Wait and Enjoy: Preview of "300" from Zack Snyder.
Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: October 3, 2006 | Publication: DVDDrama.Com | Author: DVDRAMA
Just try and imagine this here poor "Dawn of the Dead" fan, who gets enraptured with the film every time he views it, and admittedly watches the "300" trailer in a loop over and over and over again, since it first came out on the net. Now, try and imagine this same poor stupefied fan of Zack Snyder's work, getting invited no less, along with the other writers of this site, to a special presentation of the first images of "300", close to 6 months before the movie will officially come out on the big screens in France. Imagine still, your poor servant (mainly me), finding himself sitting in a full housed room, filled with journalists, friendly geeks (one of those from Mad Movies, sporting a "Dawn of the Dead" t-shirt, while another one was carrying a "COUNTER STRIKE" messenger bag), together with a friend and 2 writers who could make it. This is, in a nut shell, what went on this past Monday, October 2nd, at 10am, in the "Champs-Elysées".
To recap, "300" tells the story of the infamous battle of Thermopylae, from a very imaginative and barbaric point of view. The well known battle of those 300 Spartans, lead by Leonidas, facing Xerxes's armies, the God-King of Persia, hell bent on crushing Sparta into oblivion. A battle inspiring all of Greece to unite against the dictators and tyrants, trying to destroy their cities.
When I entered the projection room, my eyes went directly to Zack Snyder. I never thought that after 2 years and 39 viewings of "Dawn of the Dead", I would be privileged enough to have him present at a preview of his latest project. More precisely, to 30 exclusive minutes of images that bring these next thoughts to mind, when coming out of the room: "300" is garantied to be one of the best movies of 2007 and will quickly become an instant cult classic for all fans of Frank Miller's work. It is quite a achievement: nothing like "Sin City" (which started at about the same time pre-production began on "300", for those who might think that the "blue-screen" idea came right out of Rodriguez"s masterpiece), and Snyder recreated each of the graphic novel's drawings (for exemple, a gorgeous scene in which the Persian army falls from a cliff, or Leonidas's shield protecting his face from the whipping rain storm). After showing the trailer to start, Snyder comes on and announces that he will present and explain, each of the 6 scenes to follow. The director amazes us: he knows his movie by heart, recites it chronologically, with astonishing accuracy and ease, in a relaxed, but still enthusiastic tone, it was very inspiring. The first 10 minutes were overwhelming, and that was just the beginning, there was even more to come. They showed us what a Spartan male child has to go through and endure, all the rituals and physical training required to shape him into a future-king, including a confrontation in with a magnificent wolf, happening while snow is falling.
Then, after a few scenes of extremely powerful dialogue (especially between Xerxes and Leonidas, where Gerard Butler stands his grounds impressively), and a particularly realistic sex sequence (you see, the Spartan heroes, as in the graphic novel, walk around in the buff), we are treated to the most impressive scene of all. The CGI effects not even being finished, and we still get completely thrown by what we see, total "in your face" action, of the first battle of the movie, where after brilliant strategic moves to push back the Persians, King Leonidas charges ahead against them, solo, to resounding music, in a side view sequence, laced with zooms, and amazing slow-motion action, where he cuts off the arms and legs of his enemies with raging force. It was positively orgasmic. Then, in the next scene, we see beautiful shots of the Persian ships being destroyed by the sea, and sinking, with no chance of making it to shore, before seeing another battle scene, in which this time, we see the army of the Immortals overpowering the Spartans. The projection ends, and the fun is only starting.
When I got up, I saw Zack Snyder standing alone next to his publicist, while other journalists were just leaving after the Q&A session. My heart was beating so fast, but I still decided to approche him. Some man goes on before me, but it still doesn't brake my confidence, and I hand Zack my "collector's" copy of "Dawn of the Dead" and 4 "300" posters for him to autograph, and he happily signs away, while talking music score and special effects with others. I was so dissapointed in myself at that point, for not at least telling him how much I have enjoyed his work, too late now right? Oh well... But, leaving the main room, we get treated some more, and this time, to a delicious cocktail moment, organized by Warner. I decided to stay, and enjoy it. My instincts were so right: Zack came out, and I made my move towards him, while he's watching a trailer for "Flags of our Fathers", and waiting to go to the restroom... Interesting anecdote: I'm actually thinking of going for the urinal stand right next to him (told you it was interesting). So, I start getting closer and I shout out "Hi", stopping him in his...activity. He warmly smiles, and I confess my devotion to his work for 5 minutes: that I'm a huge fan of "Dawn of the Dead", that I've seen it close to 40 times, that I constantly amuse myself, listening to the audio commentairies with him and Eric Newman, and that for me, his first feature film was one of the most powerful ones of the genre I have seen in the last few years, next too "The Hills Have Eyes" and "The Descent". He thanks me for my kind words, and I go on with the rest of my life.
Leaving the cinema, I thank the very nice Warner representative for this wonderful invitation and galdly take one of those goody bags filled with promotional material, that the hostesses are handing out. I was expecting just a poster and something else, but instead, I am totally flabbergasted by what I find. In there, are things I really wasn't expecting: a t-shirt with the movie's logo on it, and a copy of Frank Miller's graphic novel, that I was just planning to buy that very evening (it costs 20 Euros by the way). I'm overcomed with joy. I have just spent one of the best days of my life. On March 28th 2007, I will certainly shed a tear or two, when the credits roll off at the end of the movie, and I start remembering this incredible day...