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Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Conan the Barbarian”

Dear Frank,

Thank you so much for telling me about My Neighbor Totoro last week! Miyazaki has always been a director I’ve struggled to appreciate, but there is the slightest chance that I now get what the big deal is.

I can only hope I bring that same level of joy to today’s retelling of the 1982 classic Conan the Barbarian. Because let me be clear here, Frank — this movie is a delight. It’s a weird, slowly-paced flavor of delight, but its blunt, hypermasculine telling of a legend I have done absolutely no research into prior to writing this is downright arresting.

Lest you had doubts about this movie’s politics or message, Conan opens with a quote from Nietzsche about his beloved Ubermensch philosophy. When we meet the titular Ubermensch, though, he is but a little boy being raised by his father to believe in the god Krum, who lives in the ground and is responsible for all good things.

Life seems good for Li’l Conan, but then (because these are barbarian times) his home village is raided by an outside gang of troops, and they kill his parents and enlist him into slavery. Eh oh. Read the rest of this entry

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