By Joseph Romero
PARIS, 20 September 2006—The mainstream enthusiasm for Gladiator, Ridley Scott's
Best Picture nominated movie of 2001 starring Russell Crowe encouraged the entertainment
industry and others to try to replicate its commercial success.
But neither of Hollywood's lame, lamentable big-screen cracks at the
historical swords-and-robes genre (Troy and Alexander)
came close to the success of their predecessor, and the more recent HBO
miniseries Rome (a.k.a. "Sex and the Eternal City"), however
well-researched, was perhaps too British to seduce the same audience.
The latest effort in the genre, however, may have something original
about it. French impressario and director Robert Hossein's recreation of
Ben-Hur in France's biggest football stadium just outside Paris
is scheduled to run from 22 to 30 September 2006.
courtesy of AFP
Hossein's spectacle boasts a cast of several hundred, features a Roman triumph or
army grand parade, battle scenes, gladiatorial combat,
race staged by Mario Luraschi and took almost a year to produce.
But while Hossein has the undeniable ability to fill thousands of seats
with his popular and sometimes over-the-top historical frescos, he has
never been a favourite with le tout Paris or serious French
critics. The promised circus, even served up on the best bread in Paris,
may well not satisfy those with an appetite for real cultural meat.
22, 23, 26, 29 and 30 September 2006
at 20 h 45 (8:45 pm)
Tel: (33) 0 892 700 900
Related CK Archives: Gladiators and Caesars, the power
of spectacle in ancient Rome
Money, Power and
Politics in the Roman Empire
Tip: Romanization in the Time of Augustus
Pompei: A l'ombre du
Photo: Gladiator's Helmet
First century AD ,
Bronze, 33 x 36.8 x 57.2 cm
Photo courtesy of Higgins Armory Museum