Ancient Theater and the Cinema Film Series – Satyricon
In connection with Ancient Theater and the Cinema (November 9, 2019–April 5, 2020), we are screening 3 films offering contrasting treatments of stories taken from ancient plays.
- Jules Dassin’s 1962 Phaedra is a retelling of Euripides’ Hippolytus starring Melina Mercouri (Phaedra) and a young Anthony Perkins. (December 12)
- Electra, directed by Michael Cocayannis, was the first film in his Greek Tragedy trilogy. The film is set in ancient Greece and filmed on location. Irene Papas plays Electra. (January 9)
- Federico Fellini’s Satyricon is a wild adaptation of Petronious’ Satyricon, with a lewd play embedded within it reminiscent of a Greek phlyax play. This is the only such treatment in the history of movies.
Petronius’ Satyricon, written during the reign of the emperor Nero and set in imperial Rome, inspired Fellini’s 1969 Italian fantasy. The film is divided into nine episodes, following the scholar Encolpius and his friend Ascyltus as they try to win the heart of the young boy Gitón, whom they both love, within the film’s depiction of a surreal and dreamlike Roman landscape and culture. Vincent Canby of The New York Times, noted that Satyricon was “the quintessential Fellini film, a travelogue through an unknown galaxy, a magnificently realized movie of his and our wildest dreams.”
Cost: $5, plus MFA admission
Photo Credit: United Artists presents “Satyricon” (1969) starring Martin Potter and Hiram Keller (Produzioni Europee Associati), directed by Federico Fellini and produced by Alberto Grimaldi, film still. @MGM