ISSN: 2241-6692

Matchbox, Knifer and the ‘Oikographic’ Hypothesis

Evgenia Giannouri


This article makes the hypothesis of an ‘oikographic’ tendency that overlaps the recurrent theme of the family and family-related dysfunctions as seen in many contemporary Greek films. It argues that, beyond the ethographical trend deep-rooted in the core of Greek culture, contemporary Greek films present the ‘noxious oikos’ as a symptom of a society in collapse. The article relates the ‘oikographic’ hypothesis to two films by Yannis Economides, Spirtokouto / Matchbox (2003) and Macherovgaltis / Knifer (2010) and focuses on the way these films portray borderline household settings in terms of both narrative and form. It exemplifies the role of architecture that allows the camera to negotiate space delimitations together with framing effects. It finally points to the classical Aristotelian diptych oikos/polis that comes in the diegetic form of ‘oikopolitical’ merging. The article concludes that by making a case of the figure of the ‘noxious oikos’, contemporary Greek film-makers perform contemporary versions of the ‘oikographic’ drive which historically navigates across Greek cinema.

Keywords: Economides, family, home rhetorics, ‘oikographic’ drive, Oikos/Polis