If you have ever wondered where all the 100 millions $ spent on Oliver Stone's Alexander Movie ( shot in Morocco and Thailand amid the War in Iraq ) went into, the answer is not difficult to find: It was in the Costumes and Sets!
If the movie on the Ancient
Macedonian Conqueror who vanquished the mighty Persian Empire some two Thousand
years ago was far from being a critically acclaimed film or box office hit , it
nevertheless can be considered as one of the most accurate physical depictions
of the Ancient Persian and Macedonian Civilizations as far as the Sets ( CGI or
not ), Make Up, Props and Costumes are concerned. True Oliver Stone's movie cannot be
ranked as a masterpiece in the lines of Cecile B. DeMilles Ten Commandments or William
Wyler's magnificent Ben Hur
each depicting with great detail two other great civilizations of the
Ancient World : The Egypt of the Pharaohs and the
Original Storyboards for
One can, at least credit Stone for his stamina and determination to fulfill his childhood dream of riding with Alexander's troops and following his campaigns from the deserts of Persia to those of the Hindus. One can only hope that one day someone can depict the same story from the point of view of the Persians, very much like Clint Eastwood today with Letters from Iwo Jima. After all in the Empire of Dreams Only imagination is King.
Greek and Persian Props co-exist in the Hellenistic World of
Alexander the Great such as in the legendary doomed
The most fascinating thing for movie
buffs ( like me ) is that
Sets, make up and Costumes such as The Court and Army of Darius III,
Shah of Persia, in Oliver Stone's Alexander were subject to meticulous
historical research ©Warner Bros
We all know it is make belief and yet I am sure most readers would certainly stop in Front of any Planet Hollywood entrance just to watch the Props exposed for the latest movie promotion. We can thank or curse such merchandizing prophets as Spielberg or Lucas for thriving on public imagination thanks to the Indian Jones or Star Wars Theme Parks but I personally have always admired this capacity of the movie making industry in perpetuating its own legend. Film museums ( See Below) have fortunately gathered many such items that are considered as part of
SWORD AND SANDALS MOVIE: Oliver Stone's Alexander
revisited a favorite film genre popular in the 1950's and
I have often wondered not without some frustration what happened to the splendid costumes, memorabilia and exact size replica's of the Persian Fleet of Darius and Xerxes that were showcased during the Celebrations of the 2500th years of the Persian Monarchy that were held by the Shah of Iran in Persepolis back in October 1971. Well at least they were immortalized on film thanks to Shahrokh Golestan's cinematographic talent and narrated by the legendary Orson Welles ...
Lost Props but Immortal Film: Flames of Persia narrated by Orson Welles,
Any movie buff and I am no exception would certainly concur with the great film critic François Truffaut and his mentor Alfred Hitchcock or the equally inimitable Orson Welles that in the Realm of Dreams like for films some things are sacred !
VIVE LE CINEMA !
(*)"The Fate of the Unica Key" : Ingrid Bergman, during AFI's Lifetime Award ceremony for Hitchcock, handed the Unica key to the director as a token of love and respect. In Notorious the key played a major role in the movie's conclusion.
Recommended Viewing :
DVD (Directors Cut
) of Oliver Stone's Alexander: See Official website
Recommended Seeing: The Hollywood Entertainment Museum
About the Author: Darius KADIVAR is a Freelance Journalist, Film Historian, and Media Consultant
... Payvand News - 2/21/07 ... --