Burgandy Skies

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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Emperor's Club

Okay, now that I've watched the movie I'll try to tackle Number One's question. Still not quite sure what was meant by "subtext"...but two subtle things that came through were the idea of parental influence vs. educational influence and (as my more well-read hubbie pointed out) classicism vs. materialism. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit and whole-heartedly agree that our current culture of the ends justifying the means has lost quite a bit of its classical foundation. Of course, David and I are in the middle of an elective Western Civ course that focuses on Greco-Roman influence, so I'm biased. As to the first Vs. I think that in many ways the movie showed that no matter how influencial a teacher may try to be, parental heritage has a way of winning out, for good or for bad. This movie touched me in a personal way, because it seems like Sedgwick Bell had an eriee similarity to pretty much every important male in my life, especially my brother (who I don't think ever learned the importance of character) and my husband (who, luckily, has, but most likely only because of the grace of God). And I found I related much to him as well, so there but for the grace of God go I (literally).

Anyways, the whole thing dovetailed nicely with much of the research David and I have been doing for his fiction series, which has consisted of very throughly studying the life and times of Julius Caesar. So we had a tremendous amount of fun trying to answer the test questions ourselves and I think I did fairly well, given my still limited knowledge. (Thank you Colleen McCullough for making studying Caeser fun! And thank you Hugh Hewitt for mentioning her books in "In, but Not Of"!)

Ok, I really, really need sleep, but felt a need to post since I actually had something of substance to say.

5 Comments:

  • At 11:21 PM, Blogger David N. Scott said…

    That was a good movie. I really liked Klein in it: he esp. did a good job of acting older, in the present scenes.

     
  • At 11:44 PM, Blogger BurgandySkies said…

    He was great. This was definitely one of the good Klein movies. Right up there with "A Fish called Wanda".

     
  • At 10:45 AM, Blogger Christian Johnson said…

    You certainly caught the main themes and do a good job discussing them. Really to go any deeper would be too pedantic for a blog and/or friendly conversation.

    The subtext I was referring to was its subtle attack against conservatives and republicans. Sedgwick's father is obviously a Republican senator and he doesn't value a "liberal education," he in fact embodies Machiavellian pragmatism. The "ends justify the means" that you mention, as Machiavelli said, "politics is the art of the possible." In doing so, he removed pursuit of an ideal.
    Also the "Bell Foundation" seems to be an attack against the "Heritage Foundation" (a conservative think tank).

    Before I sound too critical, let me point out that I too enjoyed the film, especially given my love of classical philosophy. The overarching themes are good themes to discuss, and the duty based postponement of romantic fulfilment was great.

     
  • At 11:46 AM, Blogger BurgandySkies said…

    I did see those elements in the film but since it wasn't explictly stated, it seemed unfair to judge. After all, there are a huge amount of liberal politicians out there who are very Machiavellian in thier outlook and have no issues with talking about "the children" or "values", even when thier actions don't match thier words (cough, cough, the clintons, cough, cough).
    Anyways, much like the eyes on lobsters, I try to ignore those subtle little jabs at the conservative camp because I like movies too much and otherwise I'd have to give up on watching most of them.

     
  • At 1:41 PM, Blogger David N. Scott said…

    The director interviewed with Hollywoodjesus.com and has been on the 700 club according to IMDB, so he's probably got some rightward leanings.

     

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