"That which does not kill us makes us stronger" is such an overworked cliché at this point that calling it trite would be understatement. So to watch Conan The Barbarian now, 40 years after its release on May 14, 1982, and to see those words emblazoned across the screen in bold text—with their correct attribution to Friedrich Nietzche—well, it's understandable if laughter is the reaction. But director John Milius isn't kidding. A more complicated philosopher than often depicted, and coiner of the concept of the superman, Nietzsche is a favorite philosopher among libertarians and others who believe might makes right. Due to his sister's selective publishings after his death, Nietzsche has been associated with fascism, though he also voiced opposition to nationalism and organized religion. The appeal to Milius was clear: One of the writer-director's defining characteristics as a writer, by his own account, was being rejected from the U.S. Marine Corps on medical grounds. Like Conan creator Robert E. Howard, he wrote about warriors because he was not one, but longed to be. It's no stretch to imagine Col. Kurtz's monologue in Apocalypse Now , about the ideal soldier being both a loving family man and an emotionless killer,… Read full this story
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Conan at 40: A Nietzschean superman and Schwarzenegger's star wattage have 357 words, post on www.avclub.com at May 13, 2022. This is cached page on wBlogs. If you want remove this page, please contact us.