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The article treats the reception of ancient Greek mythology and history in modern American cinema. Modern directors do not just illustrate ancient narratives, but update them, enriching them with additional readings and subtexts. In the films considered, eternal questions are posed: life and death, duty and moral choice, the destiny of man and desire to become equal to the gods, but they are reinterpreted. It demonstrates that the ancient Greek myth continues its life in the modern cinema, which serves as a kind of contemporary mythology. In the V. Petersen’s film “Troy” man finds true immortality, embodied in heroism and glory. The director’s version of the Iliad still contains the spirit of the Homeric epic, but in doing so conveys later themes through it as well. Homer's tales of the heroes of Troy are filled with new breath, not least due to the anthropocentrism of the film. In O. Stone’s film “Alexander” not only the mythologization of ancient history can be seen, but it can also be comprehended through an even more ancient mythology. The mythological structure of the film is further emphasized by the cyclicity of the narrative, but the film is topical at the same time.

Key words: myth, Achilles, Troy, Alexander the great, cinema, peplum

DOI: 10.22250/2072-8662.2019.2.131-137

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About the author 


Olga K. Mikhelson – PhD (Philosophy), Associate Professor at the Chair of Philosophy of Religion and Religious Studies,

Institute of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University; 5 Mendeleevskaya l., St. Petersburg, Russia, 199034; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.