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    Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 16:55
Ok,i just saw the movie Kingdom of Heaven,with Orlando Bloom.I suppose you all now it's plot.A blacksmith follows his father in a Crusade in Jerusalem against the infidels.The movie was good in special effects and costumes/armors are more historically accurate.Arabs are presented in a relatively noble way:they are not a bunch of fanatics,but a well-trained and organized army under the command of Saladin.
 
Anyway,what about the Empire of Heaven,the Byzantine Empire?I mean,what the heck ,Byzantines ruled the Holy lands almost 400 years before the Crusades Era.Why they do not do any movie about them?They existed for almost 800 years in the area for God's shake!They had fought hundrends of battles in almost every corner of the Mediterranean Sea:Italy,Balkans,Northern Africa,Middle East.They gave birth to a magnificent Empire,a God's Empire,and a tremendous culture-civilization.They gave birth to numerous worth-noted Generals and Emperors,as well as bad ones ,of course, but this is not the point.I do not want to hear about Richard the Lionheart!I want to hear about Belisarius,Basil the II,Constantine XI,Justinian and others!Angry 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:04
Originally posted by Spartakus Spartakus wrote:

Anyway,what about the Empire of Heaven,the Byzantine Empire?I mean,what the heck ,Byzantines ruled the Holy lands almost 400 years before the Crusades Era.Why they do not do any movie about them?They existed for almost 800 years in the area for God's shake!They had fought hundrends of battles in almost every corner of the Mediterranean Sea:Italy,Balkans,Northern Africa,Middle East.They gave birth to a magnificent Empire,a God's Empire,and a tremendous culture-civilization.They gave birth to numerous worth-noted Generals and Emperors,as well as bad ones ,of course, but this is not the point.I do not want to hear about Richard the Lionheart!I want to hear about Belisarius,Basil the II,Constantine XI,Justinian and others!
 
Yeah, I have asked the same question ever since I became interested in Byzantium!  The fact that no movie has been made about the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 is especially disappointing.  It has all the ingredients for a historical epic.  If directors and producers can use, or make up stories about, such small historical figures as William Wallace and Balian, any of the great emperors, empresses, and generals of Byzantium deserve to have their time on the silver screen!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:12
The thing is that there is no serious reason for not showing.I mean,for example ,Persia is not shown in Hollywood movies,and when it does the outcome is awfull.But there is a reason behind it:Modern Day bad political/diplomatic relations between Iran and USA.Ok,i can understand that.But what has the Byzantine Empire  done to the West,except than flourishing it with it's civilization?Unless the Catholic Church does not want a movie about the glory of a Christian Orthodox Empire.I cannot imagine other reasons.Historical ignorance?But don't these movie producers hire historians?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:24
Originally posted by Spartakus Spartakus wrote:

The thing is that there is no serious reason for not showing(...)Unless the Catholic Church does not want a movie about the glory of a Christian Orthodox Empire.I cannot imagine other reasons.Historical ignorance?But don't these movie producers hire historians?
 
No, the Catholic Church has nothing to do with it.  It has its own problems to deal with rather than worrying about the Orthodox Church and Byzantine history.
 
The movie producers do hire historians, but they don't always (never?) follow their advice.  It does not seem "Hollywood" enough for them, or something that would keep the average joe interested in their opinion.  Also, producers like to inject a modern or anachronistic plot/situation into movies about the ancient and medieval worlds.  If the story does not readily adapt to that injection, then it is probably passed over for something more "sexy." 
 
However, the story of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 as it stands is exciting and dramatic enough for a Hollywood production, without having to be jazzed up.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:27
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

Originally posted by Spartakus Spartakus wrote:

Anyway,what about the Empire of Heaven,the Byzantine Empire?I mean,what the heck ,Byzantines ruled the Holy lands almost 400 years before the Crusades Era.Why they do not do any movie about them?They existed for almost 800 years in the area for God's shake!They had fought hundrends of battles in almost every corner of the Mediterranean Sea:Italy,Balkans,Northern Africa,Middle East.They gave birth to a magnificent Empire,a God's Empire,and a tremendous culture-civilization.They gave birth to numerous worth-noted Generals and Emperors,as well as bad ones ,of course, but this is not the point.I do not want to hear about Richard the Lionheart!I want to hear about Belisarius,Basil the II,Constantine XI,Justinian and others!

 

Yeah, I have asked the same question ever since I became interested in Byzantium!  The fact that no movie has been made about the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 is especially disappointing.  It has all the ingredients for a historical epic.  If directors and producers can use, or make up stories about, such small historical figures as William Wallace and Balian, any of the great emperors, empresses, and generals of Byzantium deserve to have their time on the silver screen!

