Sunday, 14 December 2014

Stonehenge Apocalypse

I have made a conscious choice (and actually cannot escape statutory childcare and school run duties when at home) not to go to the TAG this year, since I do need a break from serious conferencing - no matter how much I would have liked to have my annual curry dinner with friends and go and chat about work with certain parties that seem to be there according to the long and comprehensive program. Now, I actually have to do work. Write up things, go to the library, peer review and seek peer reviewers. There is also more stuff for the MASF editorial board coming for approval, so it is better to party less, let my Antiquity free subscription to be passed to the new happy owner and leave all the theoretical novelties to the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference 2015. Which will bring about an interesting balancing act happening during the same weekend as my son's birthday. Thus the last postings of the year will take a slightly lighter topics than the end of the universe as we know it (a.k.a. the potential, now-not-happening closure of the Swedish Mediterranean Institutes), island archaeology and Stonehenge landscape.

Which actually are exactly the topics I am going to talk about in more general, although lighter terms. My husband's annual 'cult movie night' exposed us this year to Stonehenge Apocalypse, the movie so laughable that you are literally speechless for a moment after it. It is from 2011 - with all the production values and CGI and VFX of the late 1980s. The main actors and actresses are famous for those American scifi series. Certain elements even apply some of the production choices of that famous Bonekickers British tv series. I am not sure, if the same special archaeology consultant was used here - but I hope not. The trailer brings in mind all those exploitation movies from the late 20th century - and the movie is a rip-off of any 2012 or Mayan apocalypse storyline.

Since this blog is ultimately about landscapes, I just point out a few of the most intriguing facts about the movie. No, I am not going to dwell on how they found Egyptian remains somewhere in the central states in the US or that Teotihuacan, the Pyramids and Stonehenge are mysteriously connected in volcanic action or the stones of Stonehenge move around. No, I was looking at Stonehenge itself and its landscape.

Before seeing this movie, I was totally unaware of the fir trees lining the horizon in the Stonehenge landscape. I was also totally unaware of the plastic texture of Stonehenge and the very-thin-indeed lintel stones. The dark coniferous forest and the flat lands could have been in southwestern Finland, but my guess is that more common destination of the American movie makers - Canada. This could also explain the unexpected vision of a basketball hall in an assumed British school. Plus all cars driving on the right side of the road and the steering wheel locating in a similar manner on the left-hand side in all 'British' army vehicles in the movie. Maybe I will not comment too much the underlining darker details seeing the African-American main archaeologist baddie siding with the generally 'Middle-eastern' crime organisation baddies... Truly speaking, a gobsmacking fail on all fronts.

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