Alexander, the King of Macedonia, leads his legions against the giant Persian Empire. After defeating the Persians he leads his Army across the then known world venturing further than any Westerner had ever gone all the way to India. Written by
The biography of Alexander by Oxford University professor Robin Lane Fox was an original inspiration and source of information for director Oliver Stone. As an historical advisor, Professor Fox didn't get an on screen credit; his price for giving his advice was to be allowed to take a place at the head of what is one of the largest cavalry charges ever filmed. Professor Fox was used to riding around the English countryside, but gladly dressed up as a Macedonean cavalry officer to live his dream of charging for Alexander. See more »
When Aristotle is describing what he thinks might be a route to circle around to the headwaters of the Nile and travel down it to conquer Egypt, he refers to going "up the Nile," rather than down it. This may be due to the modern map convention of showing North at the top of maps and referring to traveling in a northerly direction as going "up". The Nile River flows from South to North and thus traveling down the river is going North. See more »
Our world is gone now. Smashed by the wars. Now I am the keeper of his body, embalmed here in the Egyptian ways. I followed him as Pharaoh, and have now ruled 40 years. I am the victor. But what does it all mean when there is not one left to remember - the great cavalry charge at Gaugamela, or the mountains of the Hindu Kush when we crossed a 100,000-man army into India? He was a god, Cadmos. Or as close as anything I've ever seen.
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If there have been five films in my life that left the most indelible impression on me, holding me immobilized on my chair watching until the last credit has disappeared while everybody else is already leaving, talking to myself while going home, three of them were connected to Oliver Stone one way or another (Midnight Express being the first). Alexander is the latest one. Why Alexander is Great? Because it was made by a visionary about another visionary, because it is true to itself, to the legacy, to history, because it doesn't sell off, because it is not your typical popcorn blockbuster, and most of all because, steering away from creating a cartoon-like, hollow and fake "Super-Man" (Troy's Achilles) it focuses on the Man Alexander. The Hu-Man Alexander. Without concessions to what's popular, what's expected, what's commercial, what's understandable. This is a director that doesn't mince words or films. You can tell I am still under the spell. People mention the sexual orientation thing, either to complain about too much or too little. Don't judge the Ancient World by today's or yesterday's standards. Men in Ancient Greece had Friendships (albeit not necessarily platonic ones), not Relationships. People mention the accents. Alexander was born in Ancient Macedonia (not to be confused with today's Balcan state of the same name, please) and therefore would have spoken heavily-accented Greek, Olympias was born from Epirus, Roxanne could muster very little Greek since she was a "barbarian" (meaning non-Greek back then) and Alexander's soldiers came from all over Southern Balkan, Minor Asia etc. I found the choice of Irish over British or American (reserved to Athenians for instance) accent, and the use in the film of many different accents a particularly clever one. People dismiss the eagle's overflight. Read about omens from the gods, they were very important for the Ancients. People want full visibility during the battles (why don't you see a John Wayne film then, all the dead are hidden from view and the heroes are never afraid or confused), people want more battles or events (and yet complain about how long the film is), people want their money back. I could go on and on here but there is no use. See the film again. Read a book. Open your eyes. Ask questions. Undefeated yet mortal, great yet flawed, larger-than-life yet human, Alexander has left a mark in the histories of so many peoples for a reason, and yet, the film has no more chances to be understood by his viewers than the king himself from his soldiers and childhood friends. Typical and sad.
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