Greece usually leaves a deep impression on anyone who learns about it. Visitors are often amazed by its picturesque scenery and long history.
Troy A Legendary Story
The legendary entanglement between the gods of Olympus and humankind lasted for thousands of years. The Trojanwar depicted in the epic poem Iliad by Homer (c. 750 BC) is a story that has been repeatedly interpreted and adapted by subsequent generations.
The 2004 film Troy, directed by Wolfgang Petersen (born 1941), is one of the adaptions. It depicts Paris (Orlando Bloom), the Prince of Troy, falling in love with Helen (Diane Kruger), wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. He convinces her to leave her husband and secretly takes her to Troy. The elopement enrages the Greeks and allied Greek forces are sent to Troy led by Agamemnon (Brian Cox), King of Mycenae. In the subsequent, decade-long war, Achilles (Brad Pitt), Odysseus (Sean Bean), Hector (Eric Bana) and many other figures are part of a legendary and lamentable epic.
Peterson depicts the mythical story in a more secular way: the decade-long war is reflected in 15 days of fighting, children of gods are killed by mortals and the legendary unrivalled beauty Helen is portrayed as an ordinary beautiful woman in the film.
300: Rise of an Empire Flaming Spirit of Fighters
Some people have said that 300: Rise of an Empire features more bodybuilders
than any other movie ever made. The film depicts the war between the Greeks and Persians in the 5th century BC. Brawny men, gory fighting throughout the film, sustained bloody scenes, magnificent depictions of naval battle, panoramic views of the large-scale war and other aspects make a strong visual impact on the audience.
The film is a sequel to the 2006 film 300. It tells the story of Greek hero Themistokles killing King Darius of Persia in the renowned Battle of Marathon. The discord sows the seeds of vengeance on the part of Xerxes I of Persia. Instigated by Persian naval admiral Artemisia, Xerxes fights with King Leonidas from the citystate of Sparta and 300 warriors at Thermopylae. Meanwhile, Artemisia and her powerful naval forces are approaching Athens. Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against the invading Persian forces and engages in brutal killings.
The sequel was directed by Israeli Noam Murro and was based on the Frank Miller comic mini-series Xerxes. It portrays events that occurred 10 years before the Battle of Thermopylae and some that occur after the Battle of Marathon. Animal Kingdom star Sullivan Stapleton plays the role of outstanding Greek politician and brave general Themistokles. French actress Eva Green plays Atemesia in the film. Rodrigo Santoro reprises his role as Xerxes from the first film.
Zorba the Greek A Charming Personality
Zorba the Greek is a classic film directed by Cypriot filmmaker Michael Cacoyannis in 1964. It was a BritishGreek production. The story takes place in the remote countryside in Crete, Greece. An uptight English writer played by Alan Bates travels to Crete to attend to a business matter. His life changes forever when he meets the gregarious and expressive Alexis Zorba. He sometimes dances or plays the piano wildly as opposed to expressing himself verbally. After seeing Zorba's lust for life, Alan decides to explore the cultural treasures that his ancestors left.
The novel that it is based on can help people understand the film and the country of Greece. Zorba is a free man who achieved a high degree of harmony between his soul and his body. He lives in his own way and pursues what he wants. He does not hesitate to learn about and do things that make himself and others happy like dancing and playing the piano. Some people may regard him as useless or a tramp. By contrast, Bates's character is young, aimless, has read many books, is ambitious but also depressed. Zorba is the greatest man and had the strongest body and freest soul that he has ever seen.
Crete is the largest Greek island. It did not break free from Ottoman rule until 1913. At that time, the entire country was poor and backward. There was an urgent need to emancipate people's minds. Many
people on the island had become used to long-term slavery and oppression. In this sense, Nikos Kazantzakis's Zorba the Greek was inspirational and helped with this project.
The film is exquisite and entertaining. Anthony Quinn was lauded for his brilliant performance. The film depicts the friendship between the two men of different classes, backgrounds and personalities. It was a smash hit, won three Academy Awards and was later adapted into a Broadway stage play.
