Sunday, May 04, 2014

Tip#753: Movies that Inspire an Interest in History - Pompeii

As a kid I loved the disaster films of the 70’s like The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno And Earthquake. I especially remember the intense joy of experiencing Sensurround sound technology in theatres. The bass levels were so loud the vibrations shook the floor and my seat and body while watching  Earthquake in 1974! It was amazing!

Around the same time I was introduced to eerie photos of plaster casts of people who died from the volcanic devastation of Pompeii in A.D. 79. I was always fascinated by these images and it took a recent movie to compel me to research what happened to these people. And despite the negative reviews I was also treated to a good ol’ fashion disaster flick!

Pompeii (2014)

The historical action disaster film, Pompeii, is set in 79 A.D. a story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned gladiator persevering to save his love Cassia (Emily Browning) during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. That’s all you really need to know as the highlight of this action film is the incredible visual scenery of the city, landscapes and the spectacle of the destruction sequences. See: movie trailer

I was amazed at the breathtaking detail of the city especially in the aerial shots. I later discovered that the filmmakers went to extensive lengths to accurately portray the city as well as the eruption. The film also opens and closes on shots of the bodies covered in ash. In an interview with producer and director Paul W.S. Anderson he said that each fictional character was inspired by one of the famous plaster casts of people frozen in the moments of their death.

Movies based on historical events can inspire you to research and learn more about the people and culture of the times. And if these events relate to deaths from devastating catastrophes then their lives live on. Their stories would have touched you in some way and give their lives some eternal meaning.

Read: Interview With Paul W. S. Anderson, Pompeii Director, on the Film's Scientific and Historical Accuracy

Read: Hollywood’s Pompeii Gets History Mostly Right, Scientific

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A) Entertain & Escape
B) Re-energize & Release
C) Insights, Epiphanies & AHA moments

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