I saw an ad on the tube yesterday, which prominently featured the black ships, beached on the shore before Troy, and all the hair on my neck stood on end.

I didn’t realize that I’m really excited for this film, but: I am. I think Viv is too.

The Fagles translation is hard to find even excerpts from, but there are some interesting online interpretations available.

I’m somewhat baffled by the overwhelming dominance of the Samuel Butler Iliad translation online. There are actually quite a few translations, most predating our current copyright imbroglio.

Hm… This post has promise.

Screenwriter David Benioff, interviewed by the Beeb, had this to say about his script:

Troy is an adaptation of the Trojan War myth in its entirety, not The Iliad alone. The Iliad begins with the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon over the slave girl Briseis, nine years into the war. The equivalent scene occurs halfway through my script. Meanwhile, The Iliad ends after Priam returns from Achilles’ shelter with his grim cargo – long before the construction of the Trojan Horse, and a good 20 pages before my script ends.

This is a massive story that we’re trying to tell in two-and-a-half hours. The narrative is crammed with some of literature’s most intriguing characters: Achilles, Hector, Helen, Paris, Priam, Odysseus, Agamemnon, Patroclus, etc. All these characters have to emerge on screen as fully realized human beings. The battle scenes have to mirror the epic confrontations Homer described. The journey of the thousand ships from Greece to Troy has to be depicted. Everything takes times, and we’re not making a 12-hour miniseries. We’re not making a trilogy of three-hour movies.

Let’s hope Athena guided his hand, and the hand of Wolfang Petersen.

4 thoughts on “The Black Ships

  1. yeah i might give it a try just because it’s Wolfang Petersen. speaking of which they are about to release the original unedited german t.v. version of DAS BOOT. I must say I might have to get it off ebay or amazon (as soon as a sutabley cheap used copy comes up!!) to finally see this high school era favorite in it’s intended form is kind of priceless…and given that movie’s complexities mayhap homer will be well served? it may be hard to present a war in a hollywood movie in this day and age where there is no clear good guy or bad guy…I mean there isn’t a good or bad guy even in the “ILIAD” and of course in the “ANEAD” amongst other works, the TROJANS are the clear moral high grounders not the Acheans. never seen a really good movie version of the story (although it’s quite possible one was made in europe in the 1960’s that I haven’t seen!!) man the trojan war was like BIG TIME cool with me and my Brother like circa 3rd grade.

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