By Martin M. Winkler

Apollo used to be the traditional god of sunshine and the divine customer of the humanities. he's hence a becoming metaphor for cinematography, that's the fashionable paintings of writing with relocating gentle. This ebook translates motion pictures as visible texts and gives the 1st systematic theoretical and sensible demonstration of the affinities among Greco-Roman literature and the cinema. It examines significant issues from classical fantasy and historical past akin to movie portrayals of gods, exemplified via Apollo and the Muses; Oedipus, antiquity's so much influential mythic-tragic hero; the query of heroism and patriotism in warfare; and the illustration of girls like Helen of Troy and Cleopatra as items of male hope and fable. protecting a variety of ecu and American administrators, genres, and classical authors, this research offers an leading edge standpoint at the disciplines of classics and cinema and demonstrates our such a lot influential medium's limitless variety whilst it adapts historic texts.

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Archetypal figures recur with almost infinite changes in films based on Greek and Roman literature, especially epic and tragedy, and in films with invented historical, pseudo-historical, or modern settings.  What film scholar Pierre Sorlin has deduced about historical films applies equally to literary and mythical subjects, as my parenthetical additions to his words here quoted will make evident: An historical film [or a film based on a work of literature] can be puzzling for a scholar: everything that he considers history [or important for the plot and style in a literary work] is ignored; everything he sees on the screen is, in his opinion, pure imagination.

But at the same time it is important to examine the difference between history [or the scholarly study of literature] as it is written by the specialist and history [or the original text] as it is received by the non-specialist.  The same goes for literary adaptations, which   Regarding films set in classical antiquity cf. Winkler a: – (section entitled “Film and Historical Authenticity”). Both quotations are from Sorlin : ix.  Cinema and Classical Texts: Apollo’s New Light illuminate the life of the society that produces them.

More than any other means of creative and commercial expression, film as a narrative medium encompasses all the ranges of high and low culture. My own preferences – if not, I hope, prejudices (except very occasionally) – will quickly become apparent, although I have taken pains not to let them color my arguments. While the films I examine differ considerably in their artistic qualities, they all present in their own and sometimes unique ways noteworthy examples of the continuing vitality of the classical past in today’s culture.

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