Gladiator and truths
I just went and read the comments on Gladiator. As a writer of both
non-fiction and fiction, I have to always ask myself questions concerning
historical truths, etc. In all honesty, it's not
historical truths that make a piece of fiction, it's what I like to call
"emotional truths." The same happens in non-fiction to some degree. Carl
Sagan could always write emotional truths better than anyone because he
understood how to communicate with people.
I know we are about to read McCullough, and she is absolutely brilliant,
but any writer can overwhelm a reader with detail or historical truths.
And already, I feel to a certain degree that she has fallen in love with
her subjects so much that she forgets her audience. Fiction is about
character and their conflicts, it's about finding some emotional truth that
connects the character to their times, remaining true to it as the
character faces confrontation and resolution. A wonderful historical
writer who does this perfectly is Sheri Holman. Anyone here read The
Stolen Tongue? Or The Dress Lodger?
In closing, I think Ridley Scott's film was a great success in storytelling
and also in film making. Some of those shots were stunning. You could
certainly see his training as an artist. The landscapes, those rose petals
in the arena. I don't think I will ever forget those red rose petals in
the arena, and how they drifted through the air. Also, the character of
Maximus was perfect. And that is what carries a film or a piece of
fiction. Not perfect historical details.