March 27, 2015

Episode 22 - GLADIATOR

Gladiator's place in our cultural canon is almost entirely due to its violence: just thinking about the title conjures up images of severed limbs, overflowing viscera, and a beefy Russell Crowe asking a crowd whether or not that day's murders have amused them sufficiently.  What's most interesting about this violence, however, is how little of it (relatively speaking) is actually shown.

In a way it makes perfect sense that Ridley Scott's film ruled the first Oscar ceremony held in the 21st century.  It is a very old-school drama in a throwback genre, clean and simple, and its lack of metatextual meddling makes it almost like cinematic comfort food.  Aside from a few grisly moments, Gladiator is most disturbing in our imaginations.

Gladiator (2000)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by Douglas Wick, David Franzoni, and Branko Lustig
Written by David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson
Starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Dijmon Hounsou, and Richard Harris

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