Posted by Kate on July 13, 2000 at 08:43:52:
On the plane, on my way back home from Florida, I picked up the Flight Magazine (as you do!) and lo and behold! One of the articles in it was an interview with 'our Mel'. I thought you might be interested in his answer to the questions:
As far as epics go, I think it is partcularly poignant that you are starring in a movie about the American Revolution in the new millennium. What challenges do you think patriotism will confront in the next century?
As the world shrinks, our individuality will disappear along with it. It's no coincidence that the so-called conspiracy theorists have been up in arms about the 'one-world government'. Everyone has called them nuts, but that is exactly what is happening. It's terribly fashionable to think of that as a good thing because then we'll all be united, but it scares the hell out of me. To me, it's like somebody trying to take over the world.
What drew you into this particular picture, at this particular time?
Simply put: the story. It's a brave film about an even braver and courageous band of individuals.
Did it ultimately color your view of the Revolution?
Yes, it did. I spent a lot of time researching the war and realized what it was really like. Man, the Continentals should have lost! They only gained their liberty by the foolish errors of the other side. George Washington never gave up, but he got his (tail) kicked all over the place. I think he only won two battles -- and not big ones. He was always being trounced. The Colonies looked like such easy pickings -- and they were -- but it was a case of the hare and the tortoise. The British were astounded that they lost. It was all bungling and incompetence. To the other side, it was a labour of love.
There wasn't much more about 'The Patriot' but I found it quite amazing that he said he had 'spent a lot of time researching' - and yet there are so many inaccuracies! Why research the basic story - and then allow discrepancies in other areas such as uniforms, type of cannon used, incorrect battle formation, etc.? For a not unintelligent sounding man, he doesn't seemed to have grasped the fact that inaccuracies and inattention to these details can ruin the whole movie for some people. This means adverse comments and reviews, which in turn leads to smaller box office revenue...
Oh well, but what do I know ...
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