Greek myths remain to this day an inexhaustible source of intriguing
images and themes. They combine
wondrous storytelling with symbolic associations that establish the
collective unconscious of our civilisation. In this retrospective
our wish was to explore the winding roads taken by Greek myths and
cinema (and theatre somewhat) in the 20th century. Our ambition is
not to confirm the endurance of Greek mythology; that would be rather
commonplace. Our main aim is to provide the springboard for ponderings
on viewpoints, aspects and approaches to the eternal questions that
have always been diffused through history.
It would not be too much of a risk for one to regard the Homeric epics,
The Iliad and The Odyssey, as the perfect scenarios,
but neither would such a view be very original. All the themes that
have ever moved people
are there in it: life, death, love, passion, war, betrayal, loyalty,
defeat, victory, craftiness, cleverness, transcendence and travel.
It's all there. The descriptions of the battles, the narrative of the
adventure, the relations, the utopias, the denials seem to be -and
are- unrivalled. Many centuries later, James Joyce's Ulysses will
open this primordial circle once more. Art always takes refuge in Granddad
Homer to mine further its dark and obscure agonies, to ponder on Drama
from its very inception. The ancient tragedians -Sophocles, Aeschylus
and Euripides- possess the ageless primordial material. Everyone returns
to them, from Goethe and Shakespeare to Thomas Mann and Samuel Beckett.
Antigone's stance, Medea's terrible dilemma, Prometheus' hubris and
Oedipus' harsh fate are eternal themes where the questions about man,
his nature, about darkness and light forever remain open and unanswered,
treading the tightrope between religious consolation, sacred dedication
and the turmoil of the human conscience.
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