11 May 2005

Another story well told

“I'd always wanted to make a movie about knights and medieval times, the Crusades especially,” Ridley Scott had said, as reported in an article I read on a South African website, called The Writing Studio, about the art of writing and making films.

“Historically, the knight – like the cowboy or the policeman – represents a person on the leading edge of his culture at a particular time,” Mr Scott had elaborated. “These figures have always given us great opportunities to tell stories that carry the attributes of a hero. And one of the most important is that the character carries with him his own degrees of fairness, faithfulness, and chivalry.”

The story was given to Mr Scott by screenwriter William Monahan, who dramatised the characters in the film using actual historical events as a backdrop. “The knight stands for an ideal,” Mr Monahan had reiterated, according to The Writing Studio, “and the period that most illuminates that ideal would be the Crusades.” And that’s the story of our hero, Balian of Ibelin, at the end of the Second Crusade, in an epic film called Kingdom of Heaven.

The Writing Studio, however, tells us another story – that of the making of the film Kingdom of Heaven. It’s another story well told. Definitely worth reading.

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