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Movie Recommendation


svensson

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I just caught the 2022 movie 'The Northman' last night on PPV.

If you're a Glorantha-phile, SEE THIS MOVIE.

I'm an amateur historian. As such, I've seen a lot of historical movies. I've seen very, VERY few that 'get it right'. 'The Northman' has displaced a long time favorite in my Top 5 Historical Movies, and that was a painful but clearly correct decision.

I've NEVER seen a movie that depicted shamanistic practices as realistically as this film. Near the beginning, there is an initiation ritual for a boy into the clan's ancestral cult that has very strong Daka Fal overtones. Later, the boy has grown to be a bearsarkii, and there is a pre-battle ritual that absolutely screams Storm Bull or Babeester or Maran Gor [depending on gender]

This movie really ought to go alongside 2004's 'Troy' as required viewing for Glorantha /RQ fans and I can't recommend it highly enough.

PS:
My Top 5 Accurate and Entertaining Historical Movies /Series are, in order:

- Arn: The Knight Templar

- Lincoln [I will never again think of Abraham Lincoln without hearing Daniel Day Lewis' voice]

- Der Untergang [Ditto Bruno Ganz's Adolph Hitler]

- Das Boot

- The Northman

The Northman displaced Cross of Iron, a movie I've loved for ages.

The Rest of the list in no particular order:
Cross of Iron, Generation War, Generation Kill, Kingdom of Heaven [Director's Cut], Elizabeth, Pharaoh's Army [a small budget Civil War movie]

Edited by svensson
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20 hours ago, Franky Umathsson said:

Another one is a series. Barbarians that is on Netflix. Classic Romans vs Germanic tribes. 

That one's not bad, but as a documentary is doesn't really give you a 'daily life' type narrative.

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10 hours ago, EricW said:

The Long Ships - a 1964 movie about vikings and arabs and Christianity and a gigantic crusader church bell made of gold.

That one was awful, but entertainingly awful. It was like '13th Warrior' that way.

And at least is didn't have Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas [1958's 'The Vikings'] or Lee Majors [1978's 'The Norseman'] in it. THOSE two pieces of tripe advanced the beginning of Fimbulwinter by a decade. Each. 😁

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For me the worst was where the series Vikings went.  I tried to watch the sixth season, but had to give up after a Macaw in a Silk Road market, and a -leather- montgolfier.

some other recent viewings:

In the Spine of Night - rotoscoped like Ice & Fire, which would be my closest comparison.  
Huntress: Rune of Death - a reeaallllly slow burn, but not a terrible movie.  Could certainly be used to invoke a Sartar look. 
Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire - dumb and stupid, but fun. 
Dreamkeeper - a really impressive movie of an American Indian storyteller passing the torch to his grandson.  Lots of great Native American myths are incorporated into this one.
Rising Hawk: Battle for the Carpathians - a small village against the Pentan (Mongol) hordes.

and I’m going to mention Primal again as it is an amazingly well told animated story with effectively zero dialogue.  Season 2 should be arriving in the not too distant future...

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23 hours ago, EricW said:

The Long Ships - a 1964 movie about vikings and arabs and Christianity and a gigantic crusader church bell made of gold.

 

It's a wonderful book... by Frans G. Bengtsson... well worth the read.. and bears absolutely no resemblance to the movie ... except for the Bell which is used to cure Harold Bluetooth's tooth ache (from memory, one of his blue teeth was causing a problem)

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On 6/9/2022 at 8:46 AM, svensson said:

I've NEVER seen a movie that depicted shamanistic practices as realistically as this film. Near the beginning, there is an initiation ritual for a boy into the clan's ancestral cult that has very strong Daka Fal overtones. Later, the boy has grown to be a bearsarkii, and there is a pre-battle ritual that absolutely screams Storm Bull or Babeester or Maran Gor [depending on gender]

Thanks! Now I've got to see this. If it would be set in Glorantha, where would you put it? 

On 6/9/2022 at 8:46 AM, svensson said:

This movie really ought to go alongside 1994's 'Troy' as required viewing for Glorantha /RQ fans and I can't recommend it highly enough.

I always liked Troy. I really need to watch it again along with Kingdom of Heaven (director's cut).

I also liked the Barbaren series on Netflix and really liked Vikings in general (the arc with the Rus wasn't really that great though).

Someone mentionned Pathfinder. I didn't think much of it at the time but I suspect I was expecting something else. I think I need to watch it again.

Another one that I like is Wolfhound (Volkodav) from 2006. It's a sword and sorcery fantasy film based on a series of novels.

