Alejandro Amenábar‘s Agora, set during The Roman Empire circa 391 AD, was Spain’s highest grossing film of 2009, but barely got a release in the US and is almost criminally unknown here. Its (literally) astronomical storyline features Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, 4th century mathematician and astronomer whose study of the geocentric Ptolemaic system foments religious turmoil and leads to the burning of the Alexandria library. Despite some historical liberties it’s a beautifully produced, old fashioned epic with a lot more on its mind than most.
About Brian Trenchard-Smith
Brian Trenchard-Smith has been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.) The Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival recently gave him a career achievement award. His cult hits include The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Stunt Rock, Dead End Drive In, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s. His latest film is Drive Hard, a quirky action comedy with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. He hopes to shoot a Sci-Fi action picture in Tianjing, China later this year. Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith. His first novel The Headsman's Daughter is available this summer on Amazon and Kindle.