By Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos
This quantity examines cinematic representations of old Greek ladies from the nation-states of fantasy and heritage. It discusses how those woman figures are resurrected at the giant display via assorted filmmakers in the course of varied old moments, and are for this reason embedded inside a story which serves a variety of reasons, looking on the director of the movie, its screenwriters, the studio, the rustic of its starting place, and the sociopolitical context on the time of its production.
Using a various array of hermeneutic ways (such as gender concept, feminist feedback, psychoanalysis, viewer-response idea, and private voice criticism), the essays objective to solid mild on cinema's investments within the classical previous and decode the mechanisms wherein the ladies below exam are extracted from their unique context and are delivered to lifestyles to function automobiles for the articulation of recent principles, matters, and cultural traits. the amount hence goals to enquire not just how antiquity at the reveal depicts, and during this procedure distorts, compresses, contests, and revises, antiquity at the web page but in addition, extra crucially, why the medium follows such eclectic representational ideas vis-a-vis the classical international.
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Extra info for Ancient Greek Women in Film
Through this ‘whitewashing’ of Helen’s myth, as Winkler remarks,68 the writers and directors can have it both ways: they can thrill the audience with a titillating tale of a beautiful vamp while staying on the side of right and morality. Wise’s stated purpose in producing Helen of Troy may have been to make an epic ﬁlm. However, the very fact that he ﬁnally made a ﬁlm, whose focus on Helen’s story with only one major battle sequence probably situates it among ‘chick ﬂicks’ rather than male-oriented action movies,69 raises questions about the ﬁlm’s portrayal of concepts of female gender identity and women’s roles in the 1950s.
Contrasting with her occasional regal bearing, Helen’s pretense to slave rather than royal status throughout her early interactions with Paris underscores this alternate image and portends her ultimate societal position: underneath the royal trappings she is an ordinary woman, imprisoned like other women by her circumstances, an image which serves to render Helen sympathetic to the audience. Interestingly, rather than the goddess Helen, as Paris lies dying, he sees Helen as ‘that little slave girl’, a ﬁnal reminder of the entrapping circumstances that exonerate her actions.
22 23 Cavallini (2005: 73, ﬁg. 42). Nisbet (2006: 33–4). 24 Ancient Greek Women in Film shipwrecked Paris utters upon seeing Helen approach him through the surf, as she is arising out of the sea: ‘Aphrodite’; the scene recalls both Hesiod’s tale of Aphrodite being born from the foam of the sea (Theog. 191–7), and, probably more familiar to most modern spectators, Botticelli’s painting of Venus ﬂoating up on the sea on a clamshell. Paris’ unique arrival at Sparta in rags, shipwrecked on the coast (which of course justiﬁes the extended cinematic focus on his almost nude body) invites multiple allusions, ancient and modern.
Ancient Greek Women in Film by Konstantinos P. Nikoloutsos