[identity profile] maelicia.livejournal.com
Delays, delays, delays... As promised, here it finally comes! It took forever to prepare these three posts (you have no idea, really), and you’re soon about to find out why: 26 single-spaced pages in Times New Roman, 12 pts, and more than 10 000 words for the essay; 14 single-spaced pages in Times New Roman, 12 pts, and more than 7000 words for the appendix of quotes (original French and translated)... Considering how long it is, it’s been split in three different posts (sorry for the spamming!).

Many, many, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] estellacat who helped, re-read, corrected (I speak French – this is the first essay I ever write in English), checked back the quotes and extracts, translated most dialogue from La Terreur et la Vertu in English, which I had typed in French while listening the film, and all the quotes from Saint-Just’s writings. It had to be perfect – because Saint-Just is worth it. This essay was written in two days (first time I ever write so much that fast as well!) and during a very, very long night (I believe I went to bed at 7am, after typing all those quotes from Saint-Just’s writings). Took a week to get the final results you're now soon about to read. Two or three parts were added and re-worked after my extended comments with [livejournal.com profile] victoriavandal and Sibylla as can be read here (that thread inspired me).

NOTE 1: My thoughts on La Terreur et la Vertu in the final paragraph were written before I find a link online to the second film. Hence my joy when I did.

NOTE 2: I overlooked Saint-Just’s physical appearance in the docudrama: for example, the fact that they gave him an emo haircut (!!!) when it wouldn’t have been so complicated to curl up his hair a bit and cut them accurately – nobody had bangs like that in the 18th century! In fact, it’s far for being an innocent choice. Like [livejournal.com profile] trf_chan points out in her review, this docudrama aims at speaking to the younger generation of today through this particular Saint-Just. Exactly like Mona Ozouf is speaking to our present hedonistic world through the libertine idealization, they are speaking to our present younger generation by making him look like one of us: this blending of the past and present is a proof even more striking of this “documentary”’s nature as propaganda.


“Thank God I’m pretty, every skill I ever have will be in question…”
Emilie Autumn – Thank God I’m Pretty

On the (mis)representation of Saint-Just in Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution.

I am responding to what will soon be unleashed through the English-speaking world: the horrible after-effects of the BBC program Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution. I am “partial”, no need to tell you this. Usually, considering the subject of my studies, I would probably prefer to focus on the mess they made of the representation of Robespierre. Yet, at the risk of disappointing, I will say that this type of misrepresentation (the whole “Robespierre = Stalin, Mao, Castro, Hitler, Khomeini” package-deal that makes no logical sense) is nothing new, and therefore it is not necessary to make it the center of our critique, though surely we will find many opportunities – here or elsewhere – to attack it anyway.

It is the misrepresentation of Saint-Just in this 90-min. program that I would like to attack here. Those who read my direct “as I watched it,” not-very-scientific critique of it on my journal will know that I lost my calm and presence of mind over it. It shocked me, precisely because most people would probably gloss over it and all the hidden meanings behind it: they would ignore it or dismiss its consequences. Moreover, because people, in this type of scenario, always have the same thing to say in response: “Yes, but he’s pretty and pouty!” As you can read here, the aftereffects have already started to appear. I know this type of reply: I was there once; I said it about Christopher Thompson’s interpretation of Saint-Just in La Révolution française: les Années terribles, and I know how damaging it is. This essay is a testimony to my own past: I was there three years ago; I won’t go back.

The type of Saint-Just played here by the actor George Maguire is in the same vein as Christopher Thompson’s. (He seems to have been cast from the same mould.) Which is to say, twenty years after the Bicentennial of the French Revolution, we’re still there, that we haven’t progressed at all. Even, it’s worse than ever.

Read the manifesto.

I. Saint-Just's 'Puritanism' )

II. Saint-Just the 'schoolboy' )

III. Saint-Just and Carnot )

[identity profile] trf-chan.livejournal.com
Hullo boys and girls.

This is my attempt to seriously present my comments and criticism of the recent BBC program Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution without resorting (much) to swearing and snarling, hard as that proved to be. [livejournal.com profile] maelicia asked me to post it here, so...

...here we go! )
[identity profile] missweirdness.livejournal.com
Yeah I found SOMETHING ELSE! That  SS Eat the revolution. it's quite interesting.

