film

By Justin Lorenzo Biggi | November 1, 2019

Modern cinema and Greek tragedy illustrate that few things elicit a fear more profound than parents killing children. Horror movies have often grappled with figures of “monstrous” mothers in particular, from the obsessive, hypochondriac Sonia Kaspbrack in Stephen King's IT (1986), to the lonely, murderous Olivia Crain in Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House (2018). In Greek tragedy, too, mothers are often monsters: women like Medea, Agave or Althaea are all tragic examples of women who have killed their children. In both genres, these gestures of extreme violence are meant to shock and unsettle the audience by pushing back against “normal” familial bonds, bringing into question relationships of gender, the body and motherhood.

By Colin MacCormack | September 20, 2019

Of the slew of Disney’s new live-action remakes, perhaps the most anticipated release was this summer’s The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau. After all, the original 1994 version was arguably the crown jewel of the ‘Disney Renaissance’, enjoying massive commercial and critical success (followed by a highly successful Broadway production). More importantly - at least for those like me who grew up in the 90’s - it was a cultural touchstone, a perennial source of references, parodies, and praise.

By Justin Lorenzo Biggi | August 30, 2019

In March of 2019, Jordan Peele's Us was released in theaters. Much like his previous project, Get Out (2017), Us took the horror world by storm. Unlike Get Out, whose direct references to U.S. racism were the foundation of the plot, Peele left Us intentionally vague; allowing for a flurry of online theories to be born as to what his intended meaning may have been.

By Denise Eileen McCoskey | June 29, 2018

In spring 2018, students enrolled in the upper-level seminar “Antiquity Through a Lens” at Miami University engaged in critical study of the ways the classical world and, more specifically, ancient war narratives have been used in modern film and television to reflect on contemporary society and its conflicts.  Alongside study of ancient primary sources, students thus explored a range of concepts such as gender, class, race, religion, and even the meaning of victory itself in Troy (2004), 300 (2007), 300:  Rise of an Empire (2014), Spartacus (1960), Masada (1981), and Dragon Blade (2015).  It was the latter film, however, that provoked the most intriguing reactions from students in the course, since it forced them to view classical history for the first time through a distinctly non-Western lens.

By Adrienne Mayor | April 2, 2018
In March, SCS editor-in-chief Sarah Bond interviewed ancient historian Adrienne Mayor, author of some of the bestselling books in the field of Classics, among them: The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World and The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy. We discussed Classics, pop-culture, writing for broader audiences, what it is like to consult with film and TV studios to help them recreate the ancient world accurately, and why the Amazons remain an inspiration even today.
 

Q. How did you first get interested in Classics and the ancient world?

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