“YALOM’S CURE”— An Existential Journey Though the Mind

yalom's cure

“YALOM’S CURE”

An Existential Journey Though the Mind

Amos Lassen

Irvin D. Yalom has been described as one of the most influential living psychotherapists in the world. He has written many books on psychology as well as several classic textbooks and teaching novels. In Sabine Gisiger’s documentary, Yalom appears as himself and guides us on a journey of self-exploration.

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Yalom’s parents came to the United States from Poland. His mother was overly critical about everything and she never could say anything good about him. For two-years in his late adolescence, he didn’t speak to her. His parents ran a grocery store in a ghetto in Washington, D.C. and didn’t understand their son’s fascination with books and his intention to gain admission to medical school.

Yalom met Marilyn who was the love of his life when he was 15 years old and she was 14. When she graduated from Wellesley College in 1954 they got married and Yalom’s career was one of a scholar moving from an internship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City to a psychiatric residency at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and then a long stint at Stanford University in the department of psychiatry. Along the way, Yalom and Marilyn had four children.

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Yalom formed and pioneered the theory and practice of group therapy and wrote extensively about the need for therapists to focus more on Existential Psychotherapy and encounters with death, the search for meaning, isolation, and freedom. His work in these arenas resulted in textbooks that were acclaimed by many in the profession.

Today Yalom is 80 years old 80 years old and he says he feels more liberated than he ever has. He is still; creative and his mind is as sharp as ever. He claims that his marriage is responsible for this and claims that “Love is not just a passion spark between two people, there’s infinite difference between falling in love and standing in love. The idea is that you stand in love, not fall in love, trying to live in such a way as to always be bringing something more to life in the other.”

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Yalom is still one of the most influential psychotherapists living today. This documentary is more than a biography and we really see this as Yalom leads us through the many layers of the human mind, navigating the depths and shallows of our psyche. As we journey with him, we learn about his groundbreaking work in the development of the field of psychotherapy, and listen as he reveals some of his most fundamental insights and wisdom.

“SOUTHLANDER: DIARY OF A DESPERATE MUSICIAN— A Musical Journey

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“Southlander: Diary of a Desperate Musician”
A Musical Journey

Amos Lassen

 Chance (Rory Cochrane) is a hapless LA Musician, who found his ticket to fame, fortune and romance with the coveted keyboard, the 69′ Moletron. The keyboard that got him the gig and the girl (Beth Orton) is missing, and Chance must reclaim it by working his way through “The Southlander”, the ultimate buy/sell classified paper for musicians in Southern California. 

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Along the way, Chance and his pal Ross Angeles (Ross Harris) come upon the unstable defunct Funk star Motherchild (Lawrence Hilton Jacobs III) and his toadie (Richard Edson), Beck’s ramshackle recording trailer, a ruthless junkyard cowboy (Hank Williams III) and his mechanical dinosaur (Robosaurus). They find their way to an eccentric millionaire’s Bacchanalian party, a clairvoyant goddess (Laura Prepon, ), and intergalactic Jazz Egyptians (Billy Higgins).

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The film includes performances by Beck, Beth Orton, Hank Williams III, Union 13, and Billy Higgins and there are cameos from Laura Prepon, Ione Sky and Elliott Smith. “Southlander” is a comically uncanny rock & roll party adventure by director Steven Hanft. 

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Quite basically the film is about a young guy trying desperately to retrieve a stolen synthesizer and plays like an improvised tour of the lower echelons of the Los Angeles rock scene whose sense of humor could only be fully appreciated by struggling musicians.

Special features include Deleted Scenes, Uncut Performances, Director’s Commentary, Music Videos, Bonus Audio, Photo Gallery, and Theatrical Trailer.

“A Winter in Rome” by Francis Gideon— A Man Adrift

a winter in rome

Gideon, Francis. “A Winter in Rome”, Less Than Three Press, 2015,

A Man Adrift

Amos Lassen

Craig is a man adrift who never quite feels like he belongs or as successful and settled as those around him—especially his lovers, Alan, an art professor he met while in college, and Sybil, who tutored him throughout his Italian class. When Alan goes to Rome and Craig’s life seems to become more uncertain. Only his memories ground him. By the time Alan returns, Craig isn’t certain how his relationships will change especially when Alan starts to fall for Sybil, bringing two pieces of his world completely together and leaving Craig worried it will create a world without place for him. I found this to be a treatise on existentialism, art, and gender.

