Wednesday, August 17, 2005


That is, cinematic depictions of Beowulf. Dr. Scott Nokes picked up on the Lambert post below and further made note of this version of Beowulf, and points to dkp's fuller treatment of it. The movie is currently in production for the big screen via the dubious magic of motion capture (à la Polar Express and Peter Jackson's Gollum). It is directed by Roger Zemeckis and includes, inter alia, Anthony Hopkins in its cast.

Not to be confused with Zemeckis' film is the live action Beowulf and Grendel (imdb), also currently in production. It is being filmed in Iceland (as perfect a place as any outside of Denmark itself) under the direction of Sturla Gunnarsson. The writer, a Latvian (woohoo!), has a blog about the movie here on blogspot. I'm not too terribly confident so far in his knowledge of the themes of the poem.

Then, finally, there's this version, which I only just stumbled across on imdb and know nothing about.

I'm not really sure what I think of all this. I guess I'm glad for the exposure for a poem I love so much, but I suspect most moviemakers don't look to it for the same things I do, so who knows how any of these will turn out. The story can so easily become merely a vehicle for FX, but it would be nice if somehow out of all this came a movie that allows a glimpse at the old Germanic world with some human substance to it. Beyond the imaginative world of monsters and myths that Germanic lore has contributed to modern fantasy, I would love to see a movie that looks at what it was like to live in the culture that produced that mythology, for good or ill, what traits, virtues, and vices it tended to promote (or discourage), etc. But in the end, I'll probably have to settle for getting this from my own reading, and eye candy from the theater.

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