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RE: [mythsoc] Swordsmanship in some of today's fantasy movies

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  • Croft, Janet B
    The other fight that bothered me in HPII was the wizard s duel between Harry and Draco. They set it up on the analogy of a swordfight, with a salute to your
    Message 1 of 9 , May 23, 2003
      The other fight that bothered me in HPII was the wizard's duel between Harry
      and Draco. They set it up on the analogy of a swordfight, with a salute to
      your opponent and everything -- and even take a swordfighting stance, with
      one arm extended, body turned sideways to present a smaller target, proper
      foot placement, back arm up for balance -- but then, they have one of them
      hold his wand in the extended hand and the other hold it in the back hand
      arched up over his head! I imagine it was so both boys could face the
      camera at all times, but it looks awkward and wrong and sets my teeth on
      edge whenever I see it. Why didn't they just make one of them a lefty and
      stand them mirror-image to each other, if they must have full-face views of
      both? Grr, grr, grr.

      On the other hand, some of the weapons work in Matrix Reloaded is quite
      nice, especially in the staircase sequence at the Merovingian's palace.
      Anyone else seen it? I think the pacing was not as good as in the first one
      -- the expository scenes and the fight sequences both seemed to go on far
      too long.

      Janet

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano [mailto:lizziewriter@...]
      Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 7:28 AM
      To: Mythsoc
      Subject: [mythsoc] Swordsmanship in some of today's fantasy movies


      OK I am not a movie fan, or rather, I haven't made time to be one. I
      haven't seen many movies lately. But I've seen FOTR twice, and most of the
      first two Harry Potter movies. In fact I saw the second half of Chamber of
      Secrets last night. As Harry was swinging Godric Griffyndor's (sp) sword
      around, I had a severe case of being unable to suspend disbelief. No way
      could he wave that thing one-handed.

      Comments anyone?

      Lizzie Triano
      lizziewriter@...
      amor vincit omnia





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    • Joshua Kronengold
      ... Huh? What s wrong with that -- the arched over his head stance is a perfectly usable (if non-intuitive) fencing stance (in rennaiscance swordsmanship);
      Message 2 of 9 , May 23, 2003
        Croft, Janet B writes:
        >foot placement, back arm up for balance -- but then, they have one of them
        >hold his wand in the extended hand and the other hold it in the back hand
        >arched up over his head!

        Huh?

        What's wrong with that -- the "arched over his head" stance is a
        perfectly usable (if non-intuitive) fencing stance (in rennaiscance
        swordsmanship); it allows for a bunch of fairly powerful cuts (and
        near as I can tell, is much more viable when attacks are more likely
        to be made on the pass rather than on the lunge, but that's neither
        here nor there).

        >On the other hand, some of the weapons work in Matrix Reloaded is quite
        >nice, especially in the staircase sequence at the Merovingian's palace.

        I should probably see MR at some point, but no way am I paying full
        theatre prices for it.

        Maybe a matinee.

        --
        Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
        --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
        /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
        /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
      • Joshua Kronengold
        ... I know a fair bit about wielding a sword (fenced in the SCA for 10 years, studied classical and historical fencing under Maestro Ramone Martinez for 3),
        Message 3 of 9 , May 23, 2003
          Elizabeth Apgar Triano writes:
          >sword in the book. I don't know that much about wielding a sword, but I
          >guess I've handled them in play some. Looking at the lovely curve of
          >Hadhafang, and the picture of Arwen's gloved hand on it's beautifully
          >inlaid grip, all I could think was: she'd never get much leverage with
          >that thing one-handed.

          I know a fair bit about wielding a sword (fenced in the SCA for >10
          years, studied classical and historical fencing under Maestro Ramone
          Martinez for >3), and don't really see the problem with wielding
          Hadhafang one-handed -- based on the curve, it's primarily a cutting
          blade, and should carry itself around nicely; sabres (which is
          basically what it is) -should- be blade-heavy.