We see the three characters through Craig’s eyes. He is an affable, recently graduated college student, with no purpose to his life. Alan is part typical professor/part infectious artist. Sybil is Craig’s lover and Alan’s paramour. Is she part of a triad or just driving a wedge between the two men?

Craig, Alan, and Sybil are all good people. They want to do right by the world and right by each other. They need to figure out what’s right for themselves. They each need to find something to aspire to, rather than something to indulge in.

This story begins when Alan travels to Rome for the winter. At this point the story goes back to show how Alan and Craig met. Sybil comes into the picture shortly afterward and Craig finds that he loves them both. He is in a polyamorous relationship and both Alan and Sybil are okay with sharing Craig. The story becomes complicated when Sybil wants something more, but what she wants is something Craig would never have imagined.

We do not often get books of this nature—meaning with a polyamorous relationship and therefore I found great pleasure in reading it.

“FAUDA”— Chaos

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“FAUDA”

Chaos

Amos Lassen

“Fauda” is the Arabic word for chaos and is a prize winning mini-series produced in Israel. It shows the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Doron and his team are hunting the Hamas activist Abu-Ahmed while we learn about   Abu-Ahmed and his family’s private life and the reasons for their escalating hatred towards Israel.

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The series starts when Doron, who is now out of the army and is working as a wine-maker. He learns that the most wanted Arab terrorist, whom he had caught and was presumed to be dead, is in fact alive and well, and planning the next suicide bombings. From there until the end of the 12th episode, the tension constantly rises and it is impossible to turn away from the screen.

Since the late 80’s, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has operated special undercover units called “Mista’arvim”. These are located at present in the West Bank and previously had worked in the Gaza Strip. The soldiers, disguised as Palestinians, blend into the Arab community and carry out anti-terror operations. Chaos could not be a better name for what we see.

“Write That Down! The Comedy of Male Actress Charles— Pierce” by Kirk Frederick— “The Foremost ‘Male Actress’ of the 20th Century”

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Frederick, Kirk. “Write That Down! The Comedy of Male Actress Charles Pierce”, Havenhurst Books, 2016.

“The Foremost ‘Male Actress” of the 20th Century”-

Amos Lassen

“Write That Down” is the first, authorized biographical tribute to Charles Pierce, the foremost “male actress” of the 20th Century. Pierce was born in 1926 and moved on from playing small gay clubs in San Francisco to international acclaim. His imitations of screen icons such as Bette Davis, Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead, Carol Channing, Katharine Hepburn, and Joan Crawford gained him following all over the world and a career in film and television. Writer Kirk Frederick has captured Pierce in this biography which is almost as much fun as seeing Pierce on stage. I loved watching Charles Pierce and we finally have a wonderful and well-researched biography of a man who was not afraid to dare.

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Pierce was his own person and he was brilliant.. He could repeat the same stories over and over and we would laugh every time as if he had told a story the very first time. Kirk Frederick who worked with Pierce for many years reminds us of the man who could provide arguments between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford or Davis and Bankhead. There was no performer quite like the great Charles Pierce and no one better able to write about him other than Kirk Frederick who was his professional intimate for twenty years. We get a look at Pierce’s best performances as well as some fascinating anecdotes of behind the scenes. The author has painstakingly preserved some of Charles’ best routines and shares amazing behind the curtain anecdotes.

Pierce would not let himself be described as a drag queen. Rather, he was a “male actress’ a name he made up for himself. It is really important to remember that at the time Pierce started performing, it was not the best era for LGBT people. The Stonewall Riots had just taken place in New York. Nonetheless it did not stop Pierce from presenting his satirical imitations of the queens of the silver screen. He developed a fan base quickly and even celebrities such as Lucille Ball, Bea Arthur and Anthony Hopkins would go to see his shows. He did guest appearances on television in such shows as “Laverne and Shirley”, “The Love Boat”, “Golden Girls” and ”Designing Women” and appeared on the movie screen in “Torch Song Trilogy”.

