Ancient Greek Women in Film (Classical Presences)

This quantity examines cinematic representations of historical Greek girls from the geographical regions of delusion and background. It discusses how those lady figures have been resurrected at the sizeable display by means of varied filmmakers in the course of diverse ancient moments, and have been for that reason embedded inside of a story which served a number of reasons.

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37 Pointedly contrasted to the manufactured look of blonde American stars is the ‘natural’, earthy appearance of the dark-haired, olive-skinned, and largebreasted Italian actresses, notably Silvana Mangano, Gina Lollobrigida, 31 33 36 37 32 Contra Roisman (2008: 147). Lyons (1999: 54–7). 34 35 Roisman (2008: 147). Gundle (2007: 159). Gundle (2007: 159). Quart and Auster (2002: 230), Gundle (2007: 109). Quart and Auster (2002: 229). Gazing at Helen 27 and Sophia Loren, who openly exude a Mediterranean sensuality while still maintaining an aura of respectability approved by the Catholic Church and Italian audiences.

Like the Italian Holocaust film released in the same year, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Best Foreign Language Film 1971, Academy Awards), and true to Euripides’ purpose in his ancient play, Cacoyannis’ film offers a major condemnation of war as seen through the sufferings of elite women: a crazed Cassandra (Genéviève Bujold), a terror-stricken Andromache (Vanessa Redgrave), whose son will be torn from her to be cast off the fortification walls of Troy, and the disempowered Trojan queen Hecuba (Katherine Hepburn), who, now that her husband and sons are murdered, presides over ruins and ashes, not a prospering city.

1 Eur. Trojan Women 891–2, Hecuba speaking to Menelaus about Helen Hecuba’s words from Euripides’ play locate Helen’s power of seduction through the eyes of the men who look upon her. 4 This concept of the male gaze contrasts sharply with the typical configuration of the gaze in film criticism. Since the publication of Laura Mulvey’s foundational 1975 article, ‘the gaze’ has been posited as that of the male spectator by and for whom most images, especially those of the 1 All translations from the Ancient Greek are my own.

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