          OTOH, she's really setting herself up for a hand injury with the way
          that blade leaves her hand open, and without at least -some- kind of
          quillions or guard, she's got a lot fewer options when it comes to
          guarding against low attacks (like those from Sauron's orcs are likely
          to throw); normally, you want to catch your opponents attacks on the
          forte (the back 1/3 of the blade), and can drop your center of balance
          to parry something low if you don't have time to reverse into a low
          guard (with the blade pointing down), but with the way Hadhafang is
          outfitted, I'm guessing Arwen's planning on doing a lot of dodging.

          --
          Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
          --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
          /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
          /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
        • Croft, Janet B
          ... From: Joshua Kronengold [mailto:mneme@io.com] Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 11:38 AM To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Swordsmanship in some
          Message 4 of 9 , May 23, 2003
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Joshua Kronengold [mailto:mneme@...]
            Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 11:38 AM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Swordsmanship in some of today's fantasy movies


            Croft, Janet B writes:
            >foot placement, back arm up for balance -- but then, they have one of them
            >hold his wand in the extended hand and the other hold it in the back hand
            >arched up over his head!

            Huh?

            What's wrong with that -- the "arched over his head" stance is a
            perfectly usable (if non-intuitive) fencing stance (in rennaiscance
            swordsmanship); it allows for a bunch of fairly powerful cuts (and
            near as I can tell, is much more viable when attacks are more likely
            to be made on the pass rather than on the lunge, but that's neither
            here nor there).

            Okay, I didn't realize you could do that. I guess it would make sense in an
            actual fight, although wouldn't you have to twist across your body or drop
            down on one knee in order to actually hit anything that way? These are kids
            having their first lesson -- though I wouldn't put it past Lucius Malfoy to
            give his son some unsanctioned early training in duelling. I _think_ Draco
            was the one holding his wand this way.

            >On the other hand, some of the weapons work in Matrix Reloaded is quite
            >nice, especially in the staircase sequence at the Merovingian's palace.

            I should probably see MR at some point, but no way am I paying full
            theatre prices for it.



            Maybe a matinee.


            Don't blame you -- not as good as the first, but I doubt the third one will
            make sense without it. ALthough the first one, like the original Star Wars,
            could stand alone, the second is mainly a bridge.

            Janet


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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Joshua Kronengold
            ... Understandable -- and it certainly -can- be used badly. ... Not really you have to move your feet (depnding on distance and weapon length, of course), but
            Message 5 of 9 , May 23, 2003
              Croft, Janet B writes:
              >Joshua Kronengold Writes:
              >>Croft, Janet B writes:
              >>>foot placement, back arm up for balance -- but then, they have one of them
              >>>hold his wand in the extended hand and the other hold it in the back hand
              >>>arched up over his head!
              >>What's wrong with that -- the "arched over his head" stance is a
              >>perfectly usable (if non-intuitive) fencing stance (in rennaiscance
              >>swordsmanship);
              >Okay, I didn't realize you could do that.

              Understandable -- and it certainly -can- be used badly.

              >I guess it would make sense in an actual fight, although wouldn't you
              >have to twist across your body or drop down on one knee in order to
              >actually hit anything that way?

              Not really you have to move your feet (depnding on distance and weapon
              length, of course), but a simple pass forward (ie, take a step with
              the back foot that makes it the leading foot) will put you in line to
              thrust or cut, have a good chance of avoiding your opponent's attack
              from the movement alone, and give you momentum that you can use on
              your attack, while a pass backward gives you a lot of flexiblity in
              avoiding a firm opponent's attack (you can end up in pretty much any
              angle), and set up for an immediate counterattack.

              In many ways, like various other "refused" stances, its very weakness
              is its strength -- you cannot attack without some movement, but you
              can move in almost any direction when you do so.

              Anyways, enough fencing talk for this post. :)

              >having their first lesson -- though I wouldn't put it past Lucius Malfoy to
              >give his son some unsanctioned early training in duelling. I _think_ Draco
              >was the one holding his wand this way.