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While Frederick likes Pierce’s Bette Davis and says that it was his best role, I loved his Katherine Hepburn and her sequel to “The Lion in Winter”, “Pussy in Summer”. He was a comic impressionist and he made his characters his own. Pierce did many talk shows he played venues as large as the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles, where he improvised the line “Who knew that Dorothy Pavilion’s middle name was Chandler?” In 1984, the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel hired him for five summers in a row: he filled the room. This was a high-paying gig, and it gave him great mainstream press exposure in San Francisco, a decade after his earlier local fame. Perhaps his most important role was being cast as the drag performer and emcee “Bertha Venation” in 1988 in the movie of “Torch Song Trilogy”. Harvey Feinstein allowed Charles to use some of his own material, and it was clearly a chance for Harvey to honor Charles as a drag pioneer.

Pierce’s career spanned forty something years and he became a voice for our movement. He was an amazing man to have among us for a while.

“Caspid: A Love Song” by Joseph Osmundson—The Realities of Living with HIV

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Osmundson, Joseph. “Capsid: A Love Song”, Indolent Books, 2015.

The Realities of Living with HIV

Amos Lassen

“Capsid” is “a hybrid essay” that combines personal narrative and lyrical science writing to face the contemporary realities of living with HIV regardless of HIV status. Now 30 years after the peak of HIV, we see that it has fundamentally shifted how we understand bodies and health, sex and sexuality, activism and art. With diagnoses today and anti-retroviral therapy continuing to change the shape of HIV infections, we need new HIV narratives that confront and explain our contemporary interactions with the virus.

Joseph Osmundson describes “Capsid: A Love Song” as an essay “On HIV, desire, science, queerness, love.” It incorporates eight prose poems, each one inspired by a different phase in the life cycle of HIV. “A person infected with a virus is called a host, and that makes the virus the guest, and sometimes a guest becomes a friend, and sometimes a friend becomes a lover.” He explores the intimacy of the relationship between an HIV-positive person and his virus.

 

“BEAUTIFUL DARLING”— Warhol’s Trans Muse

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“Beautiful Darling”

Warhol’s Trans Muse

Amos Lassen

Transsexual Andy Warhol muse Candy Darling was born a boy, James Slattery, in suburban Long Island in the 1940s. Darling grew up reading movie magazines and set one goal: to become a female film star. When we consider the time and place, it is amazing that Candy achieved her goal—sort of. Darling not only stared in Warhol flicks but even took top billing in a Tennessee Williams play and was eternalized in Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”.

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The film is made up diary entries, archival footage, and talking heads like John Waters and Fran Lebowitz. What really struck me was glamorous presence Darling was, with her porcelain skin and blond hair. She becomes fascinating as a study in Darling’s transsexuality: her diary, read by Chloe Sevigny, says: “I’m not a genuine woman, but I’m not interested in genuineness. Darling created a fantasy and lived it until Warhol cast her out and the toxic hormones she was on finally took their toll.

Where the movie is less successful is in digging into her darker realities. There are hints that she managed to look great while living on peanut butter, and whispers about her turning tricks to survive, but we really never get beneath the mystique that Candy so carefully created. There is a bit too much focus on Jeremiah Newton, a co-producer of the film and one of the friend-servants who took care of her.

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James Rasin’s documentary is a touching and sensitive biography of Darling. is a sad, lyrical reflection on the foolish worship of movie stars. Jeremiah Newton narrates the story. He was Candy Darling’s closest friend and onetime roommate who appointed himself guardian of her legacy after her death in 1974 from cancer at 29. The movie shows him arranging her burial beside Mr. Newton’s mother in Cherry Valley, N.Y.

His reverence for Candy Darling is not unlike her adolescent worship of Kim Novak. When Candy Darling was still a boy named James L. Slattery, experimenting with cross-dressing while growing up on Long Island, he sent away for an autographed picture of Ms. Novak. We learn that the day it arrived was one of the most important moments of his life. Darling not only resembled his idol and she also affected her breathy, languid style of gracious regality. The film’s most visually resonant images are side-by-side comparisons of Candy Darling acting out scenes from Ms. Novak’s films while striking the same poses.

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Darling had a rough life. She had been a high school pariah who was rejected by her homophobic father and even at the height of her fame, lived hand to mouth and slept on people’s couches..

