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Old April 13 2010, 10:53 PM   #10
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Re: How Thor breaks down racial barriers in Asgard

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Myasishchev wrote: View Post
CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
It shouldn't really surprise anyone familiar with Kenneth Branagh's film work; he's a devotee of casting anyone, regardless of race/period considerations. His versions of Hamlet (set in 19th century Denmark) and Much Ado About Nothing (set in 18th century Italy) have all kinds of minorities, in the latter case with Denzel Washington as a nobleman.
On the other hand, that would've really messed up Othello, where casting Iago as (well, firstly someone other than himself) someone also descended from sub-Saharan Africans (not technically correct in Othello's case, iirc, but probably more relevant) would have made the film completely dissonant.
It's one thing to not pay attention to race if the story is explicitly about race, and another to not pay attention to race when it's entirely immaterial to the story.
Yeah, exactly. That's why I didn't mind it.

But let's take another modern Shakespearean production, where race didn't matter (but family was paramount)--Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet. It would have been a problem if the Prince and Mercutio weren't the same race, or at least plausibly related, and it sucked that Paris was this lily white, Paul Rudd-looking dork. Now, I'll grant that Luhrman didn't care that the three were all related, but it sort of bothered me. Paris should've been a black guy, and they should have been related, because the innocent family's body count from the idiocy of the feud should be the same as the Capulets and Montagues (2 for each).

Thinking on it, does Romeo actually even kill Paris in Luhrman's version? I remember something important being left out, and it might've been that.

It's not to the same level as that example, but it's an odd choice here too. Would you cast a white guy as Kokou, a Yoruba warrior god?
Depends on the story, doesn't it? If it's something as wildly fantastical that plays completely fast and loose with Yoruba mythology the way that Thor plays fast and loose with Nordic mythology - then who cares? Thor exists in a complete fantasy world filled with impossible creatures. The filmmakers are supposed to worry about real-world racial conventions in that case?
Well, in full frankness, even though I've generally liked the character and his series(es), the Marvel Thor mythology nevertheless kinda bugs me with its retcons of the source material (Loki, adopted son of Odin? huh?, Thor as a blond, Thor as a doctor, alien Thors like the hammer was a Green Lantern ring, etc.). So I guess it probably is immaterial, given the other issues, if Heimdall's black.

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