Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Cacoyannis (dir), 1962, 107m, based on Euripedes.

Elektra is the daughter of Agamemnon, the returning hero of the Trojan war, who is murdered by her mother and her lover. Her brother Orestes escapes with his life but Elektra is imprisoned and later on married off to a peasant. The powerful plot is about the revenge exacted by the siblings, particularly the slaying of their mother. There is a chorus and the main actors strike statuesque poses and declaim their words. For all the stilted acting, the film does manage to hold your attention, extracting the last ounce of emotion out of each twist of the story. The black and white photography of the bare undulating countryside is one of the attractions of the film. A relatively painless introduction to Greek drama, all the more since all the poetry has been nearly shorn to leave us a virtually silent film or a mime performance.

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