/ Macroinformation /
I’m watching Kate Mara play a baroness in Rochester Castle at the time of King John. King John has signed the Magna Carter, (against his own anointed will): now he’s gathered armies to subdue all castles to his royal (read “federal”) banner. The Rochester Castle people are “revolutionaries”: that is, they are for “the people” (barons and such) as distinct from anointed royalty (that is, King John and such: they certainly didn’t mean peasants, farmers, mothers). It’s 1215, 1217: somewhere around in there, European Christians are returning from another series of ill-conceived “crusades” (same period we know from Ivanhoe).
Now: there are some knights Templar present: they’ve taken vows of chastity: and, at least one of them, played by James Purefoy, has taken a vow of silence as well.
Kate Mara’s baroness is neglected by her husband (he’s queer, he’s drunk, he’s old, he doesn’t like her … I never did catch that detail). Kate puts her beautiful self under this Templar’s gaze … tends to his wounds … OK? Now maybe I can sketch in the title point:
The movie displays some knowledge of the period: I don’t doubt that the architecture of Rochester Castle is responsible. King John’s and the others’ costumes may be authentic: audiences (at home and in theaters) are full of people who’d notice, and object, way-loud, if the Knight were wearing a Star of David, or if King John took off his leg armor and put on Bermuda shorts: or, if one of his sappers undermining the keep answered his cell phone (or took a selfie) … No, no: these would be anachronisms: out of character for the period, betrayals of historicity.
OK? Mara puts herself under Purefoy’s nose. I can’t take my eyes off her (I’m on a Kate Mara kick), neither can Knight James. He’s forbidden from talking to anyone about anything, on pain of hellfire: the pledge made to God. But: she asks his name, he tells her: reluctantly, after a hesitation; but he tells her. Then he backs away. She advances. She says to him, “I am not a sin.”
|Alright?||Point is: In God’s world of King John’s time it isn’t up to a baroness what she is or isn’t. Humans have no knowledge, they have no reason to vaunt opinions; God is the only truly sentient being. The Christian, nor anyone else, won’t know the truth of anything until the truth is revealed by God: and not in anyone’s “life”time.|
At another point the baron barks at Kate, “Go to your chamber!” That is, like a cross father addressing a child, “Go to your room.” Kate says, “No.” The baron looks annoyed, but gives up, turns away.
This is insane. No sartorial fashion or tech anachronism could be as absolute and utterly wrong as this. In Christianity of the medieval period (and most of the time since) the wife is the husband’s property. She’s vowed to obey. If she does not obey the whole civilization will collapse. It isn’t just some wicked husband who’d behead her pronto, lock her in the dungeon, torture her beyond her imagining: everyone would be on the husband’s side. The baron had better flay the skin from her back: if he doesn’t want his own flayed from his.
Now: how much of its investment would the studio recoup if a contemporary movie actually adhered to 50% of the habits of another culture?
The studio / audience shuns tech anachronism ; the studio / audience embraces cultural anachronism, insists on it. We subtract their propagande and substitute ours! mostly without knowing we’ve done it!
Cultures once “Christian” (such as ours) root for adultery: Hawthorne, Standhal … Payton Place … Tolstoy has us root for and against it.
A netflix blurb says, “Backed by his "Magnificent Seven," a principled Knight Templar defends Rochester Castle from the ruthless King John and his advancing armies, who seek to rule England's free men by force.” God, how we worship our ignorance: nowhere in kleptoracy, now or ever, is there a “rule” which is not by “force.” George Washington said,
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force.
Next time I’ll detail the macroinformational aspects.
PS All this is reminding me of my PhD thesis on Shakespeare’s Sonnets which I read as opposing Scholastic “Realism” (only God is real) against (heritical) nominalism (Abelard, Occam … particulars are real: Bob & Joe & Mary, this chair, that chair, there’s no such entity as “chair.” I’ve tried to explain it since the mid-1960s. I have yet to succeed, beyond 2%, with anyone!
The universities monopolize the resources, enforce certificates, blackball all expertise not their own familiars … Imagine trying to joke with a Scholastic orthodox that “God”‘s “name” is “Mildred”. Shakespeare was wise to conceal what he meant in a simple algebra that no one (or invisibly few) would dare understand out loud: or we would never have heard of him either. So: do I expect what I say here to be understood? Recognized? Acknowledged? Out loud? No. I don’t.