 

I'd say there's a deficit of narrative, of stories, circulating anywhere near Hollywood for that to happen.

Hollywood dredges through western European history, picking up historical stuff that has already been put into narrative at some time or another. The crusades, the Middle Ages really, was a favourite period of 19th c. romanticism and the first historical novels.
There's quite a bit of an echo of Walter Scot's 19th c. historical crusader novels in Kingdom of Heaven for instance.

And that's another reason why invented or vaguely known figures become the protagonists — old Walter himself set this down as a fundamental principle for writing a successful historical novel: Don't make an important historical character the protagonist, but someone unknown. It makes for a better narrative. History doesn't get in the way of the storytelling so much.
Alexandre Dumas stuck to that principle as well. (But of course you can find all kinds of historical novels that have broken this rule, Grave's "I Claudius" for instance.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:29
Gentlemen, as a business student I have the most pertinent answer to this question you will ever hope to hear: marketability. At the end of the day, Hollywood is an industrial production line, complete with management, marketing, and assembly line workers (comics, dramatists, lighting experts, researchers etc). Except instead of Model T Fords or DVD players rolling off the end of the line, the end product is a movie script.

There just aren't all that many people who will want to see such a movie because so few in society feel any strong connection to Byzantium. Even Greeks themselves seem to consider it a peripheral area of their history compared to the Independence War and their Classical past.

The Patriot was a winner because Americans naturally love such glory epics. Braveheart, while its basic entertainment value is already excellant, further appealed to anyone of Celtic heritage or who held a grudge against the English just because of the way the film was designed. With the current War on Terror and rising popularity of Huntington's Clash of Civilisations, the public has naturally taken a greater interest in what they consider mirrors to our own time in movies like Kingdom of Heaven.

I would love to see a movie on Byzantium, but when it comes down to it you will have to make it really strike a chord on a personal level with a large portion of the population. With the relative ignorance or uninterest of the general public, this will be very hard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:40

I have never ever heard of one single movie witht eh Sassanids in it either...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Byzantine Emperor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:40
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

There just aren't all that many people who will want to see such a movie because so few in society feel any strong connection to Byzantium. Even Greeks themselves seem to consider it a peripheral area of their history compared to the Independence War and their Classical past.
 
How were people supposed to feel connected to a general-turned-slave in the Roman Empire, in Gladiator?
 
Sadly it does seem like the Greeks push Byzantium to the periphery in favor of the more marketable ancient Greek philosophers and brush-helmeted hoplites.
 
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

With the current War on Terror and rising popularity of Huntington's Clash of Civilisations, the public has naturally taken a greater interest in what they consider mirrors to our own time in movies like Kingdom of Heaven.
 
Good point.  This is why I brought up the fact that Hollywood likes to make ancient and medieval movies anachronistic in approach.
 
In America and Europe, Muslims must almost always be portrayed as victimized in some way by white people and Christians in the movies.  A movie on the fall of Constantinople, which would have to portray a largely Muslim army being victorious over a Christian minority, would not be marketable in America and Europe.
 


Edited by Byzantine Emperor - 25-Oct-2006 at 17:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:42

I know Hollywood is a market of movies.It's Capitalism,isn't it?But why not a single one movie all these years?Why not even one ?The only Reference in the Eastern Roman Empire i saw,was in a low budget movie about Attila!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Spartakus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:45

Concerning the Greek feelings about Byzantium,i will tell you this.Make Belisarius talk always in Greek.Even the Emperor.Not in Latin,only in Greek.Then,we can talk about the feelings of Hellens towards Byzantium.....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:48
Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

How were people supposed to feel connected to a general-turned-slave in the Roman Empire, in Gladiator?


Even the lowliest pleb in our own day has heard of the glorious Roman Empire. Yet there is no end to scholars I have met who have worn a look of dormant ignorance when I mentioned "Byzantium". Sad but true.

Originally posted by Byzantine Emperor Byzantine Emperor wrote:

In America and Europe, Muslims must almost always be portrayed as victimized in some way by white people and Christians in the movies.  A movie on the fall of Constantinople, which would have to portray a largely Muslim army being victorious over Christian minority, would not be marketable in America and Europe.


If they did make such a movie, extreme left groups and some minorities would get up in arms over it and have a whinge. After all, I can think of one incident in which someone who dared to express their ideas in film was cutted like a pig by some lunatic who felt offended. All these many centuries of Western Civilisation's struggle to remove censorship and suppression of free speech, and look what we have now Thumbs Down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 17:52
On the other hand, one single well done movie will signifficantly increase the interest on Byzantium. So, market lows have good size as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 18:16
 
 
No one forces the Greeks (or the Persians, or the whatnot) not to make their own movies though. Hollywood focus mainly on the American and secondly the Western European markets and obviously chooses topics that will sell well there. The Eastern Roman empire has a too obscure/unknown place in the folklore in that area and thusly is not favoured. 
 Personally I feel the Great Northern War would make for an excellent epic, as would the Finnish War. The Thirty Years' War would provide for a number of war movies, but I don't have a grudge against Hollywood for not making such things.


