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New Escapist Column! On “Gladiator” as a Celebration of Spectacle…

I published a new piece at Escapist Magazine this evening. Gladiator was released twenty years ago this month, so it seemed like a good time to look back on it.

Gladiator is very obviously an example of classic Hollywood spectacle, harking back to the biblical epics of the middle of the twentieth century like Ben Hur or The Ten Commandments or Spartacus or even Cleopatra. However, there’s also a more reflective aspect to the film. Ridley Scott constructs Gladiator as a celebration of the art of spectacle, and the power of populist narratives to shape and define a larger society. Maximus does not triumph because he is a soldier or a general, he ultimately wins because he is an entertainer.

You can read the piece here, or click the picture below.

 

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