For some reason today I was thinking about the various historical films I'd seen (historical in the sense they're set quite a while back, not that they're actually accurate) and I realised that while I don't see as many of these films as other types they are often the ones that I want to see again. So, here we have a list of Kemp's films to watch:
This is the standard "film you must see" in this category, so who am I to leave it out? A main character that is betrayed or beaten up at every turn, and proof that a film can be so very much better if they don't try to force a happy ending. This is definately one to keep.
"My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next."
A war started over a beautiful women, isn't that always the way? This film had some lovely camera work and the view of the fleet sent to invade is awe-inspiring even with so many films using CG to make things bigger these days. I like the fact that Achilles' characterisation isn't betrayed when he spends time with the priestess, you don't expect him to get all lovey and emotional and he doesn't. One point for non-stereotypes. Rational people will tell you that a multitude of arrows to the chest would cause a terminal case of death, but of course we know the real reason =P
"Before my time is done I will look down on your corpse and smile."
Kingdom Of Heaven
Another one with Orlando Bloom in, I'm not picking them because of that =P To be honest I can't remember this film in a large amount of detail (another excuse to watch it again, it's long overdue). I do however remember that it was packed full of quotes that I liked, such as "God will understand, my lord. And if he doesn't, then he is not God and we need not worry", which is very much in line with my outlook on the issue. It's about the Knights Templar and the Saracens, which is another plus to me as well. Overall it's a nice story about doing what is right and was executed very well.
"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth, always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong. That is your oath."
Ah yes, this I really liked. A band of soldiers thrown together by circumstance each with their own personalities, skills and drives, but held together by their respect for Arthur who they would follow into the mouth of hell. After being promised freedom at the conclusion of their final mission they instead get given another task to do, which they are understandably upset at, but they do it. Not for the Empire, not because Arthur commands them to, but because he asks them to. I love the character of Guinevere as well, she's not the faint-at-the-sight-of-blood princess type at all :-)
"Oh, merciful God, I have such need of Your mercy now. Not for myself, but for my knights, for this is truly their hour of need. Deliver them from their trials ahead and I will pay You a thousandfold with any sacrifice You ask of me. And if in Your wisdom, You should determine that sacrifice must be my life for theirs, so that they can once again taste the freedom that has so long been denied to them, I will gladly make that covenant. My death will have a purpose. I ask no more than that."