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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Spartacus : Andy Whitfield

I am not into TV Serials. I did see a couple of lovely SciFi ones (like V, Star Trek, The X Files), maybe a couple of Historic pieces (especially The Borgias — about a bunch of people in whom I was very interested: They dominated the Church for years).

It must be admitted that I will see almost anything - from Movies to TV Serials to Documentaries - that has Aaron Sorkin's name on it: The West Wing remains an absolute favourite!

Usually I see the Serials when the whole project is over and all the Seasons have been screened. Can't wait for weeks to see it happening in real time! Then I go out and buy the DVD. Often I Download it, for it's great to watch it on my Apple TV. But watching it late does mean I miss out on a lot of stuff about actors or others involved when its actually happening.

Recently I decided to watch 'Spartacus', a Four-Part TV Serial. The main reason was that I loved Howard Fast's original novel and had adored the 1960 epic 'Spartacus' film that was directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Stanley Kubrick

The movie had won 4 Academy Awards. It became the biggest moneymaker in Universal Studios' history at the time. There was also a Comic Book from Dell after the movie had become a household word and children loved it.

In case you haven't seen it, yet, the film starred Kirk Douglas, as rebellious slave Spartacus, and Laurence Olivier as his foe, Crassus. Also starring: Peter Ustinov (he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in his role as Batiatus), John Gavin (Julius Caesar), Jean Simmons (Varinia), Tony Curtis (Antonionus), and the always amazing Charles Laughton (Grachhus).

Dalton Trumbo was blacklisted at the time as one of the 'Hollywood Ten' but Kirk Douglas announced that Trumbo was the screenwriter. (Trumbo also wrote the screenplay for Exodus under a different name. Sixty years after the event it was also announced that he had written the screenplay for the "Audrey Hepburn - Gregory Peck" classic, Roman Holiday.)

Dalton Trumbo and his wife Cleo

Howard Fast was also blacklisted when he came out of jail: The McCarthy Era had banned him along with several other authors for numerous reasons. Fast had to self-publish 'Spartacus' … and it went through seven printings in the first four months of publication!

Howard Fast

The banning caused a lot of people picketing the entrance to this movie. However, President John F. Kennedy crossed these picket lines to see the film, and helped to end the infamous and stupid blacklisting.

Get the film. It's available on DVD now.

Let me get back to the present: I must warn any of you, if you decide to see the TV serial, you can't have your children or your parents in the room. And I am not saying this because it's a Gladiator movie and tremendous amounts of blood, quite naturally, turns your screen completely red!

The actual reason is that its full of sex. Not just intimations of sex, mind you, but real soft-porn sex happening all the time, everywhere. There are titties galore in almost all scenes, as are cocks. The sex is not between husbands and wives or an occasional friend, but with slaves, too. Whenever you want it. There are sex scenes happening in the background in multiple parts. There is lots of sex outside marriages without the spouse finding out (and, sometimes, with their knowledge). Most of the time it is between genders, but there are lesbian and gay scenes. Sex could be orgiastic, anal, oral, rape, or whatever you can/cannot imagine. 

The image before the Serial starts says this:

Graphic Violence, Adult Content and Viewer Discretion seem like minor words when you see the Serial. And that is not all. The language, too, is not what you'd share, except among some possible friends. Everyone, men and women, say Fuck, Cock, Cunt, Arse, Shit, and Piss. Every few minutes! When the people abuse, or get angry, or are in opposition to their gods, they use the most blasphemous language you can imagine. Not even a chance of what you'd hear in most countries today with people talking about their own God or gods!

Of course, if you can get over all of that, the Serial is really marvellous and teaches us a lot more about history than my teacher taught me at St. Pat's High School :) As for politics, you know that's almost a dirty word today — but it was obviously much worse, then!

Why have I got
Be Here Now
at the beginning of this page?
Let me tell you!

I saw the Prequel pieces and then Season One. Loved it. Spartacus, played by Andy Whitfield, was superb. Then I put on Season Two … and there was a different guy acting as Spartacus. So I went into Google to find out why they couldn't get Andy for the role again … and discovered that Andy Whitfield had died. At 40! With a Cancer that could not be cured! (Many of you know this, I am sure.)

A great actor that Andy turned out to be, he and his wife decided that they'd share his last few months with a photographer and a videographer, who'd record their lives, their love, their children, his friends, the hospital, his terrible pain, his trip to India to find a cure (much like Steve Jobs's decision to look after his cancer with Indian Herbal Medicine and Fruits, which cost him his life). Andy wanted people to see his life - as he 'lived' it - and to learn about the disease. 

Kickstarter decided to put this up for funding. The final film will be released in 2014 when we can see it. In the meantime you can watch the trailer of Be Here Now by the Director, Lillibet Foster. 


When the film finally arrives you will be able to know more about Andy and his death on September 11, 2011, caused by his non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


If you live in a country that thinks it can ban
YouTube (which will soon be back!)
you can go here.

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Blogger Emily Walsh said...

Hi! I was just checking a few of your posts and had a quick question about your blog. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance -emilywalsh688 (at) Thanks : )


04 October, 2013 00:22


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