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Agora - 27/4/2010 9:53:17 PM   
Empire Admin

 

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Post #: 1
- 27/4/2010 9:53:18 PM   
harlequin21

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 5/6/2006
I know this film probably isn't big -- but this review is horribly unsubstantial. For a film which you at Empire have deemed "intelligent" and "thought-provoking", you clearly haven't channeled much of the thought that it provoked into the review! No reason is even given to why it's 3 stars. Further evidence of Empire's descent into popularism, perhaps? That said, at least you're not trying to maintain a thin and transparent veneer of cinematic learnedness ...

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Post #: 2
Buy a dictionary! - 29/4/2010 2:37:39 PM   
emmadragon

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 29/4/2010
This is not a review of the film, although I am eagerly awaiting it - it is a review of Empire's plot description. Please, PLEASE, either employ someone who is literate to write your plot synopsis or buy a dictionary or spell checker. 'Hypatia GRABBLES with...' I don't think she does. She may well GRAPPLE, or she may SCRABBLE for an understanding of, but there is no such word as grabble. I do not expect such dreadful mistakes from an expensive publication which purports to love film - please do us the courtesy of loving the language too.

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Post #: 3
Buy a dictionary! - 29/4/2010 2:37:39 PM   
emmadragon

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 29/4/2010
This is not a review of the film, although I am eagerly awaiting it - it is a review of Empire's plot description. Please, PLEASE, either employ someone who is literate to write your plot synopsis or buy a dictionary or spell checker. 'Hypatia GRABBLES with...' I don't think she does. She may well GRAPPLE, or she may SCRABBLE for an understanding of, but there is no such word as grabble. I do not expect such dreadful mistakes from an expensive publication which purports to love film - please do us the courtesy of loving the language too.

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Post #: 4
RE: Buy a dictionary! - 2/5/2010 1:19:12 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
This is it? Amenabar's new film, one of the most expensive films from Spain and the more interesting films of the year, and this is all it gets?

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

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Post #: 5
RE: Buy a dictionary! - 3/5/2010 7:31:09 PM   
Axel Foley


Posts: 731
Joined: 15/10/2005
I was in Madrid last October and the difference in the treatment of the film's release between the UK and Spain can hardly be described. I thought about seeing it then, but my Spanish wouldn't have been up to the task. I wish I had though, as it opened on a handful of screens here and has already more or less disappeared. A shame as by all accounts it is very good. It's not that long since Amenabar was being hailed by Empire and many other film publications around the world, but somewhere along the lines it has been decided that Agora is to be condemned to sit outside the mainstream. Not even the presence of own Rachel Weisz (according to the critic on News 24 it is her best film performance) seems to have been enough to get the film much attention in the media here.

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Post #: 6
RE: Buy a dictionary! - 3/5/2010 7:41:44 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
The lack of attention is really baffling. Were they afraid that the film would offend Christians or something?


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Axel Foley)
Post #: 7
RE: Buy a dictionary! - 3/5/2010 7:46:27 PM   
Axel Foley


Posts: 731
Joined: 15/10/2005
That would make sense in the States, but surely not here? Perhaps the lack of American backing hurt it though and ultimately the UK is styill a Christian country. Though Amenabar has said that it is meant to be an allegory on the use of religion as a driver for violence, nbot a direct attack on Chrisitanity.

I am defintiely very surprised to see a 50m film passing through unnoticed.

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Post #: 8
Agoraphobia? - 7/5/2010 5:01:07 AM   
The Whisper

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 7/11/2008
Everything moves in circles or ellipses in this film, from the planets to history, to the characters who orbit Hypatia in attitudes which change from contempt to adoration. Even her mensstrual cycle is a wheel within a wheel. Amenabar has fashioned something extraordinary here and you only give it two paragraphs? appreciated in future years for both its emotion, intelligence and mastery of form. Few epics have managed to convey the cyclical nature of history so effectivelyand appreciated for its

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Post #: 9
Agoraphobia? - 7/5/2010 5:04:35 AM   
The Whisper

 

Posts: 17
Joined: 7/11/2008
Everything moves in circles or ellipses in this film, from the planets to history, to the characters who orbit Hypatia in attitudes which change from contempt to adoration. Even her mensstrual cycle is a wheel within a wheel. Amenabar has fashioned something extraordinary here and you only give it two paragraphs?

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Post #: 10
The Sublime Insignificant - 14/5/2010 7:44:49 PM   
Giles Watson

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 14/5/2010
It surprises me how many reviewers are giving this astonishing film only three stars, and I do hope this is not because the film chooses not to dwell on the viciousness of Hypatia's murder: a decision which would have made a cinematic 'spectacle' entirely inappropriate for this most subtle and beautiful of films. For the record, the real Hypatia - a pagan philosopher in fourth century Alexandria who deduced that the earth orbited the sun in an ellipse, and preserved her right to operate as a lecturer by repelling her suitors with a gift of a handkerchief stained with her own menstrual blood – was killed as a witch by fundamentalist Christians who scraped the living flesh from her bones with seashells. It is her life and thought, however, and not the manner of her death, which is the chief subject of this film, and that is as it should be.

The astonishingly realistic recreation of Alexandria is in itself a remarkable cinematic feat, the costumes look entirely authentic, the performances are flawless, and the cinematography - always beautiful - is often thoroughly awe inspiring. Ultimately, however, what makes this film so great is the way in which it puts human beings into perspective (swarming fundamentalists ransacking the agora are likened to ants, and in one of the most inspired shots in cinematic history, Alexandria is viewed from outer space, and is sublime and utterly insignificant all at once) whilst suggesting that human beings are nevertheless capable of reaching the heights of reason, and plumbing the depths of unreason. It is one of the ironies of history that the monstrous 'Saint' Cyril of Alexandria is recognised as a Doctor of the Church, whilst not a single word written by Hypatia has survived.

