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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Astronaut

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:50 am
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Thanks War Lord, I'm glad that you liked it. The evolution in 'El Cid', I mean in the main character, is very subtle. He begins as a young soldier, honest and good-natured, showing compassion to the captured enemies, and fighting to his would-be father-in-law, for his own father's honour. In the process of clearing his name and honour, he grows to be the champion of the kningdom and ends up as a demi-god, a divine martyr.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:50 am 
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Prince Judah
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After watching the film again, I was reminded of a couple of things I've long wondered about:

During the combat-to-the-death between Rodrigo/Cid and then-champion Count Gormez (Rodrigo's almost father-in-law), they make such a racket with their clanging swords and for such a long time, yet there is no sign of Jimena (Loren) during this fight. When Gormez, dying, calls for his daughter, Jimena almost immediately appears at the top of the stairs. I guess she figured all that clanging was her dad doing his nightly ritual sword clanging or something? What is up with this..?

Just before the start of combat between Rodrigo and champion Don Martin on the field of Calahorra, Jimena gives her colors to Don Martin, as a form of approval for Martin to win. Though this act was symbolic of her then-hatred of Rodrigo, I would think that such an act would also be an affront to the king and his family, who needed Martin to lose. Wouldn't Jimena be looked on as a kind of traitor for such an act and (as was done a lot in those times) thrown in a dungeon or something? Yet she gets away with it, just getting a word of mild reproach from the princess Urraca.


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:16 am 
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Prince Judah
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Hail Knight, I enjoy the way you have put the first question, but I am not sure how to assume any answer. I am trying to answer the second one.

In the French play, 'Le Cid', Chimene's champion was not a likeable person, but he was not associated with any other rival kingdom. The king himself did not like the duel and Don Martin, since it may cause him to have killed a better person like Roderigo. But since it was a custom that a lady can claim a champion to avenge her father's/brother's/guardian's murder, whatever be the provocation behind it, the king had to agree to her plea. And of course, since the dead person was the former champion, the king kneew that he must take somehow punish Roderigo, though he liked him .

In the film, the context is changed, and Martin becomes the champion of a rival king. And though it would be against the King's interest to give her colours to that knight, the custom and justice ,to which the King and the Church should pay attention, are on the side of Chimene. It becomes like this for Roderigo-- either win or prove your innonece, or perish and down your king at the same time. The ethical problem occurs because the original is changed for the sake of cinematic license.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:03 am 
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Prince Judah
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I am going through 'In the Arena' this weekend, and I feel that the rumour about the bitter relationship between Chuch and Sophia Loren is at least 95% solid rumour. Chuck never says a bad word against his leading lady in EL CID. He only mentions, with dignity and candour, that Sophia took long sessions in her make-up and dressing, and kept others waiting. And he says that he felt somewhat buffled about this at the time of shooting (that is natural, isn't it) but he understand it now-- that is, at the time of composing the book, much later. He understands by then that star actresses have a harder life than star actors, and the demands on them sometimes affect their attitude on the sets.

Otherwise, Chuck has written very gently and caringly about Sophia. He recounted that he greeted her with flowers on her first arrival on the set. They embraced like friends. He also recalls how Sophia was shivering in the Spanish winter, wearing only a thin woolen gown in the scene of her(Chimene's reunion with the Cid). Chuch held her with his own cloak between the takes. He even said sympathetically to the director-- "Look, I'm used to this weather, but Sophia's from Naples, she will get sick... " something like that. I think this speaks for a very supportive and caring co-star, isn't it. Chuck also expresses his gratitude to Sophia when she offered to do the off-camera acting to help Chuck getting his expressions in the close-up shots during the death-scene. Chuck could have done that alone, but he was touched by the costar's offer. Unfortunately Sophia could not do it, she slipped from the staircases and broke her arm next morning. Chuck went to see and comfort her, and came back to the set to do the close-ups without any help, imagining her to there, kneeling beside him.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I must report that actor Herbert Lom just died at the very old age of 95; he died in his sleep.

As I'm sure we all know here, Lom portrayed the frightening figure of Ben Yusuf in El Cid, perhaps the Cid's ultimate nemesis, sort of the 'evil' to the Cid's 'good.' Ever since I first watched the film many years ago, I was struck by Lom's portrayal and how he was presented to the audience: his face was almost always covered and Lom had to do most of his acting with his eyes - somewhat maniacal eyes, some might say. He also had a distinctive voice.

Though most audiences are familiar with him via his role as Clouseau's boss in the Pink Panther comedy films, I first became aware of him in his horror and sci-fi roles: Mysterious Island (1961 where he played Capt. Nemo) and The Phantom of the Opera (1962 where his face was, once again, usually covered). He also had a role in another epic, Spartacus (1960). R.I.P.


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Michelangelo

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:11 pm
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R.I.P. Herbert Lom


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:29 am 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:18 pm
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Location: Sweden
Yeah, just woke up to read this news. Sounds like he lived a long and hopefully good life.

R.I.P.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:47 am 
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Prince Judah
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Rest in peace, 'Ben Yusuf '.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:47 am 
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Call Me Harry
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Rest in peace, Mr. Lom.


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:54 pm 
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Prince Judah
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A video analysis of EL CID (if you haven't seen the film yet, best to avoid):

_____

The two commentators actually get a bit snarky at the end, hinting that they thought Heston was stiff in his roles, but even they couldn't deny the presence he brought to such larger-than-life, heroic characters.


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