- LULU / PANDORA'S BOX
- DAPHNIS AND CHLOE
- FEDRA
- THE FUGITIVE KIND
- THE TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS
- PHAEDRA
- HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS
- YOUNG APHRODITES
- CONTEMPT
- PROMETHEUS FROM THE VISEVICE ISLAND
- SANDRA OF A THOUSAND DELIGHTS
- THE GOLDEN THING
- THE TRAVELLING PLAYERS
- EURIDICE BA 2037
- IPHIGENIA
- A DREAM OF PASSION
- CLASH OF THE TITANS
- THE YEARS OF THE BIG HEAT
- ENIOCHUS - THE CHARIOTEER
- ANTIGONE
- EDIPO ALCADE
- THAT'S LIFE
- BLADE RUNNER
- VERTIGO
- MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA
- ORPHEUS
- PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
- ULYSSES
- HERACLES AND THE QUEEN OF LYDIA
- BLACK ORPHEUS
- ANTIGONE
- ELECTRA
- JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
- GORGON
- OEDIPUS REX
- ILLIAC PASSION
- THE CANNIBALS
- EDEA
- NOTES FOR AN AFRICAN ORESTEIA
- FOR ELECTRA
- PROMETHEUS IN THE SECOND PERSON
- VOYAGE TO CYTHERA
- ULYSSES' GAZE
- MATRIX
- O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

DAPHNIS AND CHLOE
Greece, 1931


Directed by Orestis Laskos. Screenplay: Orestis Laskos, from a pastoral novel by Longus. Director of Photography: Dimitris Meravidis. Original music: Agis Asteriadis. Cast: Apollon Marsyas (Daphnis), Lucy Matli (Chloe), Korina, Timos Vitsoris, Marika Raftopoulou, Ioannis Avlonitis. Produced by: ASTRA FILM. Duration: 68 min. Black and white.

Daphnis, a shepherd boy, and Chloe, a shepherd girl, grow up together in the mountains of ancient Lesvos. As they enter puberty, the awakening of sexual instincts, more intense for Chloe, evokes feelings of embarrassment and unease between them, for they are unable to respond to the callings of the flesh. A young prince persistently pursues Chloe and at some point attempts to rape her, but Daphnis' violent intervention wards him off. Daphnis is arrested and sentenced to be whipped to death. However, at the last moment, the fact that Daphnis is of noble origin, but was abandoned in the woods as an infant, comes to light. Daphnis asks his beloved to marry him, but the two heroes are now faced with new obstacles deriving from the class gap between them. The final revelation that Chloe is also of noble lineage allows the two youngsters to freely express their love.

Plasticity and Lyricism
by Babis Aktsoglou

This is the first comprehensive attempt in Greek filmmaking to produce a film with pure artistic aspirations. Orestis Laskos, a poet and actor, had already made his mark as a scriptwriter in a number of productions of the Gaziadis Brothers (The Harbour of Tears, The Clown of Life, Astero), when he first became engaged (he was self-taught) in film direction, with this adaptation of Longus's play. Taking into consideration the time it was filmed, one can realise why Laskos's avant-garde attempt caused such a sensation. Using colour film (for the first time in Greek cinema) that enabled him to capture many shades of black and white, and exploiting the natural scenery of Tempi and the Vouliagmeni Lake, Laskos tries to compensate for the absence of Longus' lyrical text with the plasticity of his shots. He remains quite faithful to the ancient writer, using long introductions, which, according to Yiorgos Yiatromanolakis, seem to be a word-for-word rendering of the original text.1 Some spectacular elements were omitted (Daphnis is abducted by pirates, but Chloe rescues him with the assistance of a shepherd, who is her first suitor; later on, Chloe is kidnapped by intruders from Mithymna but she is freed by the god Pan) probably because it was a low-budget production. Furthermore, such an aspect would turn the film into a historic-mythological adventure and this was not in Laskos's intention. On the contrary, if Daphnis and Chloe still makes an impression today, this is not due to a few nude scenes (Chloe bathing in the fountain is one of the first voyeuristic nude scenes in world cinema, but not the first sex scene, as it is mistakenly believed); this is because Laskos adheres to Longus' erotic theme making it the primary issue in the film, through scenes that suggest the sexual awakening and the awkward reaction of the two young shepherds, as well as scenes of sexual education: 'Philetus appears and gives them preparatory theoretical instruction: he teaches them the name of love and prescribes its medicines. Kisses and hugs. Lycaenion (the femme fatale) undertakes the practical part of the young man's erotic training. Daphnis asks permission to marry his beloved, but problems arise because of the fact that Chloe is poor. Thus, the film raises a quasi class issue, which would probably move the audience at that time'. The film, an amalgam of silent and sound cinema, is unbalanced as far as dramatisation is concerned, and the choice of the cast, in spite of what has been said about how Laskos discovered the Greek-American dancer Lucy Matli walking down Stadiou street, highlights this problem. However, it was a major step forward for Greek cinema, achieving international recognition. Unfortunately, it did not work as an example for Greek cinematography, with the exception of the film Young Aphrodites and Laskos's unfortunate attempt in 1969 to shoot a remake, modelled on soft-core erotic films of the '60s.

1 'Two film versions of Poimenika', in Minutes of the Scientific Symposium 'The Uses of Antiquity by Modern Greeks', 14-15/4/2000, Athens. Published by The Society for the Study of Modern Greek Culture and General Education, Athens 2002.