Producing the Past in this Information Era

Madonna as Marie Antoinette
Madonna as Marie Antoinette

Europe continues to turn into a European historical theme park. Whenever I visit Britain, I’m surprised by how much that country devotes itself to being a historical park for tourists.
France is no different, and the latest evidence is a story in today’s The New York Times about how the government officials who operate the Palace of Versailles are timing new exhibits there to coincide with American film director Sofia Coppola‘s movie Marie Antoinette.
Meanwhile, the Louvre has been similarly milking American director Ron Howard film The Da Vinci Code, which was the first commercial film that the French government ever permitted to film within that museum. Though Versaille and the Louvre are devoted to accuracy, French critics point out numerous historical inaccuracies in the Coppola film plus the fact that the Howard film is complete fiction. But officials just give a Gallic shrug; the films have been good for those historic places’ box offices. (The photo above isn’t actually from the Coppola film, but is Madonna portraying Marie Antoinette. Hye, what better example can I give? Click to enlarge it)
Wouldn’t Britain and France be better devoting themselves to future glories, rather than those of the past? To producing the future, rather than the past?
I dunno? In this Information Age, maybe the past is the information that these countries are producing.

One thought on “Producing the Past in this Information Era

  1. really good said.. its true that maybe historical stuff has been messed up with nowadays waves of expressions.. But those films really make me feel to go to versailles or go back to paris louvre..

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