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@DreadDomain

Well, it's Viking Age, so it doesn't really 'fit' in Glorantha anywhere. Norse culture is portrayed as ancient and abiding, so IMHO the best sort-of fit would be Old Tarsh. That's the odd dichotomy of Viking movies... they have some strong Orlanthi /Hendrikings elements but they don't really fit the Bronze Age theme of RQ.

I haven't seen either Pathfinder nor Wolfhound, so no opinions there.

The most Glorantha-like movie I've seen for plot and the 'odd group of random people thrown together for a mission' is probably '13th Warrior'. I've always liked Vladimir Kulich ['Bolvei'] and he's been woefully misused in English language movies.

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On 6/9/2022 at 6:46 AM, svensson said:

This movie really ought to go alongside 1994's 'Troy' as required viewing for Glorantha /RQ fans and I can't recommend it highly enough

Personally, I thought Troy: Fall of a City to be better (although, I'm not finding your 1994 version anywhere...).

 

I confess to having a problem with understanding this thread**... just because something is set in RL history where they use swords, it doesn't mean it's "Glorantha", just that Glorantha/RQ has some of those elements. Although, the Indian movies about their holy books do fit very well... There's a ginormously long Mahabarata movie series which I have yet to sit through...

 

**(well, actually it's the other movie thread, as this is only "recommendations")

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42 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Personally, I thought Troy: Fall of a City to be better (although, I'm not finding your 1994 version anywhere...).

 

I confess to having a problem with understanding this thread**... just because something is set in RL history where they use swords, it doesn't mean it's "Glorantha", just that Glorantha/RQ has some of those elements. Although, the Indian movies about their holy books do fit very well... There's a ginormously long Mahabarata movie series which I have yet to sit through...

 

**(well, actually it's the other movie thread, as this is only "recommendations")

OK, 'Troy' from 2004. My bad on that one, I'll correct it.

I'm not recommending 'The Northman' because it has swords in it. If that was the case '13th Warrior' would do just as well. I recommend 'The Northman' for the cultural aspects, especially the depiction of shamanic ritual.

A lot of gamers come to RQ with DnD firmly in their brains... a world with articulated Gothic plate armors and literally every single edged weapon they can devise a stat for [anybody remember the 'glaive-guisarme-fork'?]. A world where throwing knives can penetrate plate armor at 50 meters and elves can duel-wield knives and longbows at the same time. RQ demands a bit more realism than that.

Because of all this, I recommend movies that depict the magic, buildings, material cultures and societies that Greg envisioned way back when. 'Kingdom of Heaven' is just as inappropriate for the RQ setting as 'Das Boot' is. So I try and keep it 'Bronze Age', although I do recommend some Iron Age stuff ['Rome', for example, is a good depiction of the decadence and rot at the heart of the Lunar Empire].

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2 minutes ago, svensson said:

I recommend 'The Northman' for the cultural aspects, especially the depiction of shamanic ritual.

Have you seen the series Britannica?

 

3 minutes ago, svensson said:

['Rome', for example, is a good depiction of the decadence and rot at the heart of the Lunar Empire].

Sort of related (and mentioned elsewhere) - Agora. I can sort of imagine the main character based around God Learners 😜

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you're looking for movies with a very Glorantha feel to them. I'd recommend 2001's Atanarjuat: the Fast Runner, which is based on an Inuit legend. The film just feels like the sort of story you'd heard told around a Praxian or Balazaring campfire, although the setting is the Arctic. 

Another very Gloranthan film is 2016's Mohenjo-Daro, which is set in the Indus Valley Civilization, and tells the story of an honest indigo farmer fighting to liberate Mohenjo-Daro from a tyrannical leader. While there's a lot of Bollywood song-and-dance silliness, they actually tried to be serious of historical accuracy with the limits of what little we actually know about the IVC and there's a subplot involving a priestess of the local river goddess. The hero is represents a very traditional way of life, quasi-xenophobic, resentful of a more sophisticated urbanized culture represents by the leader he needs to overthrown--in other words there's a lot you can mine for how a space like Dara Happa or even Sartar might feel. 

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I admit that I tend to avoid Bollywood because of all the dance-number silliness. I tried watching the epic Jai Rantoshi Ma and it was completely above my pay grade. It was like trying to understand the Elder Eddas when all you've got is the Greek myths to work with.

But I'm not gonna say that Holly-weird or Pinewood don't have their ridiculous tropes too. The desperate need for Western audiences to have the whole story wrapped up with a happy ending in 2 hours and 15 minutes, for example...