Much ink will be wasted in coming months in discussion of whether this film deliberately paints Christianity in a bad light. The truth is that no form of religious extremism looks good in this film, and for that reason alone, it ought to be statut

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 11
The Sublime Insignificant - 14/5/2010 7:44:50 PM   
Giles Watson

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 14/5/2010
It surprises me how many reviewers are giving this astonishing film only three stars, and I do hope this is not because the film chooses not to dwell on the viciousness of Hypatia's murder: a decision which would have made a cinematic 'spectacle' entirely inappropriate for this most subtle and beautiful of films. For the record, the real Hypatia - a pagan philosopher in fourth century Alexandria who deduced that the earth orbited the sun in an ellipse, and preserved her right to operate as a lecturer by repelling her suitors with a gift of a handkerchief stained with her own menstrual blood – was killed as a witch by fundamentalist Christians who scraped the living flesh from her bones with seashells. It is her life and thought, however, and not the manner of her death, which is the chief subject of this film, and that is as it should be.

The astonishingly realistic recreation of Alexandria is in itself a remarkable cinematic feat, the costumes look entirely authentic, the performances are flawless, and the cinematography - always beautiful - is often thoroughly awe inspiring. Ultimately, however, what makes this film so great is the way in which it puts human beings into perspective (swarming fundamentalists ransacking the agora are likened to ants, and in one of the most inspired shots in cinematic history, Alexandria is viewed from outer space, and is sublime and utterly insignificant all at once) whilst suggesting that human beings are nevertheless capable of reaching the heights of reason, and plumbing the depths of unreason. It is one of the ironies of history that the monstrous 'Saint' Cyril of Alexandria is recognised as a Doctor of the Church, whilst not a single word written by Hypatia has survived.

Much ink will be wasted in coming months in discussion of whether this film deliberately paints Christianity in a bad light. The truth is that no form of religious extremism looks good in this film, and for that reason alone, it ought to be statut

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 12
- 8/6/2010 7:02:46 PM   
djphilips

 

Posts: 104
Joined: 26/12/2008
From: Malta
Bound to be one of the most underrated films of 2009, Agora is an outstanding piece of art that dazzles, entertains and provokes. Although the first half hour or so is marred by somewhat weak characters and exposition, the situation soon changes and the result is a film that deserves to be remembered for decades to come.
As already mentioned, the writing can be a rather mixed bag, but it eventually pulls itself together with adaptable characterisation and an endless amount of immensely thought-provoking themes. This is certainly helped by the fact that Amenábar, brilliantly talented as he is, recognises the script's faults perfectly and makes up for it with an ultimately superb film, not to mention a visually amazing one. The ensemble cast, especially the brilliant Weisz, is also quite admirably able to carry the film along, working suitably in harmony to aid a film which manages to get better with every passing minute and eventually become something of a modern masterpiece. Infinitely recommended.

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Post #: 13
Shame on you Phil de Semlyen - 30/6/2010 10:34:28 AM   
smakris04

 

Posts: 52
Joined: 9/5/2006
Empire has been a bit of a comic book movie magazine these past years but latetly if you movie doesnt have a gun and a mask you are not worthy.
This is a great 5 star movie.

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Post #: 14
- 25/8/2010 10:56:46 AM   
hanw10

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 17/8/2010
It's a shame that such a brilliant film is overlooked. It surprises me that many people dislike it. The cinematography is stunning, the acting is amazing, from Rachel Weisz especially, and it is a brilliant, thought-provoking story. Definitley 5 stars from me.

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Post #: 15
- 3/11/2010 11:44:48 AM   
reminn

 

Posts: 142
Joined: 22/10/2010
Fair.

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Post #: 16
Agora - 4/11/2010 10:45:08 PM   
Timon


Posts: 14588
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Bristol
I just watched this after finally getting in through on LoveFilm. As a fan of all thing historical, especially ancient history, I was distraught this never got a theatrical release here and after seeing it, I am aghast.

This film is astounding, not only does it breathtaking show ancient Alexandria, its legendary lighthouse and its library, but also the religious intolerance and Christian fundamentalism that was just taking hold. As the Roman Empire is fading into history, the garrison has hardly any control, and as such it is the religious fundamentalists that have the real power.

As blood begets blood, and intolerance breeds hatred, trapped in the middle is the rational philosopher and astronomer Hypatia. Weisz is absolutely fantastic in the role and her disbelief at what is going on around her is amazing to watch.

As she tells one of her former pupils, "Synesius, you don't question what you believe. You cannot. I must."

It's a fantastic film that not only shows how ancient minds questioned their role in the universe, but how religious intolerance has barely moved on at all.

I was also impressed my Oscar Issac, who displayed far less ham then he did in Robin Hood as King John, and who gave a genuinely moving performance.

I highly recommend it to all.

4.5/5

< Message edited by Timon -- 4/11/2010 10:48:05 PM >


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"I put no stock in religion. By the word 'religion', I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called 'The Will of God'. Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves."

Twitter: @timonsingh

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Post #: 17
RE: Agora - 30/11/2010 4:14:17 PM   
Rumbaabaa


Posts: 1318
Joined: 25/11/2005
From: York
Having recently gotten myself a Blu-ray player I was looking forward to buying this in high-def...sadly so far there's just been a DVD release. Any news of a forthcoming Blu-ray version would be most appreciated.

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Post #: 18
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