Caligula: Motivations of the Directors

Topics: Caligula, Gore Vidal, Comedy Pages: 2 (425 words) Published: December 4, 2006
What were the motivations of the directors and writers of the film Caligula? Can this film be seen as an example of historical fiction?

Is Bob Guccione the director?
Not quite. Bob Guccione was the executive producer and after firing Tinto Brass from the director's/editor's chair, personally re-shot six minutes worth of sex scenes and ordered massive re-edits on the film. Still, 95% of the finished movie was directed Tinto Brass, albeit not edited the way he intended. Did Gore Vidal disown the film because Bob Guccione and Tinto Brass added explicit sex and gore to the film? No. He disowned the film shortly after the principal photography began, when he found out that Tinto Brass and the lead actor, Malcolm McDowell, altered the film's historical drama into a surreal political satire. The botched film released today was the futile attempt of Giancarlo Lui to reconstruct Gore Vidal's original inention.

For example, Drusilla was dead for over a year before Caligula met Caesonia. It's very unlikely that Caligula and his sister were sexually involved. Nerva died four years earlier than the film shows. Historically, Longinus and Proculus had very different roles within Caligula's court. Livia was actually one of Caligula's many (unmentioned in the film) wives he had married before Caesonia and after their divorce, she (Livia) was banished to a small province. In reality, Ennia was not banished and Macro was not executed, both of them swallowed poison rather than having their estate confiscated and then face the humiliation of expulsion from Rome. The Imperial Bordello was in reality a set of small rooms where the acts were done in relative privacy. There are many more examples, but these are the main ones. Also, like in Cleopatra and, to a lesser extent, Gladiator, the sets and costumes are way too over-the-top and flamboyantly spectacular to be classified as "historically accurate."

Tinto Brass and Malcolm...
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