Quo Vadis Film Analysis

706 Words 3 Pages
Film Analysis

Quo Vadis

Hyowon Kim 2344997

Quo Vadis stands for the Latin phrase “Where are you going”. The film was directed by Enrico Guazzoni in 1912. There are multiple versions after 1912 but the one directed by Enrico Guazzoni is known to be the first block buster film during the silent film era. Quo Vadis is adapted from the novel Quo Vadis, a historical novel taking place between the years of 62-64 CE. The plot sets time during the early years ruled by Emperor Nero who was well known for his ambition and power. One of his soldier falls in love with a Christian slave woman named Lycia. However Nero is between the two lovers because of his hatred in Christianity. His outrage leads him destroying Rome then blaming the Christians,
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The painting is famous for not only being a reference for Quo Vadis, but for the film ‘Gladiator’ directed by Ridley Scott. In this essay I will be analyzing about the film and how the painting was so influential, what element they were inspired by, and the authenticity in the adaption.

Pollice Verso is a painting made in 1872. The title means ‘with a turned thumb’ in Latin which stands for language used by gladiators to pass judgment on a defeated gladiator.
The influence of the painting is noticeable by the visual reconstruction of ancient Rome. The two paintings by Gérôme ‘The Chtistian Maryrs’ Last Prayer’ and ‘Pollice verso’ were used as visual reference to the design aspect of the film. Looking at the film, it is inevitable to notice how the film had adapted many scenes that are almost exactly the same with the paintings. For example, in the scene where there is a chariot race, the chariot is viewed from the same angle and set from Gerome’s painting. Also when mirmillo is finally defeated, the scene is followed with an insert, showing the gladiator fighting. The figures are in the exact same pose as the painting of Police verso. The costume design of the film is also authentic to the appropriate time period and was also hugely influenced by Pollice
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The novel itself was also written with accurate historical events but some of them are doubtful of its authenticity. For example in the novel the great fire of Romes in AD 64 was started by the orders from Emperor Nero, however this may or may not be true, fires were very common back in the time. Also there is no evidence that the senior Jewish community advised Nero to blame the fire on the Christians. The cause of the fire has no evidence really, and this part is thought to be Sienkiewicz addition for the fictional entertainment. Before writing the novel Sienkiewicz who is the author did studied the Roman Empire carefully before writing anything. Most of the historical events that occur in the novel except for some parts like the example mentioned above with the fire. Other versions of the adaptation of films pretty much follow the accuracy of the original content as well. Guazzoni’s version was made before sound was adapted into film, but Mervyn Leroy’s adaptation of the film made in 1951, is well known not only for the modernization of the previous version but added musical scores which added in making the film more true to the time. The score was composed by Miklos Rozsa. He received praise for the historical authenticity he put into the scores. The music was influenced by ancient Greek melodies and added them to the orchestral

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