactly a feel-good story, perhaps the opposite, but it really is something that emotionally draws me in. The modern movie I can think of that comes closest to the feeling is Kingdom of Heaven, but Balian is both more naive and a lot luckier.

Have a MV:



By the way, is anyone interested if I make old movies a semi-regular feature of this LJ? They have always been one of my loves. I know this LJ is rather drama-centric but in real life, dramas are only one of my many interests, and I'd like to talk about the others too.

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November 2012

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