Posted by Lewis on August 29, 2003
In Reply to: A little more specific? posted by sphinx on August 29, 2003
: : : 1.Braveheart: why the title removed the space between the 2 words? Does this form contain extra meanings?
: : : 2.Jurassic Park: in this film Sam Neil once said: "Life finds the way." (Am I right?) Is it a quote from a poet or a writer?
: : : Thanks!
: : It is common for two words to be put together to make a new word - German in particular does this a lot. It is less common in English, but it does happen - eg. "diehard" or "sweetheart". If the film title had been "Brave Heart" then that would make the film about a heart (person) which (who) was brave. By putting them together - a new noun is created a "braveheart" which means pretty much the same, but which might have other nuances.
: : it may be the case that Scottish people use the compound word "braveheart" as familiarly as they would "sweetheart" - I don't know.
: : [The film was a travesty of history - complete rubbish in which an Australian working for Americans turns a real Scottish hero into a myth. Even worse than "The Patriot" (not the Seagal film, the other one]
: : As for "life find the way" - I think that would be a mis-quote - my recollection is that it is a tenet of Darwinian science that "life finds A way" (or its way).
: : To quote the Levellers "There's only one way of life and that's your own" : more philosphy than 10 Mel Gibson movies
: : [OK, I know he did "Hamlet" reasonably well, but you know what I mean...]
: Why do you hold so hard a stand against Braveheart? Are you a Scottish?
No, I'm not Scottish - Ifor the record, I'm English, although in fact my grandfather was Welsh, hence my name.
I enjoy entertainment and I enjoy history - but I think that if you use history for entertainment ( a good thing) it must not leave people misunderstanding what was real and what was made up (a bad thing).
Braveheart, like a lot of big-budget hollywood productions, partly sold itself on being a true story, yet many important details were incorrect. It is like a lot of "revisionist" entertainment, certain nations are always bad aggressors and certain other nations are their 'victims'. The US film-making industry has a twisted anti-British agenda which never lets the facts get in the way of a good story : you'd think from many films that the IRA were the good guys instead of being a ruthless organised criminal organisation that may have started as "freedom fighters", but now lacks the general support of the Irish people. (Harrison Ford's film about terrorism was an exception - Patriot Games?) I doubt that Hollywood will ever start making films where Bin Laden is the good guy (or the KKK). If they did, you might understand how it feels to have unprincipled killers represented as the 'good guys'.
Whilst Wallace may have been the equivalent of a terrorist in his time, I accept that may be harsh and he is a valid character to portray as a hero, taking into account the different standards that apply. To the scottish he was a hero, even though he lost. Wallace's status is not my concern and is not my objection at all.
"Braveheart" leaves the viewer uncertain as to what was true and makes William Wallace, who undoubtably was a hero to the Scots into an unreal character.
To shed light on the harm that can be caused - the English equivalent would be Robin Hood.
England, conquered and ruled by the Normans, having a hero that strikes back for the Anglo-Saxon oppressed. With Robin Hood, the legend got so large that the kernal of truth has been all but obliterated, so much so that it is difficult to know about the historical character. Films that claim to be factual but do not accurately portray the known facts make it more difficult for people to understand history.
Whole generations grew up believing that cowboys in the United States were all white - it wasn't until films like (aside : does "Blazing Saddles" count?) "Unforgiven" - in which black western characters are protrayed that started to correct an inaccurate stereotype.
I'm not at all against historical fiction - or the heroes from struggles against British rule being portrayed as heroes : Owen Glendower, Eamonn Devalera, William Wallace, Mahatma Ghandi, George Washington or their ilk are all valid characters worthy to be included in films - but films about such people need to be accurate, unless they are clearly billed as fiction.
With children (and adults) watching so much more on screen than they read - understanding the difference between fact and fiction is vitally important.