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Apocolypto?

 
 
Pitter
 
Reply Fri 28 Jul, 2006 07:38 pm
What about Mel Gibson┬Ęs new film "Apocolypto"? Sounds interesting.
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firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Aug, 2006 08:25 pm
I don't think it sounds interesting at all.

It's apparently another violent, gimmick film from Gibson, featuring the actors speaking in another dead language a la "The Passion". Since no one is familiar with the language, the movie will be short on dialogue. That might have worked with "The Passion", where most viewers were already very familiar with the story, and actual dialogue was almost incidental to the visual images. With an unfamiliar storyline, this non-verbal approach might not go over very well, and it might come off simply as an overly-simplistic concept linked to strong visual images, and violence--sort of an artsy action cartoon with human participants and lots of blood.

The movie apparently has very little to do with the ancient Mayan culture, and Gibson says the Mayan aspect is merely a "backdrop" for the hero's ordeal. It could just as easily be set elsewhere, but Gibson liked the scenery and the "visuals" his choice of the Mayans provided.

Anthropologists have already criticized aspects of the movie as being inaccurate, based on the info that has already leaked out. For instance, Gibson shows the Mayans as conducting mass human sacrifices, something these people apparently did not do. But, distorting culture or history is no problem for Gibson, particularly if such "artistic license" provides an opportunity for more blood and gore. And the language spoken by the actors in the movie apparently was not the language spoken by the people allegedly portrayed in the film. But heck, what's the difference, since no one watching the film will understand what they are saying anyway, so why bother with authenticity?

The original intention was to bring this movie out this month, as a "summer movie"--possibly with the hope that people would flock to air-conditioned theaters just to escape the heat. It's release was delayed until December because heavy rains delayed filming. It's not exactly an ideal film to bring out just before the start of the Christmas season.

Under the best of conditions this movie might be a hard sell to the public, and Gibson's recent arrest and inflammatory remarks might really wind up completely sinking it at the box office, since he might not even be able to do the usual publicity tour and PR work for the film. And it still remains to be seen whether Apocalypto will even be released, given the brouhaha now swirling around Gibson.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Aug, 2006 10:18 am
According to a recent Esquire article, Apocolypto is described as Braveheart in loincloths.
0 Replies
 
happytaffy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Oct, 2006 11:49 am
have yall seen the theatrical trailer? Wow. Looks awesome -- intense and very exciting. I am really looking to this one.
0 Replies
 
happytaffy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Nov, 2006 07:34 am
Saw some really cool pictures from this film -- cant wait to see to this. Going to be spectacular
Apoc Pictures
0 Replies
 
kermit
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Nov, 2006 08:45 am
I really think the images of the Mayans look interesting. This seems like an area of history that's gone largely unexplored in film.
0 Replies
 
jokmitch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2006 07:47 pm
apocolyto
Apparently the author of this has never been where this woas filmed1 He has it right on and these are NOT languages that are never spoken, they just aren't writtenh down to my kndowledge. These
firefly wrote:
there and have a friend who lived aomong them for five years as a missionary and spoke the language. You should go there and experinece if for yourself. It really made me feel homesick watching the preview and can;t wait for the movie,\. It is so real. It is n ot a gimmick! And the language is very real. Mel Gibson did an outstanding job on this,

~
firefly wrote:
I don't think it sounds interesting at all.

It's apparently another violent, gimmick film from Gibson, featuring the actors speaking in another dead language a la "The Passion". Since no one is familiar with the language, the movie will be short on dialogue. That might have worked with "The Passion", where most viewers were already very familiar with the story, and actual dialogue was almost incidental to the visual images. With an unfamiliar storyline, this non-verbal approach might not go over very well, and it might come off simply as an overly-simplistic concept linked to strong visual images, and violence--sort of an artsy action cartoon with human participants and lots of blood.

The movie apparently has very little to do with the ancient Mayan culture, and Gibson says the Mayan aspect is merely a "backdrop" for the hero's ordeal. It could just as easily be set elsewhere, but Gibson liked the scenery and the "visuals" his choice of the Mayans provided.

Anthropologists have already criticized aspects of the movie as being inaccurate, based on the info that has already leaked out. For instance, Gibson shows the Mayans as conducting mass human sacrifices, something these people apparently did not do. But, distorting culture or history is no problem for Gibson, particularly if such "artistic license" provides an opportunity for more blood and gore. And the language spoken by the actors in the movie apparently was not the language spoken by the people allegedly portrayed in the film. But heck, what's the difference, since no one watching the film will understand what they are saying anyway, so why bother with authenticity?

The original intention was to bring this movie out this month, as a "summer movie"--possibly with the hope that people would flock to air-conditioned theaters just to escape the heat. It's release was delayed until December because heavy rains delayed filming. It's not exactly an ideal film to bring out just before the start of the Christmas season.

