Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What is the SCA?

Some of you might be wondering about the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). You've probably heard about it in passing or have seen references to it on television or even on our website. So, I thought I'd take a quick look on youtube and see if there might not be a video or three that could explain it better than I could. Wouldn't you know it?.....There are only a couple thousand of them.

I am putting up links to a few that I think might give you a good idea of what you might expect if you took an interest in the SCA and went to an event or two.

These first two links are general information about the SCA. One from the United States and one from South America, I believe. Enjoy:

The next two highlight a couple of larger events that are held each year in the SCA.

Here is an overview of Pennsic War held in Pennsylvania every August.

And next is an overview of Great Western War which is held in California in October every year.

I'll take a look around and see if I can find some more interesting videos about the SCA or maybe other Medieval Recreation groups.

If you have a fabulous link that you'd like for me to feature here, please feel free to contact me and I'll take a look.

Enjoy everyone.

Kim the Office Goddess

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mongul is worth the time to see it.


By Kim Matzke

Mongul explores the life of Temudgin (Tadanobu Asano) who will eventually become the great and fearsome Ghenghis Khan. The story begins when he is only 9 years old and must already choose his future wife from a neighboring tribe. He takes the journey with his father, the Khan, who has been painstakingly grooming Temudgin to take his place….eventually. Well, “eventually” comes sooner than either expected and we are given a tiny look into what could possibly have been the harsh reality of life as a Mongul, out on the plains and exposed to the elements and the enemies of one’s family.

Young Temudgin eventually finds refuge with Jamukha and they form a bond of brotherhood that will last well into their adult lives.

Eventually Temudgin reaches adulthood, although sometimes you might question his survival considering how the odds were obviously stacked against him. Now is the time for him to come into his own, collect his wife Borte (Khulan Chuluun) and begin his life anew. Well, we all know that nothing is ever that easy. More family enemies arrive and steal away his new bride. Needless to say, this does not sit well with Temudgin and he makes plans with Jamukha to retrieve her.

Thus begins his adult lessons in adversity and strength that will eventually form him into the great leader that we’ve all come to know, love and fear.

While this is a foreign film with subtitles, don’t let that scare you off. Halfway through the movie, they’re hardly noticeable anymore since you are easily drawn into a well told story surrounded by picturesque scenery and well executed battle scenes.

I have no idea if this movie is historically accurate, but I do know that I came away with a feeling that I learned a considerable amount about the Mongul culture. I also thought the costumes and sets were wonderful and gave a feeling of accuracy to me that added to the entire movie experience. The battle scenes had just enough gore to add realism without going over the top with guts and yuck. At one point, I really could feel Tengri’s (Mongul god) anger as he made his contribution (or did he?) during a particularly important battle.

If you’re into history and like a good period flick, then I would say that you definitely need to put this movie on your “must see” list. Personally, I think it needs to also be in your home library right along with “Lion in Winter” and “13th Warrior”.