Peter Aperlo – 300 Rise of the Empire The Art of the Film

300Author: Peter Aperlo
Reviewer: Lucy
Publisher: Titan Books
Genre: Art, Movie

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: follow-up to the 2007 international blockbuster 300.

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, 300: Rise of an Empire is produced by Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Bernie Goldmann, and directed by Noam Murro from a screenplay by Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad. Told in the breathtaking visual style of 300 this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. 300: Rise of an Empire pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

300: Rise of an Empire also stars Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, and David Wenham, and will be released in theaters on 7 March, 2014.

This lavish, oversized hardback companion book to the new movie features stunning production art, photography from the acclaimed Clay Enos (Watchmen Portraits) and input from Zack Snyder and Noam Murro.

Review: The commentary in this book is minimal but the photography tells the story itself. Fans of 300 as well as movie fans in general will enjoy this interesting behind the scenes look. The model of Themistokles’ horse sitting in a bathroom was a vivid scene, including the green screen shot on the same page showing Themistokles riding the mechanical green.

Xeres holding up his father and then being at his father’s deathbed combine the character’s feeling at the battlefield with the lush extravagant bed chamber and provide an interesting contrast of the young, almost innocent looking Xerxes of this movie and the “golden god-king” of 300. It’s difficult to see the bereaved son in the pierced and golden King.

The manipulative Artemisia, however, comes across beautiful, powerful and evil, just as she is. The portraits section of the book provides a lighter feel to the overall dark atmosphere.

I admit, there are a few disconcerting pages that I had to look at a few times to realize what was being depicted. The “corpses” used for the dead at Thermopylae mannequins, laid out with computer generated arrows protruding from their bodies. At a quick scan, however, the silvery show of the computer arrows looked just like puppet strings and I had to backtrack. Add in the photo of the naked mannequins, hanging from a clothes mover and wrapped in plastic, and well, yes, I had to slow down a little and look again.

Excellent companion to the 300 movie and an interesting look of movie art.

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