Tuesday, February 10, 2004
I first heard about Caligula when some of my officemates screened it about a year ago. I was wondering what it was all about--apparently there were a lot of sex scenes depicting the depravity and immorality of the Roman court of Emperor Gaius Germanicus Caesar or Caligula. I think I can understand how a Roman court can be lewd and I'm sure that even in more modern monarchs' courts, like say the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, there could have been something to that extent, but I think the point was they didn't have to show those excesses on screen, really. It was bordering on the gratuitous. I would think there are ways to show depravity without actually being depraved yourself. And then I come across this article stating that Malcolm McDowell, who played Caligula, was still appalled by the movie. Apparently the producer who was also boss of Penthouse (duh!) spliced in some hardcore footage. So the serious actors (including Helen Mirren, whom I just love) didn't really know that their movie was going to be made into something that was almost a porn flick. How disgusting. So the bad cinematography and editing was really that, because there were two entire different scenes being put together. I wonder if what Malcolm McDowell is saying is true, but it could really be. But then, also, that was Hollywood, and like the ancient Roman courts, anything could happen.