- 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
- ‘«Ň GORGON
- OEDIPUS REX
- ‘«Ň ILLIAC PASSION
- THE CANNIBALS
- ŐEDEA
- NOTES FOR AN AFRICAN ORESTEIA
- FOR ELECTRA
- PROMETHEUS IN THE SECOND PERSON
- VOYAGE TO CYTHERA
- ULYSSES' GAZE
- ‘«Ň MATRIX
- O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

YOUNG APHRODITES
Greece, 1963


Directed by: Nikos Koundouros. Screenplay: Vasilis Vasilikos, Costas Sfikas, from Longus’ Daphis and Chloe and Theokritos’ Eidyllion. Director of Photography: Giovanni Variano. Set Design: Nikos Koundouros. Music: Yannis Markopoulos. Film editor: Giorgos Tsaoulis. Cast: Kleopatra Rota (Chloe), Eleni Prokopiou (Arta), Takis Emmanuel (Tsakalos), Vangelis Joannides (Skymnos), Zannino (chief of the shepherds), Anestis Vlahos (shepherd), Kostas Papakonstantinou (Lykas), Vassilis Kailas. Production: Anzervos, Minos Film. Duration: 88 minutes. Black and white. Best director and best film award International Film Critics Association in the 1963 Berlin Festival. Best film, Best director, Music and Critics’ award at the 1963 Thessaloniki Festival. (The director has recently changed the title of his film into: The Mark of Aphrodite.).

In 200 BC, a nomadic group of shepherds, in search of new pastures, leave the mountains to settle close to a fishing village. The women of the village hide and the only ones to venture out are Arta, the fisherman’s wife, and a twelve-year-old girl, Chloe. Skymnos, a young shepherd, approaches Chloe who walks semi-naked around the rocks and the beach. Among the two children begins a tantalising game, which does not clearly end up with the couple having intercourse. On the other hand, although Arta initially rejects Tsakalos, she finally succumbs and the couple meets in a cave where Skymnos and Chloe can watch through a crack in the rock. When the shepherds decide to leave, Skymnos refuses to follow them. Lykas, a mute teenage shepherd, finds Chloe and rapes her. When Skymnos witnesses this scene, he allows himself to be swept away by the sea holding a dead pelican in his arms.

The Genesis of a Myth
by Yiorgos Yiatromanolakis

I will refer to the way an ancient Greek novel was adapted to the screen. This novel is Longus’ well-known pastoral romance Daphnis and Chloe also called Pastorals, written, based on all indications, in the second half of the 2nd century AD. As far as I know, no other ancient Greek novel has been made into a film since, even a few years ago, most of these texts had not yet been translated and were completely unknown to the public. However, Longus is famous: his work has been translated into modern Greek several times, he has received Goethe’s eternal praise for its completeness and appeal. Longus has also inspired many musicians, painters and other artists.[…]
Koundouros’s starting point is Longus and, primarily, the theme of the two young heroes’ initiation to love. However, the setting, though also belonging to an earlier period, is completely different from Longus’ bucolic surroundings. Even the title of the film bears no relation to Longus: Young Aphrodites define the director’s main concern. Koundouros uses a version of the "mythical method", known from poetry. Pastorals define the framework and his story is linked to the old romance, but the rest has little to do with Longus. Because of this, Koundouros’s story could be read outside the context of Pastorals – and it is read. However, since the archetypal story of the two young lovers dominates the film, the dimensions of Young Aphrodites overcome the temporary and the contemporary. Pastorals are the starting point; they provide the sensual atmosphere and the mystery of initiation, but the contemporary creator remains independent. The use of the past is now realised through a new story based on an old one; it is a new "mythology" based on antiquity. Therefore, we have the genesis of a myth – as Elytis would say when commenting on the way the poets of his era used mythology. Obviously, this is extremely interesting, though this attempt had no successors.
The sexual instinct of the adults will be gradually steeped in the rocks and the sea, and spread even to the two young children, slowly shaping their vague sexual desire. This is the central element of the film: austere setting, costumes that reveal the bodies’ sexual nature, faces and gazes revealing love’s dominant presence. Nature-Earth, water and air – and the bodies overcome the rudimentary myth and independently create their own romantic narrative. The continual rearrangement of bodies and spaces composes a constant renewal, which narrates the libidinal dialogue among bodies, between the elements of nature and between bodies and nature. Through a carefully created architectural construction, the audience is able to gradually distinguish pleasure and pain, serenity and violence, the whispers and the screams of contradictory, yet enjoyable, erotic discourse.

From the catalogue Twenty-five Years of Greek Cinema, Athens 1985