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Beyond The Known World: The Landscape Of The Eagle
Updated January 31, 2011
The Eagle showcases some of the most stunning landscapes to be found in Scotland. The following slideshow reveals where the areas actually exist.
As Marcus (Channing Tatum) and Esca (Jamie Bell) push northward on their quest to recover the lost eagle of the Ninth Legion, they traverse some of the most scenic areas of Scotland, areas that may very well look now as did to Roman adventurers in the 2nd century. Here our heroes ride in the Lochaber area, pointed towards “The three sisters” at Glencoe. (The three sisters are ascending ridges of Bidean nam Bian, one of the highest and most scenic mountains in Scotland. This area is, according to supervising location manager Duncan Muggoch, “possibly the most famous or infamous Glen in Scotland and was the area of a massacre of the Macdonald clan in 1692.” Today it is a national heritage area used by mountaineers and geologists alike.
Full Metal Cuirass, And Other War Gear From The Eagle
Updated January 31, 2011
In creating the world of The Eagle, the costume and production designers paid attention to every little detail, from masks to make up.
Full Metal Cuirass
In The Eagle, the upper-body armor worn by Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) is a traditional muscle cuirass, which, according to costume designer Michael O'Connor “was a leather (cuir) breastplate made of leather and iron.” The cuirass, which dates back to the Ancient Greeks, was often molded to fit the subject’s own body and constructed in two pieces (a front and back plate). Marcus also sports a belt (or balteus), a piece of military hardware used to hold one’s sword in place that was often decorated and customized.
Annette Bening’s Award-Winning Career
Updated January 24, 2011
Since appearing in her first film, Annette Bening has also been a main stay of Award ceremonies, regularly winning awards for her performances.
The Kids Are All Right (2010): Golden Globe Winner
On January 16, 2011, Annette Bening won a Golden Globe award for Best Actress [Comedy/Musical] for her performance as Nic, the sharp-tongued, no-nonsense mom trying to bring up two teenage kids with her partner Jules (Julianne Moore). In his rave review for New York Magazine, David Edelstein highlights Bening’s unique talent, demonstrated so stunningly in The Kids Are All Right: “Annette Bening has a genius for a kind of 'existential' acting—for illuminating the chink (or moat, or abyss) between a person’s front and the quivering creature underneath, desperately trying to hold the mask in place.” Edelstein was not alone in his appreciation. Bening has so far won a Best Actress award from New York Film Critics Award and Women Film Critics Circle, as well as the Hollywood Award for Actress [of the year]. She has also been nominated for Best Actress for various awards––yet to be handed out––including Screen Actors Guild Award, Spirit Award, and the BAFTAs.
Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online): A Short, Bloody History of Roman War Games
Updated January 21, 2011
As The Eagle’s battle scenes demonstrate, the Roman Army was one of history’s most effective war machines. Legions of gamers, both in board games and online, have tried to emulate them.
Slide 1: Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online) - A Short, Bloody History Of Roman War Games
Kevin MacDonald’s epic The Eagle features Channing Tatum smashing and stabbing his way to victory in multiple face offs between the Roman occupying forces in Britain and the local Celtic tribes. For these fights, filmmakers, trainers and consultants researched both the battle strategies of the Roman troops (well-organized, clockwork maneuvers) and the Celtic tribes (wild, chaotic bursts of violence). In so doing, they joined the legions of gamers who day and night imagine war through the mind of ancient Romans. Of course, as long as there has been modern warfare there have been war games. As governments and armies stage simulated conflicts, both with live troops and computer models, gamers from the casual to the diehard play along to conflicts both real and imaginary. And while chess (which, after all, involves capturing the king) dates back to the 6th century, possibly the earliest military war game was Kriegsspiel, developed in 1812 by two members of the Prussian army. Many of the elements of the games we know today — a board divided into grids, a rulebook full of charts and outcomes, dice — were featured in this early game that was also actually a military training tool.
Rome, the Eternal Story: From Ben Hur to The Eagle
Updated January 21, 2011
The Eagle explores a part of ancient Roman history rarely seen on stage. But the history of Rome changes throughout history as well.
