[Puzzleblogger Kevan Choset, August 15, 2005 at 1:52pm] Trackbacks
Another Movie Record:

As a follow-up to the IMDb records post a few days ago, who has the earliest birth date listed on IMDb?

Jeff R.:
Homer, c. 850 BC?
8.15.2005 3:04pm
Stephen Aslett (mail):
Man, if that's true, then the IMDB guys simply aren't thorough or fair.

Everyone knows that Shin-eqi-unninni, the earliest named author and penner of the Epic of Gilgamesh, lived around 2700BC. All indications are that Shin-eqi-unninni was an actual person. Homer, on the other hand, is most likely mythical.

While it's true that Homer is credited with writing the Illiad and the Odyssey, those works probably originated orally much earlier before various scribes copied the poems down and before the more popular versions congealed into what we know as the Homeric forms today.

IMDB notes that a Gilgamesh movie is currently in production yet doesn't give any credit to Shin-eqi-unninni. Like Homer, he probably didn't come up with Gilgamesh, but at least we're pretty sure he was an actual human being.

Why the short stick for Shin-eqi-unninni? Western bias, of course. Sure, you can name famous Roman and Medieval writers that have had movies based on their works, but there's no love for Akkadians.

I mean, come on, what kind of respect does Hollywood have for one of the world's oldest civilizations when the last major movie to deal with them was the Scorpion King?
8.15.2005 3:31pm
"Everyone knows that Shin-eqi-unninni, the earliest named author and penner of the Epic of Gilgamesh, lived around 2700BC."

No, everyone doesn't. "Everyone" thinks that Akkadia didn't exist in 2700 B.C., meaning that the Epic of Gilgamesh preceedes Shin-eqi-unninni by at least 1000 years, and thus IMDb should not give Shin-eqi-unninni an "author" credit.
8.15.2005 4:09pm
Stephen Aslett (mail):
OK. My bad. In my post, I confused the time Gilgamesh was supposed to have lived with the time that Shin-eqi-unninni lived. You're right, Shin-eqi-unninni lived about 1,000 years after Gilgamesh supposedly did. And yes, I know Akkadia didn't come around until long after Sumeria bit the dust.

My point is that Homer didn't live during the Trojan War either, which supposedly took place in the 13th Century BC. Both Homer and Shin-eqi-unninni were writing down epic poems that had long pre-existed them. I just think that it's only fair that, if Homer didn't come up with the Illiad and Odyssey AND is probably not a real person yet still gets writing credit, then Shin-eqi-unninni, who didn't come with the Epic of Gilgamesh BUT is probably a real person, should get a writing question.

Now, to be fair, Shin-eqi-unninni didn't write (or order his scribe to write) the only version of the Epic of Gilgamesh. If the makers of Gilgamesh adapted their screenplay from another version not written by Shin-eqi-unninni, then it's fair to exclude him.

Considering that the tagline for the movie is:

5000 years ago in Mesopotamia: An odyssey of friendship, loss, grief, love, erotica, a quest for immortality!

my guess is that they're working off of a version that has a love triangle and at least one sex scene. Probably not the one Shin-eqi-unninni wrote.

Man, you try to make a lame Scorpion King joke and look what it gets you.
8.15.2005 7:45pm