Under the best of conditions this movie might be a hard sell to the public, and Gibson's recent arrest and inflammatory remarks might really wind up completely sinking it at the box office, since he might not even be able to do the usual publicity tour and PR work for the film. And it still remains to be seen whether Apocalypto will even be released, given the brouhaha now swirling around Gibson.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Nov, 2006 07:57 pm
Now people will go away from this film thinking they understand Mayans.
0 Replies
 
kermit
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Dec, 2006 10:36 am
Got to see the movie, and I would say it was pretty amazing. Probably the most memorable movie of the year that I've seen...strong action and amazing scenery. Plus whether or not it teaches people about Mayans, it's a cool alleghory for the way civilizations behave. Great ending.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Dec, 2006 11:09 am
I do not want to spend one nickel on anything that involves Mel Gibson.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Dec, 2006 01:04 pm
A review on the film by an archeologist -

VIEW
'Apocalypto' does disservice to its subjects
Zachary X. Hruby, Special to The Chronicle
Monday, December 11, 2006

LINK TO ARTICLE

"Apocalypto," Mel Gibson's new thriller about the ancient Maya civilization, is exactly that: thrilling. But this entertainment comes at a price.

The Maya at the time of Spanish contact are depicted as idyllic hunters and gatherers, or as genocidal murderers, and neither of these scenarios is accurate. The film represents a step backward in our understanding of the complex cultures that existed in the New World before the Spanish invasion, and it is part of a disturbing trend re-emerging in the film industry, portraying non-Western natives as evil savages.

"King Kong" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" show these natives as uncaring, beastlike and virtually inhuman. "Apocalypto" achieves similar goals, but in a much subtler fashion.

As in "The Passion of the Christ," Gibson utilizes native language to invoke a veneer of credibility for his story, in this case Yucatec Maya, a technique that unfortunately does much to legitimize this rather strange version of Maya history.

First, a typical Maya village is shown as an unorganized group of jungle people who appear to subsist on hunting alone. The Maya were an agricultural people with a very structured social and economic system. Even small villages in the hinterlands of large cities were connected to some political center. The jungle people in Gibson's movie are flabbergasted at the sight of the Maya city, exclaiming that they have never seen such buildings. The truth is, pyramids of comparable size were never more than 20 kilometers away from anywhere in the Maya world, be they occupied or abandoned.

Second, Mayan city people are shown as violent extremists bent on harvesting innocent villagers to provide flesh for sacrifice and women for slaves, leaving the children to die alone in the jungle. Hundreds of men are sacrificed on an Aztec-style sacrificial stone, their headless bodies thrown into a giant ditch reminiscent of a Holocaust documentary or a scene from "The Killing Fields." Problem is, there exists no archaeological, historic or ethnohistoric data to suggest that any such mass sacrifices -- numbering in the thousands, or even hundreds -- took place in the Maya world.

Third, once Gibson paints this bloody picture of 15th century Maya civilization, the ultimate injustice is handed the pre-Columbian Maya. As the jungle hero escapes the evil city and is chased to the edge of the sea by his antagonists, with literally nowhere else to turn, Spanish galleons appear, complete with a small, lead boat carrying a stalwart friar hoisting a crucifix. For Gibson, the new beginning for these lost Mayan people, the Apocalypto, evidently is the coming of the Spaniards and Christianity to the Americas.

Although this film will undoubtedly create interest in the field of Maya archaeology by way of its spectacular reconstructions and beautiful jungle scenes, the lasting impression of Maya and other pre-Columbian civilizations is this: The Maya were simple jungle bands or bloodthirsty masses duped by false religions, resulting in the ruin of their mighty but misguided civilization, and their salvation arrived with the coming of Christian beliefs saddled on the backs of Spanish conquistadors.

As archaeologists struggle to accurately reconstruct ancient Maya society, obstructed by their decimation via Western diseases; destruction of their books, art and history by Spanish friars; and their subjugation and exploitation by the conquistadors, such films as "Apocalypto" represent a significant disparagement of that process.

Further, inaccurate representations by Hollywood of indigenous peoples as amoral, inhuman or uncivilized can only lead to greater misunderstanding and strife in contemporary society. This may be particularly important in a modern world, where common ground is increasingly difficult to come by.

Zachary X. Hruby, Ph.D., is a lecturer and research affiliate in the department of anthropology at UC Riverside, and senior archaeologist at CRM Tech in Riverside. He divides his time between Southern California and Guatemala. This article originally appeared on mesoweb.com.
0 Replies
 
JustanObserver
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Dec, 2006 06:26 pm
ossobuco wrote:
A review on the film by an archeologist -


Unfortunate. I don't care much either way for Mel, but I had a passion over Mayan culture ever since a trip to Chichen Iza as a child. If the Mayans only provided a "backdrop for the main story," he should have kept it as accurate as possible.

There was enough interesting aspects of the Mayan culture to hold up a movie. Shame he didn't go that route.

