July 03, 2002

ILIAD, THE MOVIE? Damian Penny


Damian Penny points to a denial by writer Fred Barnes of an anecdote in Michael Moore's book about Barnes' confessing he didn't know what the Iliad was about. In attempting to prove Moore a liar, Barnes says:

One, I've never talked to Michael Moore. Two, I have read the Iliad and the Odyssey. I didn't read them until I got to college, but I did read them. So I know exactly what they're about. Besides that, I've seen movie versions of them.

One Small Problem: there's never been an English language movie made of Homer's Iliad. (I actually can't recall any movie at all based on it.). The truthfulness advantage goes to Moore on this one.

UPDATE: Damian wonders if Helen of Troy (1956) (Robert Wise, dir) doesn't count. Good movie, right mythological cycle. Not the Iliad, though (as one might guess from the title, Helen, a minor character in Homer's epic, is the protagonist, rather than Achilles.) The Italian Fury of Achilles (1961, Marino Girolami, dir) is the closest we have to the actual text: I'd forgotten it before.

Posted by BruceR at 02:44 PM



Seen at DailyPundit, re the wedding guests unwittingly killed by an AC-130 the other night:

Perhaps the new Afghani government should start a public education campaign noting that firing small arms at nearby gunships is not a survival-enhancing habit, however culturally accepted.

You really don't want to be firing guns in the air with an AC-130 orbiting the scene. It's not on the list of really bright things to be doing, tradition or no.

Show me where in the Koran where it says to fire guns in the air and I'll give up thinking that these savages were morons to the core.

I am surprised and disturbed by the outcry among blog fans regarding the recent unintentional killings of Afghan civilians by U.S. air power. While the acts do not appear at first blush to be as outrageous a violation of the rules of military conduct as the earlier bombing of Canadians was, their self-righteous anger at the very idea America is being criticized for its soldiers' actions does the reputation of pro-war bloggers and their fans no good service. It appears we have forgotten already Churchill's words in defending the sensure of General Dyer after his massacre of civilians in Amritsar in 1919:

"...As we contemplate the great physical forces and the power at the disposal of the British Government in their relations with the native population of India, we ought to remember the words of Macaulay "and then was seen what we believed to be the most frightful of all spectacles, the strength of civilisation without its mercy" Our reign in India or anywhere else has never stood on the basis of physical force alone, and it would be fatal to the British Empire if we were to try to base ourselves only upon it. The British way of doing things, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for India, who feels intensely upon this subject, has pointed out, has always meant and implied close and effectual co-operation with the people of the country. In every part of the British Empire that has been our aim, and in no part have we arrived at such success as in India, whose princes spent their treasure in our cause, whose brave soldiers fought side by side with our own men, whose intelligent and gifted people are co-operating at the present moment with us in every sphere of government and of industry."

Posted by BruceR at 01:24 PM