*goes to watch *


(this is what happens when you don't have a job and..and watch FMA too much xD)

enjoy also =)
[identity profile] missweirdness.livejournal.com
Yeah, i guess what i found on youtube?

That dreadful Terror! Robespierre and the french revolution..

here's the link -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcZxrb_L0_M

part 1 of 9, hahahah

enjoy =O

 and apparently the emo GUY is ST. JUST! GASP!

I'm watching now..=( 

now discuss!

[identity profile] victoriavandal.livejournal.com
As in" "Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution" BBC2. Review . (I put that word in in the hope a random googler will stumble here...) Let's put it this way: it uses scenes from "Orphans of the Storm' like documentary footage. It intercuts images of Pol Pot, Stalin, Khomeni (oddly, not of Israel, a threatened democracy, surrounded by enemies, that uses violence to protect itself, and of which Simon Schama is a staunch supporter!!!!) with the acted bits. The CSP only seems to have 6 members - no mention of General Security. Carnot is the voice of reason, and Collot the bloodthirty one with a working class accent to denote cruelty (think Danny the Drug Dealer in Withnail and I, or the Cockney Orcs in LOTR) - though of course, Collot's role in Thermidor isn't mentioned: that wouldn't fit with the story the BBC are telling, you know, where Thermidor is the spontaneous overthrow of a cruel dictator (cue death to the tyrant type images from Gance's"Napoleon') - Fouché, Fréron, Tallien, Billaud and co don't even get a mention. Danton is killed because he's nice, Desmoulins is killed for writing vieux Cordelier no3, Herault's killed because he's posh, Fabre for no reason at all, Brissot and co for no reason at all....
And so on.
Contributions were from David Andress, Hilary Mantel, Zizek, Ruth Scurr (briefly), some other chap, some other chapess whose name I know but forget, and of couse old scrotum face Simon Schama, who cackles that he'd love to have been there on 9 Thermidor.
Frankly, if you knew nothing much about the Revolution, you'd end up as confused as you were at the start. And if you do, you'll be shouting "Oy! What about the Hébertistes! You haven't even mentioned ANYTHING about them!" and similar things at the screen all the way through. Like Mark Steel said, it's like saying in 1940 the British blacked their windows out for no apparent reason.

Lots of bedroom scenes with Robespierre and Saint-Just (with earring), though...
[identity profile] victoriavandal.livejournal.com
That's the link to Monday's programme on the BBC iPlayer: it may be available through other online sources (I don't have downloading abilities on this old computer so I don't know much about it). Most of the earlier episodes in this TV series have been posted on Youtube, so it may appear on there in a few days, too. The programme's mainly on the food of the court: we don't get to 1789 till 40 mins in, and it's passed over very briefly so they can get to Thermidor and more fine dining, 1795-style (if you're wondering why the costumes look so low-budget on that upcoming 'Terror!' programme, it's because it looks like they've blown a lot of it on wigs and food here!).

Don't watch it on a full stomach.
[identity profile] victoriavandal.livejournal.com
If it's watchable wherever you are (online?), that 'Terror!' prog with the bad wig is on a 8pm (20.00) in England and Wales (dunno about Northern Ireland) Sat 11th, not 9pm - it is on at 9pm in Scotland.

P.S. how do I post a pic from photobucket? I tried click-and-drag, but it came out the size of a postage stamp.
[identity profile] maelicia.livejournal.com
I think it's my duty as an Angry Citizen(ess) to share my self-rightous outrage, and my favourite topic to share it is on All The More Or Less Bad And Terrible Representations of Robespierre, Saint-Just, Couthon, etc. In Films And, Sometimes, Novels.

First of all, I analysed the photo I posted earlier further (I was about to leave when I did that post, so I didn't have time):

Apart from Couthon, whom we won't even speak about, what is wrong:

1. That guy as an emo haircut.
2. Why is that guy having a red sash? Is it PROTO-SOCIALIST Collot or Billaud? And why is Robespierre the only one standing out again with his tricolor sash? They all had tricolor sashes!
3. I suspect that guy is Carnot: because he is adopting a falsely military "yo" attitude with his sword and all, except he clearly has the type of haircut that would be popular during the Empire, or the Consulate, or whater: A LOT LATER THAN YEAR II. Idiots. Also, that person doesn't know where to put his cocarde. Really not.

