Playing Cleopatra: Hollywood and Anglophone Television Castings
Blog: Part II: Casting Cleopatra: It’s All About Politics
By Three Ancient Historians | November 3, 2020
Blog: Rising Phoenix: Using Ancient Statues to See Paralympians and Disability Differently
By Eleonora Colli | October 5, 2020
Netflix’s new Paralympic documentary, Rising Phoenix (written and directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui), was released in August 2020. As with many Netflix docu-films, Phoenix uses interviews with various athletes and members of the Paralympic Committee to follow the history of the Paralympics. These interviews are intermixed with old footage from the sport events themselves as well as the the use of statues in the style of those granted to ancient Olympians and athletes.
Classics Everywhere: Engaging with Antiquity through Film and Theater at Home
By Nina Papathanasopoulou | September 28, 2020
The Classics Everywhere initiative, launched by the SCS in 2019, supports projects that seek to engage communities worldwide with the study of Greek and Roman antiquity in new and meaningful ways.
Blog: What Can Greek Tragedy and Horror Movies Tell Us About Filicide?
By Justin 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.
Blog: Filming the Fable – Animals, The Lion King, and the Humanity of the Ancient Fable
By Colin MacCormack | September 19, 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.
Blog: Horror and Self Reflection: Jordan Peele's Us, Plato, and Modern America
By Justin Biggi | August 29, 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.
Blog: Through the lens of 'Dragon Blade': Rethinking “East” and “West” in a Classics film course
By Denise McCoskey | June 27, 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.
Blog: An Interview with Adrienne Mayor
By Adrienne Mayor | March 31, 2018
Q. How did you first get interested in Classics and the ancient world?