Friday, 26 August 2016

Oh, you turnip, Adso.

Now it might just be me*, but Brother James, my latest Zombicide Black Plague survivor, seems to bare an uncanny resemblance to a certain Scotsman's portrayal of Friar William of Baskerville in Jean-Jacques Annard's The Name of the Rose.

This was another one of those films that had a lasting impact on the 'oh so serious' young Master Awdry, but it wasn't until much later on that I managed to tackle the splendid book, of the same name, by Umberto Eco.  Whilst an incredibly worthy piece of literature, brimming with biblical analysis and semiotics we will be referring to the celluloid interpretation for the purposes of this post.
*Although somehow I doubt it.
For those who have yet to experience this little gem, The Name of the Rose, is a murder mystery set in an Italian monastery in the year 1327, stick with me, it's better than it sounds.  Sean Connery wonderfully hams up the role of William of Baskerville**, the mentor to a young Christian Slater's Adso.

The pair set about unraveling the clues in order to explain the mysterious death of a talented manuscript illuminator.  As the death toll rises the Abbot is forced to employ the services of the, quite brilliant,  F. Murray Abraham as Bernardo Gui of the Spanish Inquisition.  Twist and turns abound, with ancient Greek texts, labyrinthine secret libraries and of course the delectable Valentina Vargas as the 'Rose' - what more could an impressionable sixteen year old wish for?
**Love or loathe him, the man has genuine screen presence. 
To this day it still looks good, with some great performances, but I have a feeling that it was not quite the epic piece of work the director had hoped for.  Umberto Eco himself damned the production with faint praise, referring to it as, "a nice movie".***  For me, however, it was pure escapism and one of those films that I am more than happy to revisit when given the opportunity.
***"A book like this is a club sandwich, with turkey, salami, tomato, cheese, lettuce. And the movie is obliged to choose only the lettuce or the cheese, eliminating everything else – the theological side, the political side.  It's a nice movie" - The Guardian 2011
Returning to point of the post, Brother James/William has been selected for his starting skill of Search, allowing him to draw an extra card when searching.  Combine this with his ability to hold a torch in his armour slot and our benevolent Brother will provide the team with three equipment cards every turn - just what every beleaguered survivor wants to hear!  When it came to painting, I was inspired by my good friend, Stefan's interpretation which is well worth a look here.  He has done a stunning job on James' face, remarkable work.  

William of Baskerville: But what is so alarming about laughter?
Jorge de Burgos: Laughter kills fear, and without fear there can be no faith, because without fear of the Devil there is no more need of God.
 

81 comments:

  1. Superb painting Michael! I quite enjoyed the book, although it was a while ago, the movie sounds like like a lot of fun...

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    1. Thank you Cyrus, the film is a wonderful romp, but there is plenty to enjoy.

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  2. Lovely fig...in fact, all of these Black Plague figs are superb! As for Name of the Rose...great film and great book!

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    1. Thank you Gordon, they have proved to be an inspirational group one way or another, I've certainly enjoyed painting them.

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  3. I'm a fan of The Name of the Rose...and I'm a fan of your realisations, like this one!

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  4. Excellent study, I remember that film well, always wondered if it inspired the Brother Cadfael stories.

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    1. Sadly not - the first Cadfael book was published in 1977; The Name of the Rose was published in 1980

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    2. Thank you Mat and Tamsin has beaten me to the reply. I've not read any Cadfael, but remember rather enjoying the series, I feel another box set coming on!

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  5. Great work m'Lord :)

    Hmm, three fighters, a wizard and a cleric - just need a thief and you'll have a D&D party :)

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    1. I have to confess to thinking something similar when putting the finishing touches to Brother William - far too much fun and not enough time.

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  6. Excellent stuff! Given that you have now painted four out of the six members of my ZBP dream team, I'm thinking my own painting duties are quite light! Double win!

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    1. Thank you my good man, but your not getting out of it that lightly, you still have that young archer to splash paint on. :)

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  7. Love the film, love the book - particularly like the fact that Bernardo Gui was a real man.

    Glorious painting. These zombiecide pieces are looking like they were after my own heart!

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    1. Thank you so much, I've really enjoyed these, just one more to go for the set.

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  8. Amazing as ever. Really enjoying this series of figures.

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    1. Thank you Mike, I just want to get one more completed before we go back to school.

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  9. I'm a big fan of William of Baskerville and The Name of The Rose. Great painted mini!

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  10. Superb paintwork as always Michael, you seem to be a bit of a Sean Connery fan!

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger and have to confess to finding the chap entertaining. I've certainly thoroughly enjoyed a good many of his celluloid outings.

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  11. Another good one you've painted there.

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    1. You are too kind Rodger, thank you.

