EST. 2009

January 17, 2013

That Muse Among Men

WHILE BOOKISH INGENUE EVIE IN 1999's The Mummy holds a special, irreplaceable spot in my heart, it was delightful to once again see Rachel Weisz amidst sand and statues, this time as a strong and eloquent woman of note.

In Alejandro Amenábar's historical fiction Agora, Rachel Weisz plays Hypatia, a Greek philosopher and teacher dedicated to investigating the heavenly wanderers and to educating the future leaders of a turbulent Roman Alexandria. To this character, she lends a certain radiance that transforms an otherwise frigid scholar into a muse, inspiring devotion and affection amongst young men of varying designations.

In the film, as well as in various classical sources, Hypatia is admired for her attainments, as she is for her virtue, rejecting romantic or carnal desire with somewhat drastic demonstrations. If there's one sure way to extinguish a man's affections, Hypatia knows how to do just that. See the movie if you haven't. No spoilers here!

Perhaps Agora romanticizes Hypatia's lovelesness with an attractively-cast orbit of young admirers around her. But if it isn't inspirational for a woman to be unmoved by earthly follies while devoted to understanding what is unexplainable to man, I don't know what is.
You know that the stars move neither up nor down.
They merely revolve from east to west,
following the most perfect course ever conceived.
The circle.
But what about here on Earth?
Here, bodies do fall.
Oh, in so many ways, we do.

Agora, 2009. Directed by Alejandro Amenábar.