A tribute to Greek myths in cinema

“Cine-Mythology: Greek Myths in International Films,» a large tribute organized by the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Cultural Olympiad, focuses on Greek myths, which have been the source of inspiration in most fields of art from antiquity to this day. The «Cine-Mythology» tribute includes film screenings, theatrical performances, dance shows, discussions and a photography exhibition. Ranging from tragedy-inspired films to movies like «The Matrix,» heroes of ancient Greek mythology have not ceased to appear in different shapes and in all fields of art. The «Cine-Mythology» tribute, the program of which was recently presented by officials of the Ministry of Culture, the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Cultural Olympiad, focuses mostly on the use of Greek mythology in filmmaking. Starting today and running to October 30, international productions that have been inspired by Greek myths will be screened daily at the Apollon Renault Fimcenter (19 Stadiou, tel 210.323.6811). Screenings will range from Orestis Laskos’s 1931 film «Dafnis Kai Chloi,» to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1969 «Medea,» Pietro Francisci’s 1958 «Le Fatiche di Ercole» (Labors of Hercules) and Alfred Hitchcock’s «Vertigo» from 1958. How many of us actually know that Hitchcock’s striking aforementioned mystery is based on the myth of Orpheus? Or that Ridley Scott’s 1982 film «Blade Runner» refers to the mythical figure of Pandora and that Neo, the leading character in the popular 1999 sci-fi film directed by the Wachowski brothers «The Matrix» is, in fact, the mythological character of Prometheus, set in the future? The «Cine-Mythology» tribute will enable the public to discover unexpected links with Greek mythology in films where such a connection would not have otherwise seemed likely. On the whole, 44 films will be screened: 14 Greek films and 30 international productions. Screenings will include films made during cinema’s formative years and will go as far as contemporary movies; they will also range from the most commercial films, to experimental films by Gregory Markopoulos. The tribute also includes the projection of 11 dance films, which will be screened at the French Institute in Athens (31 Sina, Kolonaki, tel 210.339.8600) on October 22 and 23 and the dance show «Gleaming of a Faun,» directed and choreographed by Albrecht Knust, which will be presented at the National Opera (59-61 Academias, tel 210.361.1516) tomorrow and Sunday. Lucien Clergue’s photography exhibition «Jean Cocteau and The Testament of Orpheus,» which includes photographs taken during the filming of the 1960 film «The Testament of Orpheus,» will be on display at the Apollon Renault Filmcenter until the end of the tribute. A special screening of 15 theatrical performances of ancient drama that have been filmed and of three other films, will take place at the Goethe Institute (14-16 Omirou, Kolonaki, tel 210.366.1027) from October 20-27, again in the context of the «Cine-Mythology» tribute. Screenings will include «Alkestis,» directed by Robert Wilson, «The Acharnians,» by Karolos Koun, «Electra,» by Dimitris Rondiris, and «Orestia,» directed by Peter Stein. Stein will be present during the screening, which will take place on October 26, and will have a discussion with the public once the film is over. The «Cine-Mythology» tribute will also be presented in Patras at the same time as in Athens (October 24-30); it will then move to Thessaloniki, from October 31 to November 13 and Volos (October 31 – November 6) and will finish its tour at Iraklion in Crete, from November 14 to 20. The tribute will also travel to three European cities, namely Berlin (November 7-16), Madrid (February 16-22) and finally London (February 27 – March 7).