I'll probably rent it in the future, though. Looks like they did a killer job with the makeup and settings.
0 Replies
 
Atavistic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Dec, 2006 07:24 pm
It's gotten primarily good reviews so far and it looks pretty good to me. I plan on going to see it. I could give two f#$ks about the controversy surrounding Mel and all that.
0 Replies
 
sunlover
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 01:55 pm
The movie sorta touched on some truth, that ancient people sacrificed their captives to satisfy the "gods." Obviously these Mayans hadn't seen rain for some time, hence all the killings, then stopping the killings as the rain fell. But, I've never heard for any ancient people beheading their captives, enjoying it, etc. How very revolting. In a recent news story it was stated that the Mayan people are considering suing Gibson for the manner in which he portrayed these people, as violent savages.

The Aztecs carried out human sacrifice, but more "humanely," cutting out the heart so quickly it still beat. Again, beheadings, I hope, was not part of the practices on either Mayan or Aztec culture. In Jennings' book "Aztec" he described a scene the Spainards came across when first arriving: An enormous (I mean ENORMOUS) statue filled with human hearts. They just followed the smell.

I think these practices were rather common in most tribal people. The Spainards' had some nasty rituals, practices, themselves.

See no redeeming value in this movie and, no, it isn't anything like "Braveheart.'
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manonofthespring
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Jan, 2007 09:36 pm
The Movie Apocolypto
Unbelievably great movie by Mel. He definitely topped Brave Heart with this one! This movie was not only historically interesting, it was a film that kept you on the edge of your seat the entire length of the movie!!! My boyfriend attended the movie with me and he is a high school teacher who is in love with anything historical. He absolutely loved this movie as did I and we both have been talking about it since we left the theater yesterday evening. My boyfriend teaches in So Cal which is mostly hispanic. He loves this movie as he can use it to teach his students about their ancestry. Again, this is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. The authenticity was what caught me/us -the cast/language was beautifully done. kuddos Mel! You did well.
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sunlover
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Jan, 2007 12:23 am
I saw a really stunning special of the Mayans on one of the History Channels few days ago. TV is not exactly like sitting in a classroom or reading a book, if you have to leave or keep getting up to do something half is missed. That show would be a better history lesson than Mel Gibson's movie.

Can't say much about it because I don't recall names but a white man with long white hair and beard came to their lands on a ship. They loved and thought of this man as a God. According to a small number of codexes remaining (Spanish destroyed most of what must have been a complete library) this pyramid was a calendar of the universe.

Mayan Pyramids in Mexico - Teotihuacan (Google)

Deep within the jungles of Mexico and Guatemala and extending into the limestone shelf of the Yucatan peninsula lie the mysterious temples and Mayan pyramids.

While Europe was still in the midst of the Dark Ages, these amazing people had mapped the heavens, evolved the only true writing system native to the Americas and were masters of mathematics.

They invented the calendars we use today. Without metal tools, beasts of burden or even the wheel they were able to construct vast cities across a huge jungle landscape with an amazing degree of architectural perfection and variety. Their legacy in stone, which has survived in a spectacular fashion at places such as Palenque, Tikal, Tulum, Chichen Itza, Copan and Uxmal, lives on as do the seven million descendants of the classic Maya civilization.

The Maya are probably the best-known of the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica. Originating in the Yucatan around 2600 Bl.C. they rose to prominence around A.Dl 250 in present-day southern Mexico. Guatemala, northern Belize and western Honduras. Building on the inherited inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations such as the Olmec, the Maya developed astronomy, calendrical systems and hieroglyphic writing.

The Maya were noted as well for elaborate and highly decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple pyramids, palaces and observatories, all built without metal tools. They were also skilled farmers, clearing large sections of tropical rain forest and, where groundwater was scarce, building sizable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater. The Maya were equally skilled as weavers and potters, and cleared routes through jungles and swamps to foster extensive trade networks with distant peoples.


I don't know why Gibson's movie would represent the history of these great people, unless it occurred in a much later time when the civilization was crumbling. What I saw on the History Channel came from recently completed translations of the few Codexes remaining. Supposedly, the entire library would haave been a calendar of the beginning of this planet and to the end of the earth, how that would occur.
0 Replies
 
Ray
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Jan, 2007 01:31 am
Roeper gave it a thumbs up because of the storytelling, but I doubt he took much account of the inaccurate depiction of the Mayans.

Quote:
Third, once Gibson paints this bloody picture of 15th century Maya civilization, the ultimate injustice is handed the pre-Columbian Maya. As the jungle hero escapes the evil city and is chased to the edge of the sea by his antagonists, with literally nowhere else to turn, Spanish galleons appear, complete with a small, lead boat carrying a stalwart friar hoisting a crucifix. For Gibson, the new beginning for these lost Mayan people, the Apocalypto, evidently is the coming of the Spaniards and Christianity to the Americas.


This sounds like an insult to the Mayans. Another one of Gibson's twisted ideologies. While I find human sacrifices to be revolting, didn't the Spaniards destroy and enslave these people? He must have overlooked that... along with the inquisition.
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