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Greek Cinema - A Retrospective

Saturday, March 17, 1979
6:35 p.m.
10:20 p.m.
Young Aphrodites (Mikres Aphrodites)
Nikos Koudouros (Greece,1962)

Released in this country as a semi-sex film, Young Aphrodites is actually an erotic film, but a serious one based on the classic tale of Daphnis and Chloe, involving a group of nomadic shepherds who live in a world of innocent pagan sensuality. Director Nikos Koundouros sets his pastoral romance against a stark, rocky landscape along the Greek coast, where sunlight and shadow provide additional visual counterpoint to the film’s main thematic contrasts. The main focus is on the sensual awakening of two children, remarkably played by Vangelis Joannides and Cleopatra Rota. At the time of its American release, Stanley Eichelbaum noted: “Young Aphrodites is a fascinating and imaginative movie - a ritualistic dance of love, hate, fear, lust and death. Koundouros has etched the film, frame by frame, with the artistic continuity of an unfolding mural. And his technique brings forth a pastoral pageant as beautiful and stylized as Chinese Opera.”

• Directed by Nikos Koudouros. Screenplay by Costas Spikas, Vassilis Vassilikos based on “Daphnis” by Longus and the poems of Theocritus. Photographed by Giovanni Variano. Music by Yannis Markopoulos. With Cleopatra Rota, Vangelis Joannides, Eleni Prokopiou, Takis Emmanouel. (1962, 88 mins, 35mm, In Greek with English subtitles, Distributed by Beverly Pictures)