Classical Literature on Screen
Affinities of Imagination
- Author: Martin M. Winkler, George Mason University, Virginia
Martin M. Winkler argues for a new approach to various creative affinities between ancient verbal and modern visual narratives. He examines screen adaptations of classical epic, tragedy, comedy, myth, and history, exploring, for example, how ancient rhetorical principles regarding the emotions apply to moving images and how Aristotle's perspective on thrilling plot-turns can recur on screen. He also interprets several popular films, such as 300 and Nero, and analyzes works by international directors, among them Pier Paolo Pasolini (Oedipus Rex, Medea), Jean Cocteau (The Testament of Orpheus), Mai Zetterling (The Girls), Lars von Trier (Medea), Arturo Ripstein (Such Is Life), John Ford (westerns), Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho), and Spike Lee (Chi-Raq). The book demonstrates the undiminished vitality of classical myth and literature in our visual media, as with screen portrayals of Helen of Troy. It is important for all classicists and scholars and students of film, literature, and history.Read more
- Interprets adaptations of major classical authors from Homer to Heliodorus by important and popular American and European filmmakers
- Focuses on the ways in which ancient texts and their screen adaptations evoke comparable emotions and employ comparable plot situations and stylistic emphases
- Accessible to students and researchers alike through an avoidance of jargon and translations of all foreign-language texts
Reviews & endorsements
'In an era in which people seem to live eternally in the moment, books such as Classical Literature on Screen are required reading. Revealing his encyclopedic knowledge of both classical literature and classic (as well as contemporary) film, Winker looks at work from Pier Paolo Pasolini's and Jean Cocteau's visions of Oedipus and Pasolini's and Lars von Trier's interpretations of Medea to Spike Lee's update of Aristophanes' Lysistrata in his film Chi-Raq. The result is a book that constantly surprises and delights the reader. Here, Alfred Hitchcock meets Aristotelian poetics, John Ford is seen as the US's Virgil, and the film 300 is thoroughly dissected in a chapter titled 'Fascinating Ur-Fascism' (a nod to Susan Sontag). Winkler's readings are just as informed with classical antiquity as they are with the techniques of CGI in contemporary film, and his writing is lively and accessible. Illustrated throughout with an excellent series of stills, this is a fascinating, thrilling, continually surprising book.' Choice
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- Date Published: August 2017
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781108129084
- contains: 54 b/w illus.
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Part I. Creative Affinities: Ancient Texts and Modern Images:
1. The classical sense of cinema and the cinema's sense of antiquity
2. Pasolini's and Cocteau's Oedipus: no quarrel of the ancients and the moderns in the cinema age
Part II. Elective Affinities: Tragedy and Comedy:
3. Medea's infanticide: how to present the unimaginable
4. Striking beauty: Aristophanes' Lysistrat
Part III. Non-Elective Affinities: Plot and Theme:
5. 'More striking': Aristotelian poetics in Achilles Tatius, Heliodorus, and Alfred Hitchcock
6. John Ford, America's Virgil
Part IV. Counter-Affinities: Ideological and Narrative Distortions of History:
7. Fascinating ur-fascism: the case of 300
8. Good Nero
or, the best intentions
Part V. Aesthetic Affinities: portraits of ladies:
9. Regal beauties in Franco Rossi's films of the Odyssey and Aenid
10. Helen of Troy: is this the face that launched a thousand films?
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