KEY: Background image: night-time photograph of the Roman Colosseum, erected circa 70 BCE to 80 CE, Rome, Italy. Other images clockwise beginning top left: Russell Crowe as Maximus in the film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, released in 2000; aerial photograph of the Colosseum; rendering of Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, by the architectural firm HKS, completed 2009 and site of Super Bowl XLV; Chad Javon Ochocinco, wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League – and – celebrity.
In the fast moving portion of class before Test 1 we focused on spectacle. Perhaps the most vivid illustration of spectacle we’ve considered in class thus far was an 11 minute clip from Ridley Scott’s fictional work Gladiator. What comparisons can you make between Roman spectacle of 2000 years ago and the kinds of spectacle we participate in today? Keep in mind that American football was only one example. Add comments that expand the discussion of spectacle, both ‘real’ and ‘fictional’. Keep in mind Formal Elements you studied this week. Read and refer to pages 40 and 41 in The Handbook regarding Time Arts and Performance Art. Last: consider the political uses of spectacle – then and now. Can you cite examples of spectacle produced by the government of the United States during the past decade? Please be as specific as possible.