Someone noted how Robespierre looked a lot more masculine (!) for once. And so does that "Saint-Just" apparently. BUT THEN, suddenly, I spotted something that seemed dead wrong with that horrid Saint-Just's hand: is that a ring there? A ruby ring? And, perhaps, two rings?

Oh, but wait a moment, Robespierre's got a ring too:

They're making a British statement on Prop 8. Oh yes they are.

And they fail at everything. Unless it's part of the plot and they have secret poison rings. Who knows.
[identity profile] maelicia.livejournal.com
To follow [livejournal.com profile] victoriavandal's post on Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution!: listened the audio and got the name of the actor playing Robespierre: Stephen Hogan.

After a little googling, I think I found photos...!

May I be the first to say that they didn't put a lot of budget on his wig.

Aw, Committee of Public Safety... I won't say anything. Like, how my only way to identify Couthon is that: he must the one in the wheelchair. Well, that sums up the usual "attribute" and "characteristic" given to Couthon. Now, where is Saint-Just...! Oh, the mysteries...!

I don't know why, but he kinda makes me think of Dennis DeYoung... -_-;
[identity profile] victoriavandal.livejournal.com
The 90 minute programme 'Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution' is scheduled for broadcast on BBC2 on Saturday 11 July at 9pm - if there's anyone reading this in Britain who has the ability to record it and put it on youtube, please do - my computer is sadly too crap to handle that sort of thing. From the schedule date, I think the Supersizers Eat the French Revolution Saturday repeat will also be the same evening - so a bit of a theme there, then. In addition, there was a short discussion - that frankly didn't get anywhere - on Robespierre and Danton on BBC Radio 3's Night Waves review programme. Apparently, there's a book on Danton coming out, and the male historian was on discussing it with Ruth Scurr. She comes across as politely dismissive of the male Danton historian's assertions that Danton was 'every bit a male - Robespierre was far from that' (I think the male historian was about to say 'effeminate', then realised using 'feminine' in a pejorative way wasn't a good idea on a prog with a female presnter and a female historian!). The discussion is about 26 minutes into the programme, which is on 'listen again', and lasts 10 mins (if you can get it where you are) on this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00ldsvm/Night_Waves_Danton_Peter_RandallPage_Michael_Goldfarb/


Jun. 29th, 2009 07:59 pm
[identity profile] victoriavandal.livejournal.com
'The Supersizers Eat...The French Revolution' is scheduled to be shown on 6th July 9pm BBC2 (though the tennis has just overrun, taking tonight's episode out of the schedule, so it might be bumped along to the week after). Here's the blurb from the BBC website:

"Restaurant critic Giles Coren and writer and comedian Sue Perkins experience the food culture of years gone by.

Giles and Sue go for a journey back to Revolutionary France in the 1780s. Donning wigs and corsets, Giles and Sue find out what King Louis 16th ate, why Marie Antoinette was so hated, and how the Revolution was instrumental in creating the first restaurant and first restaurant critic.

French chef Mickael Weiss from London's Coq d'Argent sweats it out in the kitchens providing the lavish banquets in some of the most beautiful chateaus in France.

During the week, they sample frog's legs, a masked meal, an iced sculpture of the Bastille complete with fireworks and Marie Antoinette's soup before she was taken to the guillotine. Sue tries cake at Versailles while Giles has a banquet consisting entirely of a new vegetable called the potato.

Following in the footsteps of the king and queen, Giles and Sue escape from Paris in a horse-drawn carriage and end the week with a meal consisting entirely of black food and with a live pig as the guest of honour. The French Revolution in a week is truly a supersized undertaking."

The first series in this format was pretty good, so I have been holding out hopes for this, but so far the first couple of episodes of the new series (they've done 'the 80's' and 'Medieval') have been tedious and self indulgent: someone in the cutting room evidently decided the presenters are more interesting than the food - they aren't. It also sounds very toff-food-heavy, though almost all the episodes so far have concentrated on the food of the rich, banquets being more photogenic than bread and dripping (I'd like to see them eat the food of the medieval poor for a week!). Anyway, it's on in Britain (and presumably British-reception areas around the Channel region) and online for either a week or 28 days - not sure which - but someone has posted some of the earlier episodes on youtube, so it may turn up there, too (I don't have downloading/uploading abilities!).

