Saturday, May 05, 2007

Hereafter Effects

It may not actually have been After Effects, but the movie 300, which I finally got around to seeing tonight on what was probably its last weekend in theaters, certainly manifests many of the features of what I call the After Effects Aesthetic. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to make it to this Tuesday's meeting of the LA chapter of SIGGRAPH, where I could actually find out precisely how its movie magic was made. The virtuoso visual effects exploited digital layering technology in every frame, so that even the spurting blood looked like it was pressed between plates of glass.

It was a stunningly bad cinematic experience, so I was happy to have something to focus on other than the abominable script and acting. Having taught Homer for many years, it's striking to see how the great author of the ancients presented such a humanized vision, even of the enemy and even of monsters. In contrast, 300 is all about fighting the racial and polymorphously sexual Other with a little eugenics and misogyny thrown in for good measure.

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