Various and Sundry

Is a Pirate’s Life for You? Ask the Expert!

I’m going through my final round of Netflix DVDs and this weekend’s entry was the 2012 mini-series of Treasure Island with Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. The short version? Izzard delivers a great Silver, but the mini-series takes some odd diversions from the source material that are far from satisfying.

My wife actually suggested, knowing my penchant for ranking, that I rank all the different version of Treasure Island, which is very tempting –perhaps as tempting as Flint’s ill-gained gold! However, there are so many screen versions of the story that to do so would be quite an undertaking… at least to produce one as singular as Olivia Rutigliano’s most singular ranking of Sherlock Holmes portrayals. She has set the bar admirably high.

In any case, mysteriously, this video popped up in my recommendations shortly thereafter and it is a delight, not only for covering two iconic versions of Treasure Island, but for the zeal and specificity pirate expert Iszi Lawrence goes into details of what pirate films get very right and so, so wrong.

You also leave with a better sense of why pirates have the rep they have, given some of the historic forces that gave rise that age of piracy we most often think of in the 17th and 18th centuries (though she does review a modern film). Enjoy!

I’m also somewhat relieved to have historical validation that pirate leaders were somewhat flamboyant because, as I mentioned the other week, I have some characters that, depending on how you look at them, are of the space pirate/space viking/space mafia variety. And you want to twirl your moustaches the right way.

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