II. Historical and Institutional Factors
Some institutional factors in making the movie 300 directed by Zack Snyder was having the proper team that can get into old combat warfare. Props such as swords, shields, war uniforms etc. would be needed in order to make the movie as realistic as possible at the time period it took place.
This film takes place during the Battle of Thermopylae in the year 480 B.C. during the reign of Xerxes and the Persian Empire was at its most strongest. The movie has a huge historical background that tells of the 300 Spartans lead by King Leonidas chose to stand up to the powerful Persian Empire to show how Spartans will not surrender or bow to any man no matter the conditions.
III. Socio-Cultural Context
The people of Sparta were thought to have been descendant's of Hercules himself because of their expertise and drive to fight in battle. Unlike all the other countries during the this time period, Spartan children were taken from their homes and trained to fight, to never back down, or to feel pain. Some would say after seeing this movie that it was very close to being considered extremely barbaric. At birth a man would closely examine the baby and if it were misshapen in anyway shape or form it would be discarded and left for dead. The lifestyle of Sparta was to be as ruthless as possible, this was how Spartans were raised to think in battle. The movie was made to entertain all kinds of audience, old, young, and those that are just really into blood and gore. During the production of this movie Zack Snyder had to do some research on the history of the famous Spartan 300 at the Battle of Thermopylae.
The movie is broken down piece by piece with the narrator explaining what is going on during the movie to those people that may not understand whats going on or what the characters in the movie are thinking or feeling at that moment. The narration in the movie goes plot by plot and while all of the narrating the scene is really slow and kind of gets the audience on the edge of their seats wondering whats going to happen next. During this movie you wonder whats going to happen to Spartans and if they're going to wipe out the powerful Persian Empire. The longer you watch the movie the closer you feel to the characters and it almost feels like your there watching the battles happen right in front of you.
V. Film language and Representation
When you think of the characters in the movie you think of shields and will power to fight for their people. At the beginning of the movie when the messenger from Persia shows up to Sparta he pulls skulls from past kings that failed to fight off Persia to show how powerful they are. This fore shadowed how the movie would end and how a war between the countries would start a large retaliation. The actors were really into character and played very good warriors. During the production of battle scenes, the director would speed up a part really quick and slow it back down to show the power of the swords cutting through the Persian soldiers. This made the movie even more interesting and got some audience members engrossed into the movie. When a battle scene is about to start, you look at the background to see the kind of landscape the fight is taking place. Its completely different from an enormous amount of troops going right into a town and killing everyone in their path because both sides are aware casualties will happen. Editing in a movie like 300 really helps to intensify a battle scene such as when King Leonidas is charging toward enemy soldiers while slowing down and speeding up from one enemy to the next slicing of limbs and what not. All the lighting in the movie was different throughout the movie from battle scenes to nights before battle.