Coming home: international and domestic Medievalism in the films of Ridley Scott
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In a 2008 interview in the Los Angeles Times, film director Ridley Scott said that since 2001 he had felt an obligation to make films that are "about something."1 Although some might object that Scott's earlier classics, such as Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, and Thelma and Louise, were not about nothing, it is clear that by something Scott meant the United States' post-2001 involvement in the Middle East, the war on terror, and especially the quagmire of ideology, religion, and Realpolitik that characterises the Iraq war and the subsequent occupation. Scott's admission comes as no surprise to anyone following his body of work over the last decade, for he has returned to the theme of East-West conflict in no fewer than three films: Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Scott's film about the Crusades, which has attracted significant commentary from scholars of medievalism;2 Body of Lies (2008), about CIA counterterrorism in Iraq and jordan; and Robin Hood (2010), about Robin's path to radicalism after his return from the East.
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