About “300″… A Clarification

I have been out of line in some of my statements in relation to 300. I wrote things that made it sound like I was condemning the film. And I made some people who really liked the film uncomfortable.

That wasn’t my intention. And I apologize for getting so worked up about it.

As a critic, I should not judge films I haven’t seen. That’s unprofessional.

Now, technically, I haven’t judged it. I would, in fact, be delighted if I were to discover that the film was meaningful and worthwhile.

All I really wanted to do in my previous posts about the film was to point to other people’s reviews of that film, so that I could make it clear why I am not planning to see it, and so that people would stop asking me what I think of it.

I don’t think that film critics are automatically dismissed from listening to their own consciences about what they should and shouldn’t see. I know how I feel when I walk out of a movie that is intensely violent but ultimately rather shallow. I feel battered, weary, and like I’ve wasted my time. Since the reviews incline me to believe that 300 might make me feel that way, I’m going to steer clear of it for now.

But I don’t judge others who see it, and I have not judged the film. I can’t. I haven’t seen it.

Was I wrong to say it is full of sex and violence? Well, no… the film’s marketers practically flaunt that fact. And my friends who have seen it almost unanimously confirm that.

Still, they might be wrong, and the marketers might be misleading me. I’m sorry for sounding presumptuous. 300 might be a beautiful, meaningful work. Go see it if you wish. All I ask is that we all proceed with caution and discernment.

If you want to respond to this, email me.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at lookingcloser.org soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.