Fran Lebowitz, who spent time in the world of Warhol , remembers when being a female impersonator on the streets of New York was against the law. She relates that when Slattery was growing up, he spent hours reading about and looking at movie-magazine images of untouchable gods and goddesses. This was his escape from the rejection and scorn of straight society. Even after becoming a downtown Warhol celebrity, Darling, who took female hormones, did not want to have the surgery to complete gender reassignment. “I’m not a genuine woman,” she said. “But I’m not interested in genuineness. I’m interested in being the product of a woman.”

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She regarded Warhol as her protector and was bitterly disappointed and hurt when he lost interest in his cross-dressing “superstars,” which also included Holly Woodlawn and Jackie Curtis.

The film includes brief excerpts from several of the Warhol movies in which Candy Darling appeared, as well as snippets filmed of her Off Off Broadway appearances. Her best movie role, in which she displayed a nascent talent for satirical comedy, was a version of herself in the Paul Morrissey-Warhol feminist spoof “Women in Revolt”. Excerpts from Candy Darling’s diary, read by Chloë Sevigny (who sounds nothing like her), reveal a streak of tragic self-awareness that lent her narcissism a deep poignancy. “I feel like I’m living in a prison,” she wrote, then named things she couldn’t do that included swimming, visiting relatives, getting a job and having a boyfriend. Her actual sex life remains a matter of speculation. There were those that admired her, but how far these romances progressed isn’t addressed. During adolescence, she fantasized about Laurence Harvey.

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Along with the rest of the Warhol crew Candy Darling haunted the notorious back room of Max’s Kansas City, the Union Square restaurant and artists’ hangout. Lebowitz recalls that “basically you’re talking about an entire group of people who would have a tantrum if everyone weren’t paying attention to them.”

One of the things that “Beautiful Darling” does is stand as a cautionary case study of the lust for fame as a way to deal with the emptiness that nothing can fill. One of Darling’s later entries in her diary reads, “I will not cease to be myself for foolish people. For foolish people make harsh judgments on me. You must always be yourself, no matter what the price. It is the highest form of morality.”

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We se here that Andy Warhol’s greatest talent was his need to be among people who, like himself, had an almost pathological gift for hiding their true feelings. They made their detachment appear chic to the public. We only see the masks they wore and they worked hard at appearing as if they didn’t care, even when they were having sex. The fact is, and no one dare say it but Warhol and his superstars may have been tremendously boring people.

Candy Darling was one of the opportunistic Warhol’s most lucrative acquisitions. Before calling an end of his friendship with trans phase and cruelly tossing her and Holly Woodland and Jackie Curtis aside, Warhol brought Candy into his Factory because he saw in her a kindred spirit, and her convincingly feminine appearance and nostalgia for old Hollywood made an indelible impression on him. No other Warhol superstar came closest to flirting with mainstream stardom, having been photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe, sung about by Lou Reed, and acted in a well-received play by Tennessee Williams.

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This documentary is unable to dispel the cloud that still hangs over Candy. He was a boy who dreamed of being a girl and a Hollywood star, because to live any other way would have meant oblivion, the Candy that we see here is something of an archetype: another transgender person struggling with rejection and finding freedom by flirting with, or toying with the idea of success in show business. We become very aware of her sense of displacement and she remains a mystery.

We hear bits of audio that Newton recorded shortly after Candy’s death, of her close friends and associates (like Tennessee Williams) remembering what it was like to be touched by Candy while in reality, Darling was just another stray who was taken in by Andy Warhol and given a taste of joy. Settling for easy sentimentality throughout. We see the way reveals how Warhol made ghosts of all his superstars.

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Director Rasin’s approach is even-handed and unsentimental, allowing us to draw our own conclusions about the weird extremes of this movie star infatuation. The film is skillfully edited, and Chloe Sevigny recites passages from Candy’s diaries with tenderness and grace. An impressive number of insiders (Woodlawn, Waters, Paul Morrissey (who directed Darling in “Flesh” and “Women in Revolt”), Warhol Factory regulars Gerard Malanga and Taylor Mead, and writer Fran Lebowitz) share reminiscences and the film recreates a slice of the cultural history of the ’60s while also telling us something about the fatal addiction of fame.