The film has reached many celebrities. It is said before Sanmao (writer in the Taiwan region known as Echo Chan in English) and her eventual spouse Jose Maria Quero y Ruiz got married, Ruiz invited Sanmao to watch the movie at the cinema. Haruki Murakami and his wife lived in Greece when he was about forty years old. Impressed by Zorba the Greek and Crete, he completed Drums in the Distance. Li Ao (writer and independent politician in the Taiwan region) has also called himself "Zorba of China."
Before Midnight A Soulful Island
In the American romantic film Before Sunrise (1995), American youth Jesse meets a French girl named Celine, and they spend an unforgettable night in Vienna. Nine years later, Jesse has become a novelist in Before Sunset (2004) and meets Celine again in Paris. They resume their connection before sunset. Nine years later in Before Midnight (2013), the two have become a couple and are parents to twin girls. They have more insight into love and life. Before Midnight tells the story of the last day of their holiday in Peloponnese, Greece.
The trilogy features a lot of conversation. In the first two films, the two main characters discuss literature, love, life and sex in settings like a tranquil village, a balcony and sitting at the table. Eventually though, mundane, daily matters overtake much of the romance between the two as time goes on. The picturesque Greek island that surrounds them in the third film and the Mycenaean historical sites are the setting of their disputes.
The hotel where they spend their holiday used to be the residence of renowned anti-nazi World War II hero Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor. It became a museum after he died. In the film, it is depicted as a place where famous artists, musicians, writers and other figures take a short vacation.
The beautiful coastal scenery of the small town of Kalamata can be seen at the end of the film. The two eventually reconcile, and the love that they maintain is realistic and moving.
Glamorous Greece A Classic Documentary
The Glamorous Greece documentary produced by the CCTV (China Central Television) documentary channel maintains the quality of the “Glamorous” series.
The first episode focuses on
the Aegean Sea. Greek civilisation developed on the sea, and the Greeks explored the ocean in ships. It probably inspired intellectual freedom and helped foster an adventurous spirit. Director Dimitris Papaioannou interpreted the growth of Greek seafaring life with an abstract performance at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Greece was the first nation to develop shipping. Some of its richest families, such as the Tsatos family, accumulated their wealth through shipping. The patriarch felt he could trust the sea forever.
The second episode focuses on gifts from the Mediterranean climate. Greece features plenty of sunshine and is known as the “balcony of Europe.” Olives and grapes grow easily and add unique flavours to Greek tables. Greece produces premium olive oil, which is known as “liquid gold.” Olive oil helps bring healthy and happy lives to the longlived people of Crete. Greek citizens have great enthusiasm for outdoor sports. They are often optimistic and brave. A former deputy prime minister once accidentally discovered a method of growing grapes and producing wine in the cold and highaltitude town of Metsovo. The purplered liquid symbolised the politician's expectations for the prosperity of the country. Winter is also warm in Greece and helps everything come to life.
The third episode introduces the power of stone. Greece boasts the world's largest marble reserves and the most varieties of the stone. The Aegean Sea is located at the junction of the African plate and the Eurasian plate. The African Plate began to move northward 180 million years ago. Rock underwent qualitative change under the high temperature and pressure and marble was formed. Greeks have created statues with this marble to depict their gods and heroes since ancient times. Marble has often recorded the history of the country. For example, a statue of Melina Mercouri, film star and former Greek minister of culture and sports, stands at the foot of the Acropolis. She is known as a modern goddess of Greece and spared no effort in trying retrieve the precious Elgin marbles. Wealthy businessman George Averoff generously sponsored the refurbishment of the famous marble Panathenaic Stadium for the first modern Olympic Games. His name will be remembered by Greeks forever. Marble comes to life in Greece and features the perfect combination of nature and humanity.
The documentary portrays some of the beautiful, indelible memories in the country.
A scene from the film Troy (2004)
Poster for 300: Rise of An Empire (2014)
A scene from the film Before Midnight (2013)
Poster for the film Zorba the Greek (1964)
A scene from the Glamorous Greece documentary