Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Discussion in 'Film & TV' started by Diziet Sma, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Ditto. It was also my second viewing but I could hardly remember much of it. I think it has aged really well. Loved its music and scenography. Most of the outdoor setting took place in La Ciudad Encantada, Cuenca, Spain. It is a beautiful, enchanting natural park.
    Arnold was magnificent as long as he kept his mouth shut; luckily this was the case for most of the time. Besides, I found the childlike sense of humour very engaging, which I don't think it wasn't the case when I first watched it.
     
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    It has my vote for one of the greatest scenes right at the beginning: after Thulsa Doom's raiders have destroyed the Cimmerian village and massacred everyone, Doom's two main henchmen confront Conan and his mother. That long, silent scene is brilliant: starting from the moment they take their helmets off, pass Conan's father's sword to Thulsa Doom, and just take the moment to stare at the mother and let her stare at them, each taking the measure of the other, and Doom's mesmerising stare that wilts the mother's fierce resolve for combat. This scene is positively epic, almost mythic.
     
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  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Same for me. I actually thought his childlike demeanor aided the perception of the simple barboroi, especially when he shouts that one line of dialogue to Doom: "you killed my family" or some such. His accent's funny, but it was a pure and earnest emotion.

    James Earl Jones is so epic in his role. I also loved that scene where he calmly sits amongst the orgy taking place around him, and the camera goes to his almost otherworldly expression with those contrasting eyes. And then the transformation.

    And that line to Conan towards the end, that perverse sense of a circle complete, when he proclaims himself Conan's sire in spirit. Very good.
     
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  4. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    @Boreas, you have read the books, haven't you? How well do they compare to the films? Would I enjoy reading them?
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    You should definitely try reading Robert E. Howard. He was a great storyteller, I've liked everything by him that I've read: stories of Conan the barbarian, the Puritan adventurer Solomon Kane, the more introspective Kull of Atlantis, and the last Pictish king Bran Mak Morn. Absolutely great stories, and essentially the template for all sword-and-sorcery stories that came after.

    I think the film got the tone of the Conan stories right, but they could have done better by the character. Yes, he's a barbarian, but he's also shrewd. And while an anti-hero, he does not veer into caricature territory by being either too amoral and committing unnecessary heinous acts, or conforming to any 'noble savage' mold. He has a changing temperament, and sees and accepts the world with all its realistic horrors without falling prey to nihilism.
     
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  6. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

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