As we can see through the examples of the Greek and Roman mythologies and the collection of Shakespeare, classics are immortal; they breathe and glow in the light of their own fame until today. Audiences’ fervor on fluent and flowery pieces won’t and can’t wane. At the same time, classics, which are the origin of all stories, inspire modern artists, too. Simple but scintillating sentences and stories attract spirited creators to dramatize or reenact classics in their own ways. Especially, the 3rd Clapperboard will recite along with two films where directors were inspired to work by Greek myth. Turning orally transmitted or written literature into a lively picture on the vast screen, the composition between characters or space-time in myths are unexpectedly but uniquely reversed. The fascinating changeover forges the pieces’ fame as much as the origin has.
The movie starts with an atelier full of prudent painters sketching a model on their canvases. But something is unusual: they all wear dresses. Yes, they are all women. In the 18 century, female artists are banned from working owing to those day’s unfair customs that ‘Women’s occupation activities harm the society, and they aren’t smart enough to create great art.’ Nevertheless, they, especially Marianne - the model and mentor of the atelier, draws as a formal painter. The amor that she secretly embraces is revealed when one of her students brought the portrait of a lady out of shade. A few years ago, Marianne went to an outlaying island to draw a portrait of a noble lady, Héloïse who had to hold an undesired marriage. Pretending she was a friendly companion, not a painter, Marianne drawlingly fell in love with Héloïse.
The film becomes as historical as the Greek myth. It criticized the male gaze of art, and serenely covers lesbian love. What makes the movie more interesting is the ingenious use of myth. In the middle, Marianne, Héloïse, and a maid Sophie discussed Odysseus and Eurydice’s tragedy, which is Odysseus tried to revive his wife from the death but failed as he broke a promise not to look back. As we all did, Marianne and Sophie focused on Odysseus’s choice and dullness. However, Héloïse objected to it: “Penelope might call out ‘Odysseus, look back!’ on purpose.” This line left a compelling afterimage to Marianne and us all. After the dearly fierce vortex of love, Marianne entered the Salon with a piece of Odysseus and Eurydice. Outside of the movie, we fall into thinking ‘How did we treat heroines or goddesses in myth? Didn’t we just receive the past’s interpretation, instead of building our own?’ Besides the myth, the film flowingly talks about women’s abortion or new definition of a happy ending. Céline Sciamma created a fresh gateway to meet characters of myth, queer, and feminism through a single film.
Recently, the Taliban occupied Afghanistan and spawned numerous refugees who tried to escape from their suppression. Global citizens not only worry about their safety but also argue whether we should accept them or not. We were all once refugees owing to several wars, and there is no guarantee that our home-sweet-home will exist forever. Even though we pass and witness commotional history, our awareness isn’t mature enough to stand with wanderers. To bring attention to their human rights, the director Sophie Deraspe brings a Greek myth’s character Antigone, who fought for her brothers in the middle of the enemy island, to 2020’s Canada. Transformed into the youngest sister of refuged Algerian family in Montreal, Antigone tried to save his innocent brother, Polynices from jail. She switched herself with him by disguising in the visiting room. To immigrants, imprisonment isn’t different from death as it leads to the collapse of the family and banishment from home again. That’s why she risked everything and let her brother escape to look after her grandmother. Her unavoidable choice becomes a much-honored legend than Greek Antigone, combining with the rapid speed of the Internet. The film maximizes her uprightness through speedy editing like music videos.
It’s been an immeasurable time since old Antigone was executed as she arranged Polynices’s funeral. What’s changed? People, like Achilleus, kill each other with guns instead of knives. Women, like Helene, are kidnapped through helicopters instead of chariots. Refugees, like Antigone, are stripped of the right to have a home instead of the choice to cremate. A key to solve the tricky conundrum may already exist in the myth; if we wisely find and optimize it, an unheard-of legend about solidarity will be written.
By Kim Hyeyeong Deputy Editor-in-Chief