Thursday, December 25, 2008

roman inconography

The Fall of the Roman Empire (Anthony Mann, 1964)

The Fall of the Roman Empire is a sword and sandal film about the rise and fall of Caeser Commodus. It is a statement about personal and communal pains of a society founded on violence and the affect of power and paranoia has on a leader. The 1960s was the decade of the epic as hollywood was reacting to decrease of film audience to the household television. It is the producers Samuel Bronston who was responsible for getting iconography of the film intact including the sets, clothing, animals, transportation, and locations. Anthony Mann directorial touches include statues in the foreground covering the frame to add and remind the viewer of an unseen motivating factors, establishing pan shots emphasizing the purity of the sky with the corruption in rome, individuals set against a bustling Rome and desolate classical roman architecture and film noir contrast between actors with low key lighting and shadows. Dimitri Tiomkin creates an enhancing film score and their are good performances from Sophia Lauren and James Mason.

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