Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thoughts about Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto"

I watched Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" on Friday night. Keeping in mind the caveat about not believing everything one sees in the movies, I think the film makes a pretty good "two hour tour" of the late 14th or early 15th century Mayan civilization.

Yes, that's it. That is the whole movie.

You don't believe me? Well, perhaps there were a few minor points that arose in the film that deserve some extra comments:
  • According to Gibson, there is supposed to be some kind of parallel between the Mayans, their downfall at the hands of European invaders, and the Bush Administration and Iraq. You might even believe that if you spent all of your adult life in an ultra-Left wing anthroplogy department. The problem with any such comparison is that modern industrial societies have armies of people called "scientists", "economists", and "political scientists" who get paid to analyze problems and recommend ways of fixing them. Yes, even President Bush has a better grasp of the world and the tools necessary to understand it than his ancient Mayan counterparts.

  • I could have sworn that the grotesque, evil dwarf from "The Passion of the Christ" makes a brief appearance in "Apocalypto". Does this make "Apocalypto" objectively pro-conquistador?

  • It's interesting that a film can show graphic combat scenes, animal violence, human sacrifices, and big piles of dismembered and rotting bodies but still be fairly scrupulous about keeping the actress's tops on and the sex off-camera -- the R-rating must be protected at all costs.

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