Hero In Popular Culture- One Term Paper

Length: 8 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Film Type: Term Paper Paper: #47675589 Related Topics: Lion, Flags Of Our Fathers, Costumes, Green Mountain Resort
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Camera angles that focus on wretched faces, of young boys in red coated uniforms begging for mercy, and of the arrogance of the British officer corps, not just towards Americans, but towards their own enlisted men, are shown with filming skill. As might be expected for this type of film, John Williams' score was masterful and very much in line with the generation of epics from the 1950s and 1960s -- painting a realistic picture of the film without dialog. Similarly, the audience is set up between the idyllic farm and hard work of a widower in the opening scene to the juxtaposition and hoped for return to normalcy in the final moments -- however, knowing that things will never be as they were (See: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=336714&contentTypeId=130&category=trailer). The scene, however, that most stays with the audience is not one of the grander battles, but a one-on-one battle between Benjamin and Tavington, the British officer that killed Gabriel and ordered Gabriel's wife and townspeople burned alive for aiding the Continentals. Tavington seems to be the victor in the fight, but at the last moment, Benjamin evades Tavington's blade and uses his bayonet to impale Tavington noting that his sons were better men than the British officer.

LION OF THE DESERT -- In many ways, the 1981 film Lion of the Desert has more in common with Taras than with The Patriot. Like Braveheart and Taras, Lion of the Desert deals with the very real themes of nationalism, an invading colonial power, and the consequences of challenging a greater technological force. The film, funded by the Libyan government under Muammar al-Gaddafi is set in pre-World War II Libya which, by 1929, was in the midst of Italian colonization and the establishment of "The Fourth Shore," a rebirth of the old Roman Empire near the ancient city of Carthage. Omar Mukhtar (Anthony Quinn) leaders the resistance to the fascist. Like Benjamin in The Patriot, though, Mukhtar is a benevolent man (a teacher) by profession, but a warrior by obligation. Mukhtar understands, though, that the war cannot be won in his lifetime, especially since the Italian Army is so much better equipped and the Italian Army willing to kill prisoners, destroy crops, and use civilians as fodder. Similar to The Patriot, Mukhtar knows he cannot win battles using formal tactics, but resorts to denying the Italians a victory through guerilla warfare. In a scene that stays with the viewer long after the film's completion, Mukhtar refuses to kill a young captured Italian officer, despite the fact that his adversary has killed hundreds of Mukhtar's kinsmen. Instead, in a moving bit of dialog, Mukhtar gives the soldier an Italian flag, telling him to return to his commanding officer with the message that Islam forbids the useless killing of captured soldiers and demands only that the faithful fight for their homeland, for war is not something to which one should strive.

The film was made for a paltry $35, low for something this epic, and with this level of actor. It clearly has a political bias, and was banned from Italy for over a decade. The critics did not find many factual errors in the film, just a strong sense of viewpoint and portrayal of the good (Islam) and the bad (Italian fascism) without, again, any grey or willingness to acknowledge that both sides committed atrocities. The cinematography was epic, but studied; and the dialog slightly stiff. The film could have been aided by a masterful score, but was just average. Filmed entirely in Libya, the accuracy of costuming and set were important components within the film. Like Braveheart though, the opening and closing scenes depict a population that, if left alone by colonial madmen (Rod Steiger as Mussolini, Patrick McGoowan as King Edward I) the world would be a happier place. In fact, the scene in Braveheart in which Longshanks tosses his Son's confidant out of the window and...


The movie is the story of the last part of the life of Irish patriot and revolutionary, Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), who died in the Irish Civil War. Like Braveheart, the movie centers around the conflict between a colonial power (England) and an population that wants self-rule, in this case the Irish. There are political and social parallels between Taras and The Patriot as well -- again, who is the revolutionary/terrorist, and who si the patriot. After all, at this time, despite the modern slant of inequity, England did have political control over Ireland. Unlike some of the other films, though, Collins is a dedicated revolutionary.

Neil Jordan's direction of the film emphasizes the mundanity of the time; dark, wet, scenes -- nothing at all romanticized; baggy costumes, unwashed individuals, and a very powerful use of the montage of actual footage from Michael Collins' funeral, with a eulogy commenting on the struggle -- perhaps the most powerful scene in the movie. Much of the film is filmed as dialog within courts, everyday homes, and meetings designed to show that the struggle was one of the people -- down up -- as opposed to a revolution from above. Only slightly less dogmatic than the British in The Patriot, the ruling class is seen as arrogant, sure of themselves, and even a portrayal of Winston Churchill is unsympathetic in the overall entitlement mentality shown by the British.

