Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thalassa! The Sea! The Warriors!

I keep hearing rumors of a remake/reboot of the classic 1979 move The Warriors. I'm generally a fan of reboots. I love, for instance, the Abrams reboot of Star Trek (though I have friends who will not even speak of the movie). 

So, I hope the rumors are true. I will no less love the original fantastic film if some modern reinterpretation of the concept is put forth.

After all, the classic movie was itself a modern interpretation of a classical concept.

As Socrates' student Xenophon describes it in his work the Anabasis, a group of Greek mercenaries are thousands of miles behind enemy lines when they bet on the wrong horse and fight for the losing side of a Persian battle.  

And the movie does a terrific job of conveying a group of scared warriors scratching and clawing their way to safety.

When the Greeks, after fighting their way through enemy territory, finally see the water of the Black Sea (which they know are controlled by friendly Greeks), they realize they are finally safe. And so they shout out, Thalassa! Thalassa! The Sea! The Sea! 

I show the movie to my Latin classes when we've covered a lot of ground and I sense the kids need a break. It takes typically just two periods and there are numerous language and historical mini-lessons I draw out of it. Just such terrific film making.

My novel In Saecula Saeculorum includes a character named Jonathon, who has lost his parents and fixates upon the story of the Anabasis, in particular upon the phrase Thalassa! Thalassa! For Jonathon, Thalassa is the memory of a sweet time and a home he knows he can never get back to. But he soon learns, in the course of the novel, that he's to be sent on a mission to save the planet. And the adventure he faces is worthy of anything Xenophon and the Warriors ever endured.