Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The New Peplum

Band: HROSSHARSGRANI (indirectly)
Title: The New Peplum
Eh?  It’s the title of a book, published by pop culture scholar Nickolas Diak (he of Ceremony Of Innocence renown), whose title is explained below.
Format: Well, it’s a book, with pages.  Unless you buy the Kindle version, of course.  See below for details of where to grab one should your appetite for Peplum be whetted
Edition: Presumably unlimited

“Are you not entertained?”

Whilst these could be the words of Nazgul to the wider masses in response to his ongoing efforts on this Blog, they are more accurately the prophetic words of Gladiator's Maximus Decimus Meridius, signifying that a new era of sword and sandal films and television shows that began in the 1990s, had officially arrived.

The critical and commercial success of Ridley Scott's Gladiator, combined with small screen popularity of Xena: Warrior Princess, reignited interest in the genre, and soon the gates were opened for movies and shows such as 300, Spartacus, Rome, Troy and many more.  Peplum or "sword-and-sandal" films - an Italian genre of the late 1950s through the 1960s - featured ancient Greek, Roman and Biblical stories with gladiators, mythological monsters and legendary quests.  This contemporary wave of historic epics, known as neo-pepla, is distinctively different from the peplum films of decades past due to its embracement of new technologies and storytelling techniques, creating truly epic and immersive experiences that could not be realized before.

This collection of essays, edited by said Mr Diak, examines the neo-peplum phenomenon, taking a critical look at a variety of topics such as antiquity stories adapted from comic books as with Hercules staring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, how sword and planet films such as Jupiter Ascending and John Carter expand genre boundaries, depictions of Romans and slaves in Spartacus, and how films such as The Eagle and Centurion are a metaphor for American soldiers during the Iraq War.

The reason for the inclusion of this book in Honour and Darkness comes with a fleeting reference on page 10 to Hugin’s very own Hrossharsgrani project, which you may read for yourself from the photograph below:

Look carefully for the Hrossharsgrani reference....
Having seen no more of the volume that this one page, Nazgul’s not in a position to pass any particular comment on the book in the round save to add this one review found online for it courtesy of the Goodreads website:

“I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.  I knew absolutely nothing about this subject, but it's now something that I'm interested to learn more about. A really fascinating critical look at sword and sandal films and tv series. I do wish that I'd actually seen more of these programs or films, as that would definitely be helpful for understanding some of these essays, but still comprehensible and interesting to read (plus anything with essays about Xena is always a win :) )”

You can check out Nick’s own site for links to where to obtain your copy if Peplum lights your wick, floats your boat or otherwise girds your loins:

The proud author strikes a pose

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.