              It actually seemed fairly clear that Draco had had some unsanctioned
              early training in dueling, somehow. :)

              [Matrix Reloaded]
              >Don't blame you -- not as good as the first, but I doubt the third one will
              >make sense without it. ALthough the first one, like the original Star Wars,
              >could stand alone, the second is mainly a bridge.

              Oh, I understand, and do want to see it, pointless combat scenes and
              all (I may then go home and watch something with Jet Li in it and
              subtitles, but that's another matter); but it's somehow much more
              worth it at $4 than at $10.50 (which seems to be the going rate in
              NYC).

              --
              Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
              --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
              /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
              /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
            • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
              It s funny those of my friends who have read the Harry Potter series had the exact opposite complaint. They thought that Godric Gryfffyndor s sword would be
              Message 6 of 9 , May 23, 2003
                It's funny those of my friends who have read the Harry Potter series had the
                exact opposite complaint. They thought that Godric Gryfffyndor's sword
                would be something more than a rapier. A bastard sword can be used with
                either one hand or two, and still it looks rather impressively large. Also
                considering how bad Harry's blade work was in that movie he would be more
                than strong enough to use a blade like that.
                -----Original Message-----
                From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano [mailto:lizziewriter@...]
                Sent: Friday, May 23, 2003 5:28 AM
                To: Mythsoc
                Subject: [mythsoc] Swordsmanship in some of today's fantasy movies


                OK I am not a movie fan, or rather, I haven't made time to be one. I
                haven't seen many movies lately. But I've seen FOTR twice, and most of
                the
                first two Harry Potter movies. In fact I saw the second half of Chamber
                of
                Secrets last night. As Harry was swinging Godric Griffyndor's (sp) sword
                around, I had a severe case of being unable to suspend disbelief. No way
                could he wave that thing one-handed.


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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                Message 7 of 9 , May 23, 2003
                  << It's funny those of my friends who have read the Harry Potter series had
                  the
                  exact opposite complaint. They thought that Godric Gryfffyndor's sword
                  would be something more than a rapier. A bastard sword can be used with
                  either one hand or two, and still it looks rather impressively large. Also
                  considering how bad Harry's blade work was in that movie he would be more
                  than strong enough to use a blade like that. >>

                  Considering the thing came out of a hat, I wouldn't be surprised if it
                  adjusted its size to suit the wielder.

                  And I still maintain that even were I to be standing there holding a
                  machete, if that giant snake came at me it would probably knock me down.
                  Let alone some fool kid with sweaty hands.

                  But I've been given a lot of information both offlist and on today, and I
                  guess I need to digest and reform my opinions.

                  I should hardly think that fencing is That off topic. After all
                  swordsmanship is quite evident in so much of the beloved literature; it
                  should be believable.

                  Lizzie Triano
                  lizziewriter@...
                  amor vincit omnia
                • Michael Martinez
                  ... When I was Daniel Radcliffe s age, I had very little trouble swinging a sword of about the same size and shape. His actions in the movie are hardly
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 24, 2003
                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Elizabeth Apgar Triano"
                    <lizziewriter@e...> wrote:
                    > OK I am not a movie fan, or rather, I haven't made time to be one.
                    > I haven't seen many movies lately. But I've seen FOTR twice, and
                    > most of the first two Harry Potter movies. In fact I saw the
                    > second half of Chamber of Secrets last night. As Harry was
                    > swinging Godric Griffyndor's (sp) sword around, I had a severe case
                    > of being unable to suspend disbelief. No way
                    > could he wave that thing one-handed.

                    When I was Daniel Radcliffe's age, I had very little trouble swinging
                    a sword of about the same size and shape. His actions in the movie
                    are hardly tutored (I have a bigger problem with him actually killing
                    the giant snake the way he does -- but then, Harry IS supposed to be
                    showing remarkable courage).

                    If the sword's weight is distributed properly, a young teenage boy
                    can learn to use it well enough. It's not like the Gryffindor blade
                    was a six foot long claymore.

                    And, presumably, it was also a magical sword (so the magic should
                    help Harry in all sorts of ways).
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