Like the previous heroes, though, the cause for which Michael Collins fights is underfunded and not at the technological or organizational sophistication of the antagonist power. From the very beginning, though, the audience is given only enough information to side with the Irish (i.e. substitute Irish for Cossacks, Libyans, Colonialists, Scottish, etc.). In this regard, none of the films are balanced, but they are not billed, funded, nor meant to be biopics. Instead, one of the major commonalities from a film perspective is the manner in which the camera is used to either portray the event in a grand scale, or to focus the audience on a small detail or emotion that lends credibility to the character. Not really formulaic in total, each film though opens with an emotive scene designed to show the world as it should be -- or as it would be if there was no outside interference. One might call this the "Eden Syndrome," in that these opening scenes depict life in a such an idyllic manner, who could possibly want to upset such mirth? Through the machinations, though, of doing what is morally right, the fight for justice takes a toll on each character -- whether a loss of a bit of their soul, or the tortuous loss of their life -- each heroic character must pay a price in order to fulfill destiny. In this respect, the idea of a Greek Tragic Play arises again, as does the issue of manipulation by an entity almost playing chess between the sides -- asking, of course, what one is willing to sacrifice in order to ultimately achieve the necessary reward, if not on the final battlefield of the movie, then perhaps in the next life.


Bittarello, M.B. (2008). "Re-Crafting the Past: The Complex Relationship

Between Myth and Ritual." Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 10(2): 214.


Brown, Todd. (2007). "Footage from Taras Bulba." Twitch. Cited in:


"Cossack Brotherhood." (1962). Taras Bulba. Cited in:


"Lion of the Desert." (1981). Film Clip. Cited in:


"Michael Collins," (1986). Cited in:


"Taras Bulba." (1962). Cited in: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056556/plotsummary

"The Patriot." (1998). Cited in: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120786/

"The Patriot." (1998) Film Clips. Cited in:


Sources Used in Documents:


Bittarello, M.B. (2008). "Re-Crafting the Past: The Complex Relationship

Between Myth and Ritual." Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies. 10(2): 214.


Brown, Todd. (2007). "Footage from Taras Bulba." Twitch. Cited in:

Cite this Document:

"Hero In Popular Culture- One" (2010, April 01) Retrieved October 24, 2021, from

"Hero In Popular Culture- One" 01 April 2010. Web.24 October. 2021. <

"Hero In Popular Culture- One", 01 April 2010, Accessed.24 October. 2021,

Related Documents
Fairy Tales in Popular Culture Film Advertising
Words: 2618 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Mythology Paper #: 21875790

popular culture is relatively young and new in modern society. Sociologists and psychologists began to pay attention to it only at the end of the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth. Popular culture is a set of values, customs and system of beliefs which are common for people of different financial, class and gender background, so that it forms a wide group of people which goes

American Sports of NFL and NBA and Their Influence in Popular Culture...
Words: 2030 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Sports Paper #: 70386722

Sports and popular culture (NFL/NBA) Prelude Pop Culture Popular culture entails all forms of mass communication such as: Newspapers Radio Magazines Music Books and Cartoons and comics Advertising It is somewhat different compared to higher forms of cultural art such as: Classical music Artworks Conventional theatre In terms of mass communication, popular culture means messages which are intellectually and artistically limited primarily designed to entertain and humor the viewers (Hollander, 2014). Following the industrial revolution, the people had a lot of time to spare

Sleepy Hollow As Popular Culture
Words: 3045 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 46884168

First, evil in Sleepy Hollow is more equating with a satirical view that, in this case, evil is a more benign humor, bumbling, caustic in disrupting the town, and, as it was in Ancient Greek and Roman drama, simply more of an irritant than planned destruction. Focusing again on the time period, our first introduction to this theme is one of Dutch New York against Urban New England. The Dutch

Hero With 1,000 Faces the Classic Hero
Words: 1460 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Mythology Paper #: 4625582

Hero with 1,000 Faces The classic hero seems to teach us the value of humanity, while helping us strive for excellence by understanding the value of the experiences rendered through intuition, emotions, and often feelings that are special to the hero -- often rather than logical reasoning. The paradigm of heroism transcends genre, chronology and has become so common in the human collective consciousness that it is easily recognized and repeated

Culture and Marketing Strategy
Words: 911 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Business - Advertising Paper #: 17427450

Culture and Marketing Strategy About the print ad from http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2013/johnnie-walker-from-the-future/ The print ad is about a certain brand of alcoholic drink that is endorsed by a professional athlete. The athlete takes a sip from a glass of whisky and begins walking. This in a way appears to suggest that consumers of this particular brand of whisky can cover long distances after taking this whiskey. Information pertaining to alcoholic content and how the

Hero As a Model of
Words: 782 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Mythology Paper #: 95207241

Revenge, too, is prominent in all of these works: Beowulf must destroy the monster our of revenge for the havoc on the Kingdom; the Greeks must avenge the kidnapping of Helen and the slights against their lands; the Knight, the Miller and the Wife of Bath all must seek revenge for perceived wrongs. Poems like Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, and the Iliad and Odyssey, especially as oral tradition, frame the journey