Another good entry into the 'Glorantha movie' file is the Armand Assante -Gretta Scacchi 'Odyssey' from 1997 is good too... 'Tempt not the gods on their thrones, Odysseus, for thou art less than a plaything thus...'

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Moana (most Gloranthan movie ever - it even has its own Closing!)

Bahubaali (I can virtually never stand Bollywood, but I could live with the dancing here)

The Spine of Night (vastly underrated)

For tv, I enjoyed Barbarians (the Arminius one from Germany)

 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I've seen almost everything suggested above, but I'd give a wildly different list of recommended films to get into that Glorantha vibe.

Dead Man
Jim Jarmusch does the Western. Shamanism, death, and Iggy Pop in a dress. A favourite of Greg and mine.

HBO's Rome

The ancient world as a lush soap opera. Epic scale, with great ideas on how to work player characters into that ongoing epic.

Unforgiven

The consequences of a life of violence, vengeance, and feud, and those touched by Death are forever changed. There are more than a few folk like William Munny in Glorantha, and this pops up in almost every RQ game I've run for the last quarter century.

 

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As I mentioned previously, I don't like the idea of a 'Gloranthan' movie, as most of the time, as in reality is Glorantha mirroring earth that we're seeing (eagerly awaiting a real Gloranthan movie, with ducks, trolls, and tree-like "elves").

However... I've just started on an Italian series (8 episodes) called Romulus. it's set in the 8th century BCE, so fairly fully into the Iron Age. Overt belief in gods, but not much actual magic (however, it's probably a good representation of reality).There are, of course, some anachronisms (including in the title 😛), but so far (2nd episode), it's not bad, and would seem familiar to many of us! (however... far too many red tunics for my liking!)

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On 6/10/2022 at 7:40 PM, Joerg said:

The 1987 movie Pathfinder is quite high on my list. 

I always liked this. i saw it purely by accident on UK tv ( BBC 2 ) I think. it was on late at night-  I watched the first few minutes out of curiousity, got caught up in the story and enjoyed the rest.

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On 7/8/2022 at 7:05 AM, Agentorange said:
On 6/10/2022 at 7:40 PM, Joerg said:

The 1987 movie Pathfinder is quite high on my list. 

I always liked this. i saw it purely by accident on UK tv ( BBC 2 ) I think. it was on late at night-  I watched the first few minutes out of curiousity, got caught up in the story and enjoyed the rest.

It is a funny, heart warming film and describes a HeroQuest.

Even the remake, with Vikings in North America, is pretty good, not as whimsical but still pretty good. It doesn'

I love the brilliant skiing practical joke, though.

Edited by soltakss

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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  • 2 months later...

While I can't recommend the SyFy minseries* based on The Earthsea Trilogy, the third book (The Farthest Shore) might be inspiration for a Heroquest (considering the two main characters have to cross into the realm of death, and have to traverse it to come out the other side). Of course the equivalents of Orm Embar and Kalessin are most likely dream dragons of somewhat beneficial bent.

Not sure if Ged's conflict with the Gebbeth (?) would count for a Heroquest.

Of course, modifying stories focused upon a single character for use with a party of PCs may be the killer.

 

* SyFy had whites playing the main Earthsea characters-- when they are dark skinned in the books (though perhaps more in a Polynesian bent than African), and it is peoples of the northeast islands (Karg?) who are white https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karg

Quote

Kargs have fair skin and many have blond hair, unlike the majority of the inhabitants of Earthsea, who have dark skin and hair. Tenar, perhaps the best-known Kargish individual, happens to have dark hair.[1] The Kargs' Nordic appearance and their raider culture resembles the Scandinavian Viking civilisation.

Hmmm, the Ghibli animated appears to be just as bad...

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8 hours ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

Not sure if Ged's conflict with the Gebbeth (?) would count for a Heroquest.

The shadow wants to turn Sparrowhawk into a gebbeth, right? As it is his own shadow, I would say fighting it does count. Eventually Ged gives up power to recognise/de-fang his shadow, so it is not a munchkin heroquest. (I hope I have remembered that right.) But if Argrath always meant to kill the gods and if the illiteracy plague did for sorcery, too, then maybe we can see Argrath and the Devil as enforced nuclear disarmament — which doesn’t look like a munchkin move either.

8 hours ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

Hmmm, the Ghibli animated appears to be just as bad...

IIRC, Le Guin did complain and was disappointed — and not just by skin colours. (I believe racial representation in anime is not straightforward, but I am not qualified to blather on about that.) The Puffin paperbacks I read as a child had very “European” people on the covers, too.

Edited by mfbrandi
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