April 12, 2012
Clash of the Titans (1981) Cultural Accuracy
The classic cinematic masterpiece “The Clash of the Titans” tells the tale of Perseus, one of the first great hero’s of ancient Greece. The film has excellent set and costume design with very accurate depictions of ancient Greek culture. From comparing the art and architecture featured in the film to the examples we learned about in class and other examples I found myself, the film appears to be set around the high to late Greek classical period and also features influences from the Near East. Perseus is supposed to have founded Mycenae, meaning the era the movie appears to take place in is closer to the time the tale originated than when it supposedly takes place. This classic Greek myth of Perseus and Andromeda was one of the first founding myths and hero tales of ancient Greece (“That’s Greece”). Also one of the most certain ways we can tell the tale is set in Greek times is because the king of the gods is called “Zeus” whereas if it were Roman times he would be called “Jupiter”. The first part of film takes place on the Attic island of Seriphos. The director, Desmond Davis, decided to shot the film in England because the appropriate locations in America such as the Grand Canyon and coastal California are easily recognizable because of their overuse by Television. England has diverse geography largely unfamiliar to American audience; they also shot at several locations in Spain and Pestume in southern Italy for Medusa sequence. In the Mount Olympus scene the goddess’ are seen wearing a variety of toga styles, some featuring a deep v-neck, while others wide arms holes with open sleeves with slits such as the one depicted in Athena, Herakles, and “Atlas with the Apples of the Hesperides” metope from the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, Geece (Figure 1). Zesus’ throne room at Mount Olympus has large gold griffins guarding entrance reminiscent of Babylonian works at Lamassu, citadel of...
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