Saturday, December 31, 2011

More thoughts on Pope Joan and a review of my novel

I wanted to alert my blog readers that REELZ channel will be rebroadcasting the movie Pope Joan on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.  (Edited due to incorrect times being listed previously.)  December 31st broadcast time is 4 pm EST, 1 pm PST and January 1st will be shown at 10 am EST, 7 am PST.  Both episodes are shown back to back.

The movie is divided into two parts that are each two hours in length.  I thought on the second night there were to be interviews with the author, but those extras were put into other shows on the network to help publicize the movie's broadcast and can also be found on their website.

There were 25 additional minutes to the film from the theatrical release that I saw at a film festival.  Having only seen it once before, I am unsure of exactly how many things were added in the REELZ channel version that had not been in the theatrical release.

There was one scene that seemed new to me that is worth noting.  It is of a "trial" by Joan's father of the local midwife as being a witch.  She is thrown into a river after being bound. After she drowns, Joan's father declares that the woman was innocent of being a witch and that Heaven should have mercy upon her soul.

There was no attempt upon saving her or by retrieving her corpse from the river.  At least none shown on screen.

Another scene I did not remember was a raucous one in the bishop's palace.  A young Joan (Johanna) and her brother John (Johannes) enter the palace at dinnertime.  They are reporting to the schola, but she has to first prove herself worthy to enter since enrolling a female is unprecedented.

As they enter the grand dining room there are tables filled with people eating and carousing.  One man stands up, bends over baring his backside and cheers greet him as he provides the entertainment.  Another person is holding a lit candle whose flame is enhanced by the productive emissions from this gaseous man.

Yup, the movie depicts medieval fart lighting.

Having a small interlude like that takes away some of the hyper-glossed shine many movies set in the medieval era where the knights are dressed in shining armor and the ladies are sporting perfect lipstick,  eyeshadow and mascara.

I recommend that any medievalist who hasn't watched this movie to make an attempt to watch it tonight and tomorrow if possible.  It is well done and depicts the difficulty women had in the ninth century.  This movie can be enjoyed as pure historical fiction if you do not believe that the legend of Pope Joan was based on a real woman.

Speaking of medieval mascara, I will be joining Carl Pyrdum soon on his blog in a (Bad) Medieval Movie Review.  We will be critiquing the movie Ever After starring Drew Barrymore.  Talk about your medieval mascara!  I will post a link here when that goes live on Carl's popular Got Medieval blog.

And lastly, medievalist blogger Steven Till posted a review of my novel Quest of the Warrior Maid. Here is a link to his review.

Here is wishing my blog readers to have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.

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