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Rome, the Eternal Story: From Ben Hur to The Eagle
Posted January 21, 2011 to photo album "Rome, the Eternal Story: From Ben Hur to The Eagle"
The Eagle explores a part of ancient Roman history rarely seen on stage. But the history of Rome changes throughout history as well.
Slide 2: Rome - The Eternal, Ever-Changing City
Director Kevin MacDonald’s Rome is not the Rome found in other films. As Roland Barthes so perceptively pointed out in his 1954 essay “The Romans in Films,” “the sign is ambiguous.” Rome is both eternal and ethereal, a cultural landscape we all share but whose precise meaning continually shifts through history. In our popular imagination Rome has been at times one of history’s largest empires; a colonial power that persecuted Christ; a degenerate society in thrall to gladiatorial blood sport; a culture overseen by the magical and idiosyncratic mysticism of the pantheon of Roman goods and goddesses; the civilizing force whose soldiers bought culture to barbarians of Europe, Asia and Africa; and some or all of the above. As the following films highlight, each generation seems to re-build Rome in their own image.