Saturday, March 24, 2012

Archery in the Movies

I haven't seen it yet but I will be checking out The Hunger Games some time in the next couple of weeks. I enjoyed the trilogy of books and hope to feel likewise about the films themselves--I've done a little web browsing to garner opinions and am not surprised that the backlash has begun, with all sorts of critics (Andrew O'Hehir of Salon comes to mind) taking potshots at the phenomenon more than the film. Oh, and by the way, a lot of critics have pointed out that the film does the same thing that the imaginary government does in the film's narrative, i.e. doles out entertainment via teenagers killing one another. News alert: in the film's narrative real kids are dying while in the film it's faked. There is a difference. A big one.

I'm off-topic here. What I really wanted to say in this post is that I'm looking forward to some archery-related violence in this film. I've long been a fan of the bow-and-arrow action hero. It makes for great visuals and satisfying sound effects. A few of my favorites here:

Melina Havelock (Carol Bouquet) in Roger Moore's best Bond outing, For Your Eyes Only. She plays a revenge-seeking Greek who dispatches her victims with a crossbow.

One of the nice things about Legolas (Orlando Bloom) in The Lord of the Rings trilogy is how versatile he is with his weapon. Firing two arrows, long distance shots, shooting through doors, dispatching oliphants etcetera.

The greatest archery film ever made, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), with Errol Flynn. Flynn deserves credit, of course, for making the green tights look good, but the archery credit really goes to Howard Hill, the genius who actually fired arrows at costumed extras, making sure to hit the wooden block underneath their outfits. Inspiring stuff, prompting me to at one point compose a poetic ode to Mr. Hill. I'll leave that for another post.

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