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It’s All Greek To Me

May 18, 2009

In the beginning, the Earth was a stadium, which was ruled by Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith. Well maybe not the whole Earth, but the whole of pop culture. The year was 1981. Cineplexes seemed to be ruled by the Brits: Terry Gilliam and the Time Bandits, Dudley Moore and Sir John Gielgud in Arthur, and Ben Cross in Chariots of Fire.

bubo2I, however, was ruled by Harry Hamlin. Perseus: Pegasus-tamer, Medusa-killer…and my first crush. Looking back, I’m not sure if it was his full lips, his curly mop, or the barely-there loincloth. I do, however, at the tender age of 8, remember liking his circle of friends. When you’ve only grown up with a poodle, a metallic owl and winged horse seem pretty effin’ cool….and a poodle does not take too kindly to being saddled…or ridden, for that matter…especially by a child who hitherto had been happy immersing himself in Paddington the Bear books.

Perseus, and Harry, awakened something in me…some gnawing feeling that I was living in the wrong time. Somehow, I sincerely believed, I was supposed to cast in plaster and, like Perseus, picked from among the chiseled chess set to face my Fates on the field. The feeling of being dislocated abated over time, but it never disappeared. If only I could be a Time Bandit, too….Damn you, David Warner and your Evil Genius!!

Flash forward…

When I was vacationing in Greece in the late 90s, I found myself in a gay bar (faux shock) dancing shirtless (real shock) with a myriad of Mediterraneans. Looking through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the bar, you could gaze in reverential awe at the Acropolis, awash in orange-tinted lights…Did it look this way by firelight “back in the day.” My pharmocologically induced mysticism led me to answer yes, and I found myself deeply believing that over 2,000 years ago, another bevy of shirtless of boys had hedonistically danced in the shadow of the Acropolis…and, of course, dear Perseus and Harry Hamlin came to mind. To me – they were one and the same. Beautiful men given the chance to partake in something far grander than themselves.

Yes, even a film, however mediocre, offers one a legacy….not as timeless as the Greek myths, but a celluloid column in the temple of pop culture is nothing at which to shake a Gorgon’s head. And the film, like the mythic movie, offers me the chance to see my own beginning….with form and celluloid…and remark “it is good.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. bgbfarms permalink
    August 31, 2009 12:59 am

    I love this movie… it’s sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 1980 it’s ridiculous… but it’also soooooooooooooooooooooo classic that the world would be less without it.. long live Clash of the Titans… and Rocky Horror. 🙂

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