ISSN: 2241-6692

BLOG - Anna Poupou

Anna Poupou teaches as adjunct lecturer at the Hellenic Open University. She holds a PhD and a DEA in Film Studies from the University Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, MA and BA in Theatre Studies from the University of Athens. From 2008 she has worked as adjunct lecturer at the universities of Thessaloniki, Crete, Thessaly, and Athens. She has worked as a programmer at the Greek Film Archive and collaborates as a researcher with the Department of Communication and Media of the University of Athens for the European programme I-Media Cities. She is co-editor of three collective volumes – City and Cinema: Theoretical and Methodological Approaches (Nissos, 2011), Athens: World Film Locations (Intellect, 2014), The Lost Highway of Greek Cinema 1960-1990 (Nefeli, 2018) – and author of two academic e-books. Her research interests focus on the history of Greek cinema, the relationship between theatre and cinema, the urban space in film, and the Greek film noir.

Source: Filmicon, Issue 2

Narratives, themes and heroes from ancient Greek drama have been present on screen from the first years of early cinema to the present day. A list of films based on Greek tragedy reveals sacred or sacrilegious works, auteur masterpieces or educational television adaptations, avant-garde films, mainstream productions, parodies, and even comic twists of the tragic. In his recent exemplary book that revisits the relationship between ancient drama and film, Pantelis Michelakis shows a wide spectrum of cinematic versions of Greek tragedy, while exploring new questions and perspectives.

Despite the large number of film adaptations, rewritings and influences from ancient drama, only a limited number of monographs are exclusively devoted to tragedy in film. While there are numerous studies that examine the role of antiquity, mythology or ancient themes in film, television and popular culture [i], just a few of them elaborate in depth on the cinematic adaptations of Greek tragedy. The two major monographs date back from the 1980s: Kenneth MacKinnon’s Greek Tragedy into Film (1986) and Marianne McDonald’s Euripides in Cinema: The Heart Made Visible (1983). Both studies construct the object of tragedy into film as a homogeneous entity, through the selection of their corpus and through the categorizations they propose. This kind of construction of a homogeneous corpus is evident in McDonald’s study, which examines what can be called an auteur art-house canon, based mostly on Pasolini’s, Cacoyannis’s and Dassin’s versions of Euripides’s plays. Similarly, although MacKinnon’s book discusses a wider range of films and approaches, the distinction she proposes between what she calls films in the “theatrical mode”, films in the “realistic mode” and films in the “filmic mode” still constructs a rigid homogeneous corpus of study. ... More