[identity profile] victoriavandal.livejournal.com
On page 792 of the hardback US Edition of Schama's 'Citizens', he winds up his chapter 'Terror is the order of the day' with the lines "Commenting on the Revolution of the 10th August, Robespierre had rejoiced that 'a river of blood would now divide France from her enemies'"

Leaving aside that horrific 'rejoiced' - cos, yeah, he did it for the lulz! - I've only ever heard those 'river of blood' words attributed to Danton. Did Robespierre ever use the same words?
[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
A post-script to my previous post - some of you might like this - it's from the last U.S. election night coverage on the BBC - it's the wee small hours of the morning (Obama's big victory speech was on at 5am here) and methinks someone has been enjoying the BBC's 'hospitality' room a bit...but I love Dimbleby's little comment right at the end here...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3v-wmqc27U&feature=related and there' this, too... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCQrnSQ4rTo&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=D638E3BA48901241&index=21 (that should be the Dead Ringers / Simon Schama's fee sketch: the woman who is now head of BBC2 factual programming - and salaries - thinks the man is a towering genius whose book 'Citizens' changed her life. Blimey. Explains a lot about BBC history programmes, though: the pro-English Revolution 1640's set drama the Devil's Whore was dropped by the BBC (I'm guessing when they realised Charles 1 wasn't going to be the 'hero') and made instead by the independent Channel4).

P.P.S. For a taste of BBC things to come, the entire episode of Schama's last televisual rant against the French Revolution has been posted on Youtube. Dig the spotty teenage Robespierre, and the even spottier Danton (who looks like a wino), scabby Marat, not to mention the hideously deformed David himself - the old 'French Revolution as Zoo' approach....it's not pleasant, but anyone out there who wants more stuff for essays etc. on right-wing/revisionist/reactionary/pop cultural 'takes' on the revolution can use this as a good example of the genre. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDi6jyifhY4
[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?


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