Edited by Styrbiorn - 25-Oct-2006 at 18:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Menumorut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2006 at 18:27
I imagine how would be Hollywood to make a great movie about Byzantium.

I think Americans would be shocked but they would like it and they would discover the diversity of World's culture.

Such a movie would be finaly a succes, including financiary.

But perhaps there are interest groups which don't want people to be informed in such measure.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2006 at 04:29
The only reference to 1453 I have ever seen in a movie was get this, in Dracula of 1992.Dead The first line says "1453, Constantinople has fallen....." and cut to an image of Haiga Sophia with a cresent on top.


Edited by Sparten - 26-Oct-2006 at 04:31
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2006 at 06:07
 I'm not overly bothered about the lack of movies that include the Byzantine empire as the central focus. These *modern* epics costs hundreds of millions of $$$ to create, it's risky enough making a movie about something the public is relatively familiar with (Rome), it's even more risky to make a movie about a civilisation all but a few will even of heard of.
 
 I'm more disappointed when it comes to television, the history channels are the biggest culprits here, if you watched just the history channel, you could be convinced that Roman history consisted of nothing more than Julius Caeser, Augustus and Nero and that nothing happened between the 1st crusade and the battle of Stalingrad. Such is the monopoly these snippets of history have.
 
 I have lost count of the number of programmes covering Julius Caesers life and death, in all the years i've been interested in history, i've seen only a single hour long programme to do with Byzantium, in which Justinians rule was discussed. Nothing else.
 
 It's an absolute crime that thousands of years of history and countless civilisations are ignored, to satisfy the majority who know next to nothing about anything important. The only way people are going to become aware of Byzantium and others, is through television or education in schools. However the latter is simply never going to happen, but theres no reason though why the former can't happen.
 
 It goes beyond Byzantium though, how is it that men like Trajan and Constantine the Great, the periods of turmoil the empire endured in the 3rd century, the changes that the empire underwent during those troubled times and even the divide of the empire and the collapse of the west recieve next to zero attention. It's just staggering.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2006 at 06:19
Why are you all so eager to get your favorite empire made into a movie? Every time a movie comes out which pretends to be about the early middle ages, my friends and I sigh and dread in horrid anticipation of how Hollywood managed to f*** up history this time.
 
If course it is about entertainment, but most don't manage even that. Gladiator was good, Kingdom of Heaven was passable, but King Arthur was crap, and I will not even go into horrible mistakes like Tristan and Iseult, Beowulf and Grendel and anything featuring Christopher Lambert...Dead
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chilbudios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2006 at 06:44
Anyone here seen Kampf um Rom / Guerra per Roma? It's an older (late 60s) Italiano-Germano-Romanian movie on Byzantine's wars in Italy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Heraclius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2006 at 07:53
Originally posted by Aelfgifu Aelfgifu wrote:

Why are you all so eager to get your favorite empire made into a movie? Every time a movie comes out which pretends to be about the early middle ages, my friends and I sigh and dread in horrid anticipation of how Hollywood managed to f*** up history this time.
 
If course it is about entertainment, but most don't manage even that. Gladiator was good, Kingdom of Heaven was passable, but King Arthur was crap, and I will not even go into horrible mistakes like Tristan and Iseult, Beowulf and Grendel and anything featuring Christopher Lambert...Dead
 
You should rejoice! You have escaped until now! Big smile
 
 I think it's more about Byzantium recieving some attention over anything else, judging by the majority of *epics* that have been released post-Gladiator, they've been hit and miss. I thought Troy was a fair action movie but had little value elsewhere, Kingdom of Heaven was dreadfully boring and to be frank (bad pun) Orlando Bloom is an absolutely shocking actor. King Arthur is a weird one with me, I kind of enjoy watching it, but I can never take it at all seriously, besides Keira Knightly is in that Orlando Bloom group of actors who are on the whole massively overrated, without the face they are nothing. Alexander is the exception I believe, I think it's very much underrated.
 
 Byzantium is one of many civilisations that deserves some attention IMO.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Oct-2006 at 08:07
Alexander is underrated? Please, in between giving longing looks at his lover, having a shouting match with his dad, and a damn near incestuous relationship with his mother, one wonders how he managed to cinquer the world.
 
If there is a movie made about Byzantium, I would love it to be set say during the macedonian dynasty.
 
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