Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A mini rant

Hello, bloggers! My God, but it's been a long time since I've been online. Let's not even go into why I've been away. All I'll say is that uni assignments were involved. A lot.

Anyway, the Easter holidays have started, so now I can get back to doing important things, like writing and blogging, and... er... revising. Yeah. And what better way to announce my triumphal return than with a good ranty post? Be warned, I'm not in a particularly good mood today, so that might leak into this post... All right, it's not really a rant, just a minor eruption of frustration...

You may - or then again, you may not - have heard of the film being made by Neil Marshall right now: Centurion, apparently an action/adventure set in AD 117, based on the legend of the Ninth Legion. I've not heard much more than that, but there is one screencap circulating on the Net, featuring recent Bond girl Olga Kurylenko as Pictish warrior woman, Etain:

I could roll my eyes at the zomg!Pictish warrior babe cliché (Keira Knightley has apparently started a trend), or headdesk over the name blatantly picked at random from a Celtic mythology book, or even the panda mascara effect (I'm pretty sure the women of second century Caledonia weren't acquainted with Max Factor). But actually what had me gnashing my pedantic teeth was the blue face-paint in this still. Seriously? Seriously?

Film people, have you even opened a book on Pictish artwork? Considering the most enduring legacy of their civilisation is that self-same artwork, don't you think their body art might possibly have been of a similar calibre? Considering that their entire bloody civilisation is named after their custom of painting themselves (we assume). What do you call that? Really? Are we to infer that the Picts employed three-year-olds to design their battle paint? Gah.

I'm hoping the overall film will be better than its make-up artists suggest, but I'm already looking forward more to Kevin Macdonald's proposed Eagle of the Ninth adaptation. Apparently Jamie Bell is going to be Esca. I think he could play it well. I'll be interested in seeing who they get to play Marcus. And Uncle Aquila. :)

Will be back in the next couple of days, perhaps even with a post on Pictish art. ;)


Gabriele C. said...

Geesh, those few blue streaks wouldn't have scared even the most superstitious Roman. :)

Anonymous said...

I was searching for "eagle of the ninth" and found your post - part of me curled up inside when I saw the still of the "pictish warrior woman" - and then I was relieved when I realised it wasn't from McDonald's film. Rosemary Sutcliff would never have written anything like that!

Anyways, glad I found your blog - it's really interesting!


K.A. Denby said...

Movies and history just never seem to work well together, do they? I feel your pain and annoyance.

Gabriele C. said...

Hi Kirsten, I need some travel tips for Scotland. Stop over at my blog, if you have a moment. :)

Kirsten Campbell said...

Gabriele - Kind of defeats the purpose of it, doesn't it? :P I'll think about some destinations for you. :)

Catherine - Welcome, and thank you. :) I hope we can trust Macdonald not to come up with anything like that. *fingers crossed*

Kristopher - That they don't. :(