the previous post, condensed

If you list off the years in which the events of Elizabeth really happened, it looks something like this (with parentheses for the fuzzy dates):

(early 1560s)
(early 1580s)

. . . not quite what you’d call chronological, ne?

0 Responses to “the previous post, condensed”

  1. mrissa

    I saw this movie immediately after taking a college course called “England 1399-1688,” and I thought that was the worst possible time to see it. I suspect that researching a specifically Elizabethan book is worse, though.

    • Marie Brennan

      Actually, no. The first time I watched it after researching MNC, I got a very specific pleasure out of being able to ID the different events (and know when they took place). But it probably helped that I already knew and liked the film.

      • mrissa

        Ah. I had something similar with the Disney movie of “The Three Musketeers” the second time I saw it: the pleasure of the nit well picked instead of the annoyance of the thing Not Being The Same Dammit.

  2. strangerian

    Ummmm, those are events in movie order? Ooops.

    I haven’t seen the movie, although if I were to squander dollars on a movie, something with an indubitable female lead (princely stomachs aside) would be necessary. And the publicity-still pics of the armor are fab. But honestly, Elizabeth I as movie fodder generally just annoys me. It’s either complete invention or a Greatest Hits version of her reign (here on random play, evidently), which strikes me as systematic disinformation, and no good to anyone.

    On the other hand, movies aren’t made to be accurate history. What does this one (or similar ones) *do* that’s worth the time and money? I assume it has virtues. For instance, Shakespeare in Love was damn’ silly but extremely charming (most of the time), and did what it seemed to be meant to do, and was pretty much impossible to mistake for anybody’s idea of serious historical interpretation.

    • Marie Brennan

      Yes, that’s the order they happen in the movie.

      It isn’t invention, nor is it the Greatest Hits. This is the first movie I’m describing here, not the second, and for all that they drag in some stuff from the ’70s and ’80s, they leave out some of the most famous bits. Case in point: the Armada. Mainly the first movie is about the establishment of Elizabeth’s reign, not the later parts of it. (As I note in my longer post, I think they dragged Alençon out of his chronology because he actually came to visit, which her other foreign suitors didn’t generally do.)

      What this one did for me was give me a compelling portrait of Elizabeth (in the person of Cate Blanchett), and a case study in how a queen might establish her power. I put it impersonally in that latter half because it isn’t a precisely accurate portrayal of how it was done with her, but it hit the right themes of iconography, dissembling, ruthlessness, conflict with advisers, and so on. It gave me some fabulous food for thought that will some day turn into the novel I’m still not quite ready to write.

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