Monday, 18 May 2015

Blood, Boobs and Carnage : At the BBC with Bess, Libby, Olympias and Roxane






Who could resist a blogfest titled like that? The BBC Blogfest; jointly hosted by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh and Heather M Gardener, both of whom need no introduction.  The idea is to post about a book, TV show, or film, or all three that can be described by Blood, Boobs and Carnage, or any combo thereof.

Here's my selection :


First off...

For starters some poetry, of course. "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes. Published in 1907 in Forty Singing Seamen and Other Poems, and a runaway success.  It has been variously interpreted - in music, animation, part of a TV series, and also a full length Hollywood feature. A simple and charming narrative format; love, treachery and sacrifice set in the 1800s:


The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees. 
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas. 
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,  
And the highwayman came riding—
Riding—riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

Read the full poem, or watch a slightly truncated version here :







... and a bunch of books...

A trilogy to be precise - Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, and Funeral Games, by Mary Renault.  

The child was wakened by the knotting of the snake's coils about his waist. For a moment he was frightened; it had squeezed his breathing. and given him a bad dream. But as soon as he was awake, he knew what it was, and pushed his two hands inside the coil. It shifted; the strong band under his back bunched tightly, then grew thin. The head slid up his shoulder along his neck, and he felt close to his ear the flickering tongue.

That child is Alexander the Great, who then slips into his mother's bed and from there witnesses a fairly X-rated parental row.

No dearth of blood and carnage here, considering the preferred lifestyle of Alex G! Female characters comparatively thin on the ground, his mother Olympias, his wives Roxane and Stateira II, and his sister Kleopatra make sporadic but intense appearances.  But still, there's no shortage of boobs, there are his father's extra-marital affairs (with women and young men, ancient Greeks/Macedonians were flexible like that) and his marriage with a much younger Eurydike.  

And plenty of fun for the women as well at the Dionysia, the worship fest of the god Dionysus, where the maenads held orgies of dancing and drinking, the rest of the action I leave to the reader's imagination.  A reference made to Alexander being conceived during one of these rituals, fathered by a snake-daemon, by a demi-god! Alexander's relationships with Hephaestion, his general, long time companion and lover, which is based on historical evidence; and with his other lover, the Persian courtesan, eunuch Bagoas, which is not. His sudden marriage to the Bactrian Roxane for love, and a later political one to the Persian princess Stateira II.

Palace intrigues, ancient politics, ritual sacrifice, sexual and sexy combos in every possible permutation, rape, murder, war campaigns, an action-packed narrative and a scorching pace, wow! A fascinating read that brings Alexander to vivid life. Renault's portrayal of the conqueror is rosier than most historians'. But she does it with such blazing conviction and such depth of detail that it reads more like history rather than historical fiction. Stunning.

...and a film

Lastly, the film Double Jeopardy.   Begins with lots of blood and a pretty lady; hinged on a legal twist; some action with knife, guns, cross-country chases; love, betrayal, and a wronged mother's search for her son.  

Mixed reviews, some criticisms on the points of law, apparently the film misrepresented the clause of double jeopardy, but overall enjoyable if the viewer is not nitpicky like that. 




Read more about the blogfest and visit the other participants:


On May 18, 2015, post about a movie, television show, book, or all three that falls into the category of Blood, Boobs, and Carnage. (Or just Blood and Carnage or other mixture.) It can be any genre that fits the bill – fantasy, science fiction, action, adventure, western, thriller, etc. Post the badge and visit other participants. 



29.
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32 comments:

  1. I'm LOVING this Blogfest. Double Jeopardy was pretty good actually.

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    1. Yeah, I enjoyed it....love the blogfest too :)

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  2. Fathered by a snake demon? Twisted!
    I've actually not seen that film.
    Thanks for participating in our blogfest.

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    1. Awesome blogfest. Thanks so much for hosting.

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  3. I haven't read those books by Mary Renault but they have me intrigued. :)

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    1. She is pure amazing if you enjoy historical fiction Chrys, must read! :)

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  4. The Highway is hands down my favorite poem of all time.

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  5. I've seen The Highwayman in some other book, maybe The Most Wanted by Jacquelyn Mitchard? Yep. That's it. I remember Double Jeopardy as well.

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    1. How interesting! I haven't read The Most Wanted, another one to check out, thanks. Double Jeopardy was good fun.

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  6. "The Highwayman" is one of my favorite poems, has been since I read it as a teenager.

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    1. I can't remember when I read it first, a bit hazy that part, but way back definitely, and I loved it then and still do.

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  7. I had never hear/read The Highwayman, but that rendition was awesome. My kind of prosetry. That trilogy sounds awesome, and I too loved double Jeopardy. Given her circumstances, I don't they stretched the law too far.

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    1. Yep, neither do I. It was a good film. And glad you enjoyed The Highwayman, loads of poems that fit BBC of course :) but this one the most memorable.

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  8. Wow, Nila, a great list. I'm always proud of the fact that Denise is a name from Dionysus, the god of wine. Love The Highwayman. There's more than one poem with this title as you would know but i love this one. And Double Jeopardy, of course!

    I'm not in this bloghop, too much thinking involved, ha ha, but I'm in for a Summer vacation hop in a week or so. Holidays are so my thing!

    Denise :-)

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    1. I didn't know that Denise derives from Dionysus, how cool is that?!

      It was hard to pick just one - so much awesome stuff that fits those labels! Will be around to read your holiday post when it is done..could do with reading about hols it's really hot where I am. Thanks for stopping by.

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  9. Double Jeopardy was a fun film. Never heard of that poem but that book trilogy sounds interesting.

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    1. Renault is awesome, she does Alexander perfectly.

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  10. I love the Highwayman and enjoyed your video. Those books sound fascinating - wish I had more time to read. Double Jeopardy was a pretty good movie, I thought. Didn't know about the legal errors.

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    1. Yup, I enjoyed DJ, legal errors or not, don't know enough law to pick faults anyways. Glad you liked the video, and Mary Renault is time intensive but the rewards are beyond amazing.

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  11. Have you heard this version of the song by Loreena McKennitt? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iadDAYSnJ7s It is beautiful! This is the whole version. There might be a shorter one, but this is my fav. And I was surprised that my kids LOVED this song and know it by heart now... Thanks for coming by! Lisa @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. Thank you for the link, Lisa, listening to it again as I type :) Love that melody too. The Highwayman is a favourite across generations.

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  12. A friend of mine had Double Jeopardy on DVD. I'll have to check to see if she still does.

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    1. Totally worth checking out. Thanks for being here.

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  13. Wow. You found some really great entries! I enjoyed Double Jeopardy. I'm not sure I could watch it now that I'm a mom. I'd probably cry the whole time!
    THANK YOU for joining Alex and me in this EPIC blogfest!
    Heather M. Gardner

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    1. Now that you mention it, I did watch it much before I became a mum!
      I totally LOVED this blogfest and the way it's got me a heap of recos. Thank you and Alex J for hosting!

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  14. People in olden times sure could get wild!

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Road trippin' with A to Z
    Tossing It Out

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    1. They sure could, much more than us modern ones.

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  15. What a creepy poem! And those books sound interesting. I enjoyed Double jeopardy- any film where a heroine kicks butt is good by me!

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    1. True. One more reason to like DJ...if one needed any more..

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  16. wow. that Alexander G? If he lived today he would need lots of therapy.

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    1. Yup, so he would. More couch, less conquering.

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