Monday, August 31, 2009

Movie Trailer - Agora

Accessed August 31, 2009 | Mania | by Jarrod Sarafin

My twin (well, really my triplet, I'm already a twin) has a new moving coming out in theaters (hopefully very soon because I've been waiting for this for almost a year!) called Agora.

The following is the plot for the movie:

4th century A.D. Egypt under the Roman Empire... Violent religious upheavel in the streets of Alexandria spills over into the city's famous Library. Trapped inside its walls, the brilliant astronomer Hypatia and her disciples fight to save the wisdom of the Ancient World... Among them, the two men competing for her heart: The witty, priviliged Orestes and Davus, Hypatia's young slave, who is torn between his secret love for her and the freedom he knows can be his if he chooses to join the unstoppable surge of the Christians.

Rachel is such an amazingly intelligent actress (and person) and seemingly every nice (she'll get down on her knees to talk to someone who is not mobile enough to get up out of their chair...and in heels!)...and the movie looks spectacular to boot! I wait in thorough anticipation for this to come to a theater near me, particularly to the Chicago Film Festival, where I'm hoping this will be the featured movie opening night (because that would bring her back to Chicago, where I could see her again).


  1. There's already some debate ongoing though, about the correctness of the 'background' information given by the movie, and how the conflict of that time is interpreted.

    Quick summary:
    * Which second library of Alexandria?
    * Hypatia was not an atheist.
    * Hypatia was murdered by christian fanatics, but NOT because of her science, rather because of internal political conflict between two christian fractions.

    (And yet, I'm still going to watch it when it comes out in the UK! ;))

  2. I agree with you completely. I will be going to see this movie despite all that ;)

    It's like saying one saw the Notre Dame. Well, which one--de Paris, de Reims, de Chartres? lol

    I don't mind a bit of Hollywoodization and historical inaccuracy (at least you and I'll know the scholastic background even if it isn't translated well in the film), just as long as it's a superb epic movie. On the contrary, if it were a dud AND historically inaccurate, then time was wasted on both the creators' and the audiences' part.

  3. I think I disagree. (Mind you, I'm not entirely sure of my opinion. :D)

    The benefit of these movies is that they cause a sudden spike of interest in certain parts of history, and my teacher used to say 'mankind should know it's history, so that it does not make the same mistakes again'. And yes, history does shape our current actions and opinions. But in this case for instance, the movie is portrayed as 'religious zealots lynch cute scientist' the majority will get a wrong point of view. Imho, there is nothing wrong with religion, as long as everybody is free to make their own choice and does not enforce others. The danger is religion is that it gets abused for power struggles, which causes war. We see the same thing happening today. So if people conclude today's trouble is about religion (and religious terrorism) rather than abuse of religion by a minority, well, then I am a bit worried... .

    But on the other hand, I tend to think that any interest in history is better than none at all.

    But then I think of religious Americans that want to learn about dinosaurs, end up in the creationism museum by error, and then come to the conclusion that dinosaurs existed simultaniously with humans... . Which scares the hell out of me again... .

    The balancing between making accessible/numbing down/popularisation and scholarly elite/facts is a tricky one, and as said before, I'm constantly debating myself (and giving myself heachache) on what is the right ratio... . My current idea is to follow the Golden ratio where b should be usability and a facts. ;)

  4. So true! I read somewhere about Dr. Hawass' reactions to some people's misconceptions about ancient Egypt, pyramid building, and mummies, just to name a few (I wish I could remember which article).

    I once was asked if there were such things as flesh-eating scarabs. I felt my face contract, unbelieving of what I just heard. If he believes that, then he may just believe that the Egyptians put the heart into a canopic jar (they certainly took it out to embalm it, they may have placed it next to the mummy or back into the body cavity, but I've never seen or read of an instance where it was put in its own jar).

    So that scares me.

    I think I take for granted that most people don't know what I know. Even scholars disagree among themselves on many historical topics; what makes me think that the layman, going to a movie based on historical events, will look past obvious misinterpretations? Try as the director might to add the curtious "based on actual events," some people subconciously take that as "this is a documentary."

    Sometimes museums get it wrong, too. I recall a story about a female mummy which turned out to be male ( Technology corrected that misinterpretation. In addition, I recently attended the Real Pirates exhibit at the Field Museum, where one of the interactive kiosks, featuring different well-known pirates' jolly rogers, mistakenly associated Buze's for Blackbeard's. As a follow up, I opened up a few books (a couple associated with National Geographic) to cooberate my own opinion that the jolly roger for Blackbeard was incorrectly labeled and discovered I was right. I didn't hold it against anyone involved with the exhibit, though ;)