“THE WHOOPEE BOYS”— Misfits

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“The Whoopee Boys”

Misfits

Amos Lassen

Two obnoxious and dim-witted misfits, Jake Bateman (Michael O’ Keefe) and Barney Benar (Paul Rodriguez) make an attempt to save a school for needy children by attempting to sneak into the wealthy high society of Palm Beach to get the money needed for their cause. The two men fled New York and end up in Palm Beach, Florida and get involved with a beautiful heiress who runs a school for needy children. Unless she gets married in 30 days to a high society “gentleman,” the school will be bought and turned into condos. While Jake takes a liking to her, he decides to prove he can be a worthy husband by enrolling in a charm school.

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As a comedy, “The Whoopee Boys” just does not work totally. Many of the gags include belching, farting, vomiting, and masturbation and predictable, politically incorrect potshots. I did not find most of this funny and the film really is quite childish. John Byrum, directed but he is just not suited for this comic material.

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Raunchiness and ribaldry have their place but these do not work here either. There’s a plot in here somewhere as I shared in my opening paragraph. Yet there are those that love this film and proclaim that it is the funniest movie ever.

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Paul Rodriguez is a very talented comedian. However, his raunchiness did not hit me as funny. The film tries to hard to be bawdy genre exercise like “Animal House” was but it seems to have lost its direction and is crude. The movie is disjointed and punctuated by one unfunny bit after another  Rodriguez gets the best line of the movie when he tells two women:  “As long as I have a face, you’ll always have a place to sit!”

“THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI”— Going for the Top

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“The Private Affairs of Bel Ami”

Going for the Top

Amos Lassen

“The Private Affairs of Bel Ami” begins with a woman singing, “Who’ll be deceiving me, who’ll be leaving me, bel ami.” The song that is heard at various points in the film, that was made in1947, refers to the character of Georges Duroy (George Sanders) who is quite a roué.

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Upon meeting his old military buddy, Charles Forestier, we become aware of Georges success with women. Charles invites him to dinner where he meets Rachel (Marie Wilson), a dancer and they date until he dumps her when he meets Clothilde de Morelle (Angela Lansbury), a woman with wealthy husband who is often absent.

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Charles gives Georges a chance to write for the newspaper that he works for and tells him to make contact with his wife, Madelaine (Ann Dvorak) who becomes his muse as Clothilde becomes his lover. Soon after this, Georges becomes the center of talk in Paris as he denigrates women while seducing them. He maintains that “Marriage and love are entirely two different subjects.” He emphasizes, however, that happiness does not always bring cash.  Clothilde disagrees, commenting, “A true marriage is the daily bread of the heart. There’s no greater happiness.” Charles dies and Georges married Madelaine, his widow yet continues his affair with Clotilde.

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Madelaine , meanwhile, has a suspicious friendship with a certain count who dies and leaves her money, knowing that this will look like a public pronouncement of an illicit affair. Georges demands some of the money to make things look proper. Madelaine and the publisher Monsieur Walter (Hugo Haas) have been using Georges to help topple the government and enrich themselves. When Georges finds out, he seduces Walter’s wife (Katherine Emery), but eventually, he frames Madelaine for adultery (a crime) and is able to obtain a divorce. He is able to continue his publishing career by seducing Walter’s young daughter Suzanne (Susan Douglas Rubes).

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When the movie came out, America was quite a conservative country and movies like this did not succeed. Sex and love affairs were certainly not openly discussed or seen in movies.

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The thesis of “Bel Ami” is that the rise of young men in society comes from knowing the right women. However, none of the women are equal partners in love matches. Madelaine is not a muse, but a woman searching for a male face to front her opinions, but even then, she has her own agendas and is willing to make her willing facade an unwilling fall guy.

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“Bel Ami” is a handsome period movie, but lacks a strong realization of the central character. At first, Sanders at first seems perfectly cast as corrupt journalist Georges Duroy, whose monetary and social aspirations lead him to cruelly manipulate the countless women who fall for his charms. Yet we never fully understand why Sanders’ “Bel Ami” is so appealing to females: he’s handsome, but not irresistibly so, and is ultimately too icily self-contained to convince us of his persuasive powers as a lover.

“IPHIGENIA”— The Gods and War

iphigenia poster

“Iphigenia”

The Gods and War

Amos Lassen

With “Iphigenia”, director Michael Cacoyannis succeeds in giving the feel of Greek theater tragedy to the screen and it is said that he is the only director who has been able to do so. He has written his screenplay based upon the original by Euripdes is one of the most difficult of the tragedies to film. In order to film this, he had to deconstruct the original and find a way to present the tragedy in a logical and chronological order and thus having it play like modern movie goers are used to seeing.