© Photo: Matt Nettheim
Slide 1: Exploring New Territory
Photo: Matt Nettheim
Kevin MacDonald’s epic The Eagle follows Marcus (Channing Tatum), a Roman solider, and Esca (Jamie Bell), a Celtic slave, beyond the known world of the Roman Empire into the terra incognita of ancient Britain in order to recover the lost Eagle of the ninth legion. In making this Roman epic, the filmmakers also explored new territory. For one thing, MacDonald altered how the English are represented in Roman films. “There is a convention in Roman Empire films,” explains MacDonald, “that the Romans be played by Brits, and the Americans play the slaves or freedom fighters. In the 1940s and 1950s, Britain itself was more of an empire so that was likely a factor, but nowadays it made far more sense to have Americans playing the Romans because America is the empire of today.” The Eagle is, in MacDonald’s own words, an “Iraq or Afghanistan war film taking place in the second century.” Writing in TheOohTray.com, Chris McDonald observes, “The tale of the Ninth Legion—an elite cadre of Roman troops who set off north of Hadrian’s Wall to put down the Picts and never returned—seems to have a special relevance in these troubled times. [In The Eagle] the parallels between the modern day Coalition and Ancient Rome couldn’t be more striking—the world’s most powerful state ventures to the wild edge of the world to punish an enemy whom it fails to understand and badly underestimates.”
Jane Eyre Photos
Updated January 11, 2011
People in Film | Cary Fukunaga
Updated January 11, 2011
Get to know Cary Fukunaga, the acclaimed director of Focus Features’ Jane Eyre and Sin Nombre.
Cary Fukunaga | Beginnings
As the story goes, after attending a screening of the restored version of Orson Welles’ Mexican-set Touch of Evil, Jane Eyre director Cary Fukunaga met the great editor Walter Murch, who oversaw the restoration. Murch invited Fukunaga, who had grown up in East Bay and attended U.C. Santa Cruz, to sit in on the sound mix for The Talented Mister Ripley and then gave the erstwhile director simple, sage advice: “Travel.” “There was no reason I should be rushing out to intern at a company just because I wanted to make movies,” recalled Fukunaga to Time Out New York. “I should be having experiences in the world and be able to comment on them when I end up directing films.” So, before attending graduate film school at NYU, Fukunaga spent a year traveling the world, returning with an internationalist cinematic agenda. He told Filmmaker magazine, “I love what Michael Winterbottom’s been doing recently. He’s making films all over the world and investigating all these different cultures. Ideally, that’s what I’d like to do.” Fukunaga’s first filmic border crossing was to Mexico, where he made Victoria Para Chino, a riveting, tragic short about 17 illegal Mexican immigrants who die of suffocation while being smuggled across the border to Victoria, Texas. With a budget of only $5,000, Fukunaga made us feel not only the desperate, stifling heat of the immigrants’ locked trailer but also the larger social injustices that resulted in this tragic true story. The film went to numerous festivals, including Sundance, won a silver medal at the Student Academy Awards and announced Fukunaga as one of the day’s most promising young directors.
Needing the One You Hate: Frenemies from Casablanca to The Eagle
Updated January 07, 2011
Esca, the Celtic Slave, and Aquila, the Roman master, may appear an unlikely team in The Eagle, but the plot of enemies turned friends is a classic cinematic trope.
Slide 1: Roman/Celt
In The Eagle, Marcus Aquila (Channing Tautum) teams up with his Celtic slave Esca (Jamie Bell) to journey past the edge of the known world in search of the lost Eagle of the Ninth. Far from best friends, these two are born enemies whose tentative truce springs from a rough gratitude. While Esca, a Brigantes prince whose father was killed by the Romans, has been turned into a slave, he begrudgingly owes Aquila his life. And while Aquila’s father and his legion of the Ninth was supposedly massacred by Celtic tribes (like the Brigantes), Aquila needs Esca to guide him North of Hadrian’s Wall. As such a marriage of inconvenience is negotiated. But over time, their fragile alliance matures into a real friendship. It is, of course, a classic tale––enemies who become friends. In The Eagle, this bond is forged by and for adventure. But it could just easily be the stuff of comedy or melodrama. In the following slideshow, we look at a handful of these pairs, from Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains finding an unlikely friendship in the classic World War II drama Casablanca to Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy's combative, enforced partnership in the comedy thriller 48 Hours.
Updated January 06, 2011
Since the 1970s, Donald Sutherland has created carefully crafted and unique cinematic characters.
Donald Sutherland | The Eagle's Elder Statesman
In Kevin Macdonald's Roman adventure The Eagle, legendary actor Donald Sutherland plays Aquila, a retired general who is the uncle of the hero, Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum). “Uncle Aquila pushes Marcus, and makes him get out of bed in the morning which at that point in the story is the only thing that keeps Marcus going,” says Tatum. “He’s a wise, quirky man – and that’s who Donald Sutherland is, too.” Though a journeyed veteran like his character, Sutherland differs in that he is far from retired and still has a hunger for the challenge of acting. In a recent interview, Sutherland said, “It’s thrilling, it really is a thrilling way to work. I’ve played loads of characters that have nothing to do with [me]. It’s an interesting challenge that titillates and tantalizes me. It’s limitless the creative possibilities with this.”