View Full Version : The Eagle NO Spoilers

03-26-2011, 12:28 AM
We live in a post modern age, and that is going to be the downfall of this film in terms of ratings. Few people will understand the point of it. A trek to recover a lost artifact. Why bother doing it, and why bother making a rather lengthy film about it. I am not really going to talk about the film, instead, I am going to try and answer those questions. On the film, I found it to be very well ballenced between action sequences and characterizations, Channing Tatum, and his little friend did exceptionally well, the plot was rather good, it covered a lot in a short time witthout seeming to be too disjointed, the script was excellent. The one gripe I had, and most other people noticed this on the way out of the screening. The Picts (A tribe in Scotland that existed about two thousand years ago) were depicted like a tribe of Africa, or Latin America...they danced, they painted themselves, and they drank cocktails of drugs during religious ceremonies...British Tribes DID NOT do those things...but the director is used to portraying Africa...and has imported some african ideas into some of the Scot Tribes this film features. Its not a bad portrayal...except, its not an accurate portrayal.

Now...on to what is more important. The idealogy of post modern civilization is very simple. Anything Goes. There is no right and wrong, anything lawful is permitted, and anything one can get away without being caught, flies also. There is no moral absolutes, there is also no progression. Unlike Modernism, Science isnt put above religion...its simply another possible route. The world, and life are full of nothing but choices, and life is what you make it, and nothing else. How do you manage to get an audience that believes that, to understand a frame of reference two thousand years old, which is not just full of seemingly unfair absolutes....like a single man casting his family by accident into disrepute for generations...does post modernity even understand the concept of disrepute? probably not, because it has no value of the opposite end of that spectrum...the honourable, and the Sacred.

Part of this is due to the second world war. Its a reaction of fear against nationalism. An overcompensation because of a few radicals who believed so definatly in an evil cause, that now noone dares to be slightly nationalistic, incase they get pigeon holed, or cause offence. Anyone who innocently believed in their Standard was killed during those wars and the children left to grow up without a sence of moral, and without a sence of the sacred.

But that was the finishing touches, to something that had been declining for years. It began when Countries decided to mass produce their Standard. A Standard is a representation of the Country in some way. Most nations have Flags, and flags are cheap, mass produced, and not held in the reverence they used to be because of it. They also tend to try and lump too much in one ikon. How can One Banner represent fifty different States for example? Because the lowest common denominator, those flags that symbolise parts of the whole are not very common, and rather then being reverenced for their rareity they are forgotten.

These Flags started life as signals on the battlefield....in a day where Flags were second rate Standards to objects. Objects cost a lot of money and resources to make. Some still exist, but ironically, not on a National level. These Standards are usually in the form of a Mace. A large pole, which is carried into a dwelling place, and signifies the authority or office of a place. Now almost exclusively Judicial...they are rather lovely, and so it may not come as a suprise when I tell you, of the Thirteen Collonies of America, that gained Independance from the British Empire.. Seven, decided to keep and retain their Mace...which was a sign of their State Governments, under British Jurisdication. The Commonwealth of Virginia STILL uses its Mace to this day. Why? Because it allowed some form of order, and gave the people something to hold dear and believe in.

Going back Two Thousand Years then you can understand how these Ikons, actually large objects made of precious metals, were held and valued as symbols of the nation, or its Jurisdiction, or even of a certain Military Regiment.

Unfortunately, Battles are not the cleanest of things, and one supposes that quite regularly, the Standards would be felled, and even taken hostage by the victor as a sign of having conquest over their adversaries. It is in this frame that we should view The Eagle. A Brass Eagle, that was perched ontop of a long pole and carried ahead of its Regiment into battle.

So when a battle was lost, or an entire regiment vanished...What would become of that precious Item...and how far would one go to get it back. To restore what should be, to where it should be. In a culture which either values everything equal, or doesnt really value anything at all, its impossible to explain how such an Ikon can hold the sway and meaning that is so deeply expressed in this film.

I enjoyed it. But then I aint really of this time period in terms of Cultural Values.