Saturday, December 03, 2005

Chariots of Fire

I watched Chariots of Fire this weekend. I figured it was time to be inspired by great films or whatever. I knew very little about the movie or the real-life history it's based upon. Pretty much the only thing I knew was that it's about a bunch of people running on the beach in slow motion with synthesizers playing in the background. (Ohmygod it's Baywatch!)

(The movie is 20 years old, the history is 80 years old, but if you want to avoid spoilers skip to the next paragraph.) I was somewhat surprised with the movie. The entire film seemed to be building up to the big race between two men: one Jewish, the other Christian. Both were struggling with conflict: one was trying to gain acceptance for who he was, another struggled with choosing God over Country. A typical story should finally wind up with the two men racing eachother in the Olympics, and determining once and for all which religion is better. (kidding.) But no, history wasn't kind to Hollywood because what happens? They run in different events, they both win gold medals, and everyone's happy. How can there be the thrill of victory if there's no agony of defeat?

I was looking for inspiration, and I was sadly disappointed. I knew the film wasn't about marathons, but I expected the races to be, well, longer. Not to take away anything from these athletes, but come on: they ran for 10 seconds. In the amount of time I stop in the middle of a run to adjust my shoe, their entire race has started and finished. Wimps.


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