Sunday, September 23, 2012



STUDENTS at the University of Buffalo in the US state of New York will be able to work toward a degree by watching movies about Ancient Greece and Rome in class.

More than 600 films have been set in Ancient Greece or Rome over the past century, from the early days of the silent flicks up to today's digital 3-D blockbusters.

"The Ancient World in Movies" will screen 13 films during the fall semester which began last week.

Included in the screening list of Greek films is Troy, Homer's epic drama that stars Brad Pitt and Eric Bana. 

Another now-forgotten picture is 1954's Ulysses, starring Kirk Douglas in the title role and Anthony Quinn as Antinous the suitor of Penelope (not "our" Antinous) ...

In addition, students will see the 1977 horror Iphigenia with Irene Papas along with O Brother Where Art Thou? featuring George Clooney, and the the Spartan epic 300.

Also on offer will be two films which only tangentially touch on Ancient Greece: Chinatown and Orfeu Negro, the award-winning 1950s retelling of Orpheus in the Underworld set in Rio de Janeiro during Mardi Gras.

The Romans in film part of the class will showcase: Cabiria (1914), a silent melodrama set during the Punic Wars (featuring the child-eating god Moloch); Spartacus (1960); Gladiator with Russell Crowe; Quo Vadis (1951) and Ben Hur (1959).

Donald McGuire, PhD will teach the course and says, "I guarantee that students will come away with a great deal of knowledge of the real and 'reel' ancient Greece and Rome, and the horror, splendor and weirdness that continues to gallop from the ancient rocks of the Mediterranean shores all the way to the Hollywood hills."

The University will also offer weekly screenings for free and open to the public on Sundays at 7 p.m. from now through December 2, in Room 330 of the Student Union, UB North Campus.

So, students get out your netbooks and take notes on the following scene. Remember, you will be tested on this:

1 comment:

  1. I suppose that these "degrees" will be about as valuable and valid as many others being handed out willy-nilly by these people.