Posted on Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
I’ve liked each and every film by Alejandro Amenabar more than I did the previous one – and even when you rewind right back to Tesis, his debut feature, I was already digging his work plenty. You know, then, that I’m beset with anticipation for his next picture, simply on this spurious basis of a perceived inertia.
This next picture will be Agora, a historical epic and Amenabar’s second film in the English language, after The Others. Set in fourth century Alexandria, the story tells of the love of a slave, played by Max Minghella, for his master, played by Rachel Weisz. She is Hypatia, a teacher of Neoplatonist philosophy and, for the film’s purposes at least, a rather infamous atheist. The possibility of their romance is set against the uprising of Christianity and, as you’ll see from the trailer embedded below the break, the film is big-scale and stirring stuff.
If you consider it possible that a historical narrative could be spoiled, please skip to the next paragraph. Hypatia was eventually killed by members of the Coptic Orthodox Church and that makes for such drama that I think it’s likely to be used as the film’s climax.
When it came to dealing with suitors and their lustful fantasies, Hypatia had a distinctive way of being discouraging, The following comes from the Suda, a Byzantine Greek encyclopedia that recounted much history of ancient Mediterranean history:
She brought some of her female rags and threw them before him, showing him the signs of her unclean origin, and said, “You love this, O youth, and there is nothing beautiful about it.” His soul was turned away by shame and surprise at the unpleasant sight, and he was brought to his right mind.
So, she turned her potential off by chasing him with a proto-tampon, essentially. I wonder if that particular caper will make it into the film?