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Cacoyannis also added some characters to his film that do not appear in Euripides’ tragedy: Odysseus, Calchas, and the army. He did so to make some of Euripides’ points regarding war, the Church, and Government clearer. The ending is somewhat more ambiguous than the ending of Euripides.

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Shot on location at Aulis, we see some beautiful shots of Greece. The harshness of the landscape fits the souls of the characters and reflects their torment. The performances led by Costa Kazakos (Agamemnon), Irene Papas (Clytemnestra), and Tatiana Papamoschou (Iphigenia) are absolutely beautiful. Kazakos and Papas embody the sublimity of the classical Greece tragedy. Agamemnon is extremely down-to-earth who looks very powerful when he looks into the camera. He needs no words to reveal the unbelievable torment he suffers. As Clytemnestra, Irene Papas is the modern quintessence of classic Greek plays. She is terrible in her anguish, and even more so for what we know will be her vengeance. Tatiana Papamoskou, in her first role on the screen, is outstanding in her portrayal of the innocent Iphigenia that contrasts with Kazakos’ austere depiction of her father, Agamemnon.

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We also have Odysseus, a sly, scheming politician, Achilles, a vain, narcissistic warrior, Menalaus, self centered, obsessed with his honor, eager to be avenged, and to have his wife and property restored. Everything is the height of realism and this is a film that does quite well without Hollywood touches and flourishes. The music of Mikis Theodorakis intensifies what we see on the screen.

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We gain considerable insight into the lost world of ancient Greek thought that was the crucible for so much of our modern civilization. We lean about ourselves as individuals and as social and political creatures. Euripides questions the value of war and patriotism when measured against the simple virtues of family and love, and reflects on woman’s vulnerable position in a world of manly violence. In his adaptation of Euripides’ tragedy, Cacoyannis revisits all of these themes and does so in a modern, clear and dramatic fashion.

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The relationships governing the political machinations are demonstrated with clarity and we certainly see that war corrupts and destroys the human soul to such an extent that neither the individual nor the group can function normally any longer. However, Menelaus, whose honor has been tarnished by his own wife’s elopement with her lover, is an exception to this —he is the only character whose reason for going to war has to do with his wife, Helen. Agamemnon is thirsty for power, Odysseus is greedy and Achilles wants glory.

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(the army, Odysseus), or glory (Achilles). Helen actually became the reason for the Trojan War and that war we see here has been stripped of the glamour that Homer added and there is no religious sanctioning. Here it is just an imperialist venture, caused primarily by the desire for material gain. Anything else is pretext.

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We also see the conflict between church and state with Calchas, representing the Church and feeling the challenge of his own priestly authority and using it to try to destroy Agamemnon for the insult to the Goddess he serves and he tells him to sacrifice his daughter. In consenting to the sacrifice, Agamemnon comes close to his moral undoing, however, in refusing, he loses his power over the masses (his army), who are brainwashed by religion. Agamemnon sees it as a game. But he must go along with the charade whether he honestly believes in the Gods or not, until he realizes, too late, that he has caused himself to commit a despicable crime.

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Was this a sacrifice or was it murder? Can we even tell the difference between the two? By focusing on the violent and primitive horror of a human sacrifice–and, worst of all, the sacrifice of one’s own child–Euripides/Cacoyannis have created a drama that is at once deeply political and agonizingly personal. It touches on a most complex and delicate ethical problem facing any society: the dire conflict between the needs of the individual versus those of the society. In the case of Iphigenia, however, as in the Biblical tale of Abraham and Isaac, the father is asked to kill his own child, by his own hand. We want to know what kind of God would insist on such an action? Can it be just or moral, even if divinely inspired? Does Iphigenia’s sacrificial death differ from the deaths of all the sons and daughters who are being sent to war? These are the questions raised by the film.

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Clytemnestra begged her husband not to go through with the sacrifice but he refuses to listen. Realizing that her death is inevitable, Iphigenia bravely walks up the hillside steps to the sacrificial altar dressed in her wedding dress, saying death will be a wedding, and forgives her father.

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The film brilliantly captures the stark tragic mood of the myth and shows this classic Greek theater production in a memorizing way that’s never before been realized on the screen as powerfully as it is here.