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  13. Another awesomely painted Zombicide figure! With the richness of the tones (& that brilliant flame) you've really brought to life what might otherwise be a quite plain miniature.

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    1. Thank you s much, I was lucky in that I had a great version in Stefan's to crib from.

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  14. great model and one of my favourite books too!

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  16. Great work! Yup I guess it's William.

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    1. Thank you and he certainly is in my eyes anyway.

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  17. I have neither read the book or watched the film but i have enjoyed the miniature ;-)

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    1. Thank you and do give the film a go, it'd great fun.

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  19. Penitenziagite! I trust your fingers and thumbs are not blackened.

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    1. I keep checking, but we see to be alright at the moment. ;)

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  20. Great job on the mini Michael, and good catch on the Baskerville likeness. Name of the Rose is one of my favourite films. I've never read the book, but it exists in our house and I may try and unearth it.
    Peter

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    1. Thank you Peter, certainly worth turning ver a few piles of books if you can put your hand on it.

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  21. Love that last shot of your growing collection of survivors!

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  22. Great figure, film good, book unfinished

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    1. I've got far too many unfinished tomes littered around the house too.

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  23. Another great "Black Plague" mini from Awdry Towers. You're really cranking these out, and are wonderful to see. In addition I do enjoy the young Master Awdry adventures. They always make me smile :-)

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    1. Thank you Simon, poor young Master Awdry was a sensitive soul and took things far too seriously. Fortunately he was able to smile at misfortune and continues to do so.

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  24. You've reminded me what a great film it was. I need to watch it again. Fab mini and as usual brilliantly painted.

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    1. Thank you Dan, quite fancy digging it out again myself now.

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  25. Excellent rendition of this character though i must admit that i never imagined William Baskerville as axe and torch wielding zombie slayer before. :)

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    1. Thank you Nimrod and a good point, mind you I wouldn't put it past him. ;)

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  26. Delightful work, Michael! Funnily enough I was thinking about The Name of the Rose only yesterday. Good book, better movie, I think.Valentina Vargas... oh yes!

    You wouldn't be doing a figure version of her by any chance? ;)

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    1. A 28mm Valentina Vargas - certainly not beyond the bounds of possibility, perhaps I just need to think on that one for a while. ;)

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  27. Wonderful work all around Micheal to include the figure and group shot!

    Christopher

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  28. Fantastic, such a lovely set you've finished! Thanks to this, I want to go back and rewatch the movie. The book "The Swerve...how the world became modern" made me think back to The Name of the Rose. Amazing what has been passed down to us thanks to the monks.

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    1. Thank you Monty, not heard of the '"The Swerve...how the world became modern' but just been a had a look and now added to the book list, many thanks.

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  29. That's a top bit of work, Sir; he certainly won't be taking any nonsense from the undead!

    Fun fact: Eco's Jorge de Burgos, the blind monk who despises laughter, is a tip o' the hat to the blind Argentinian fantasist Jorge Luis Borges, the author of intricate stories about labyrinths, libraries, philosophy and religion.

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    1. Thank you Evan and I did not know that, I feel enriched. :)

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  30. No it's not just you! It remains one of my favourite films and since you've reminded me I think it's time for another go round. Superb brushwork as always sir.

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    1. Thank you Michael, like you now contemplating another viewing, just need to track it down first.

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  31. Great painted figure. A++ stuff!

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  32. An excellent paint-job on a very characterful sculpt, Michael. And whilst I haven't read the book, I do remember enjoying the film.

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  33. Very nice. The Name of the Rose is one of my favourite films of all time. I always felt that it captured what the early GW fantasy was aiming at. Suspicion, paranoia and filth.

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  34. 'Bernardo Gui of the Spanish Inquisition? I wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition...'

    *** Three clergymen enter abruptly ***

    'No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!!'

    (I think that's from the film. Then again, maybe not.) ;P

    My fuzzy recollection notwithstanding, a darned good movie and some fine painting.

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  35. Stunning paint job once again Michael! You've definitely captured the 'Name of the rose' feeling perfectly.

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  36. More excellent work master Awdry. Your going to be a tough act to follow on these!

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  37. A really excellent interpretation of Brother James. Well done, my friend!
    And a really nice band of adventurers. Great stuff!

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  38. Very impressive work! 😀

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  39. Excellent work on Brother James. :)

    I loved The Name of the Rose, top film. :)

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  40. Amazing stuff once again Michael! So one more to go for a full group of survivors!

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  41. Once more another great sculpt you've brought to life, rounding off the group nicely.

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  42. 'Books. Spiritually dangerous books...'

    Love that film. Great work, Michael, particularly on the face.

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  43. Colour transitions on his clothing is simply excellent. Looks very natural.

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