Btw earlier episodes were called 'The Supersizers Go', so if you are searching Youtube, you may find it under that.

More telly!

Jun. 3rd, 2009 09:25 pm
[identity profile] victoriavandal.livejournal.com
Coming up in the next few weeks on BBC2 here in sunny Britain, 'The Supersizers Eat...the French Revolution' (or 'Versailles', as some listing previews seem to have it), a one hour prog on the eating habits of the 1780's/90's, as far as I can gather...I'm guessing 'cake' (yeah, I know, it was either brioche or a pre-existing anecdote reapplied to da queen), oranges, and the dawn of canned food, but I may be totally wrong. And better - or possibly worse - well, at any rate, more pertinent to this site - 'Terror! Robespierre and the French Revolution' http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2009/04_april/22/bbctwo_tz.shtml ...well, you go for years, decades, with nothing on the telly and suddenly - oh BBC, you are really spoiling us! Or not, as the case may be - 90 mins on Robespierre (neat!) only with Simon bastard bloody scrotum-faced Schama (nooooooo). God, I was gutted as I scrolled down the page. I know the BBC have him on a 3 million quid contract (our money!), but that's just cruel. Like putting celery in my food.
Be interesting to see how the prog plays out - the synopsis sounds like the usual fare - Schama doing his standard 'it was the proto-Holocaust' thing - but Zizek is this decade's student darling, and the British public quite like the idea of guillotining non-virtuous politicians at the moment! No date as yet, but it's the 220th anniversary (tenuous link beloved of schedulers) of that Bastille business, so I reckon it'll be on around then. I don't know how to put stuff on youtube, but if anyone else here in Britain can copy and post the broadcasts (because BBC online isn't available from overseas), that'd be fab!
[identity profile] victoriavandal.livejournal.com
BBC2's "The Supersizers Go..." upcoming series is going to do an episode on food in the French Revolution. Well, I presume they enjoyed the Regency gear so much last series that Giles Coren is desperate to get into tight trousers again (the two presenters dress up in various period gear and live the food-lifestyle for a week, then have their poo tested (oh, yes) to see how unhealthy or otherwise it makes them - yes, it's copied off that 'Supersize Me'film, but it's generally pretty entertaining, even though I loathe Master Coren. Glad to hear he gets beheaded in this one.) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/eating_out/giles_coren/article5297874.ece
[identity profile] pedrolino.livejournal.com
I first got really into the French Revolution after watching the documentary the History Channel made in 2004 or 2005. I rewatched it recently, and while I was somewhat dismayed that they managed to get through the entire thing without mentioning anybody but Robespierre and Danton more than once, I think it's a pretty good, understandable introduction to the period. Has anyone else seen it? What are your views?
[identity profile] sunliner.livejournal.com
I watched Simon Schama's Power of Art thing on David and jeeeez, he really hates him, doesn't he? It actually bothered me. Like, to the point where I made faces at the TV.
Also I forgot to add that it is very apparent that Death of Marat just EXHUDES ~*evil revolutionary sentiments*~ that corrupt the minds of our youth, ya know?
[identity profile] trf-chan.livejournal.com
Holy hell, I have finally seen the History Channel French Rev. documentary again. The last time I saw it was the day it came out, when I hardly even knew there had been a French Revolution. I was curious to see how my perception of it had changed from then to now.

First, a note on getting it: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH. You see, the first time, using Amazon, the people randomly said that something was wrong with my mom's credit card. This was most unusual, since it seemed to work just fine for the other four or so people I had ordered things from around that time. So we scrapped that. Then, mom found an Ebay seller offering it very cheap. We went for that. Uh-oh! Turns out that was a scam. There was no DVD! Ahaha, fooled you! Mom told me that clearly God did not want me to have this DVD. Never one to listen to God, I went back to Amazon and found a different seller. Everything went through fine, except for some small delays. Finally. So, yes, in conclusion: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH.

How was it, IMO? Er...quite mediocre. But the guy playing Robespierre was cute, so no worries. A+++, would drool over again.

Okay, some more specific comments:

LJ cut )

Final Grade: C
*Change to B+ if the only thing you know about the French Revolution is the fact that it was indeed a revolution which took place in a country called France.

EDIT: Using this wonderful site, I have come up with the following.

You're On Notice! )


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