A critical view on the film Electra as a creation based on the Greek mythology, and the effects of the role of mythology in the fatalistic Greek belief system. This belief system is comparable with a prison that keeps Greece away from real change, a bright future, and personal evolution. The outdated, anti-evolutionary mythology, is deeply rooted in also Mikis Theodorakis. He considers all who criticise myths as his enemy. I dare to criticise the myths anyway. With the deepest respect though for Mikis Theodorakis as a composer in general, I do not consider the Electra film-music as a masterpiece.
Electra is the title of a 1962 film, directed by Michael Cacoyannis, based on a mythological Greek drama with the same title. This Greek drama was written about 400 years BC, by Euripides, another version is written by Sophocles.
The value and significance of the Greek mythology is in my opinion overestimated, and in fact educationally unethical. Murder, revenge, incest, rape, all kinds of low level (bestial) human emotions, black magic, and destruction have inspired the writers of the Greek myths, therefore not healthy in the evolutionary human process of learning to think sane, and yes, supporting insanity, psychopathy as unbeatable human characteristics, eternally unbeatable evil. Psychopathy is a state of being, in which one lives in unawareness, acts from out of the dark subconsciousness, and gives birth to evil. The awareness in the Greek myths and dramas is so low that it is absolutely ridiculous to value these writings as high standard products, as art. Evil cannot be categorized in art. Pumping up an on daily life reality based story is the same as what paparazzi do: the dirtier and filthier the better, but when these stories are bathing in mythological atmospheres it is suddenly art?
The man, who was born 400 years after Euripides wrote his Electra, spoke about higher values, from out of so much deeper insights. Greece has, though the Greek Orthodox religion is based on the life of this man, not understood this man, neither has the world. If so, the Greek mythology would have been rejected as category B, or lesser, drama, forgotten. We, “civilized” people (we pretend we are), should know better in the meantime, and start to forget them.
Not only murder, rape, incest, revenge are unacceptable, also the idea that a human being can be deified, become a god: this happens also in the Greek mythology. Though feelings of grief, regret and purification are also part of the story, all is an “about, maybe, somewhere”, hearing of something without knowing the essence. The essence, the authentic deep truth, again, was explained by the man born 400 years after Electra was written.
Even today, in 2017, we consider the Greek mythology as a historical treasure, while the words of the man born 400 years after Electra, are lost in the wind, and are we celebrating this man’s birth again and again anyway, with every new christmas, after he was murdered by the Jewish people. Why?
I consider it as a kind of a duty to add this film about Electra here anyway: Mikis Theodorakis wrote the music for it, so it belongs to Theodorakis’ heritage.
Mikis Theodorakis is a perfervid defender of the Greek mythology, and considers those who dare to say one bad word about it as his enemy. So: I am his enemy. Well, Mikis Theodorakis, I consider you, because of your lack of true insight and ethics (as has been proved by your Syriza support in 2015, and reason that Greece fell into a deep abyss, how wrong was your choice) and because of your unexplainable love for the Greek mythology, the stories about evil and black magic, as my enemy. I consider all who collaborate with rotten human values, like “Hollywood”, and other film paradises, as my enemies, humanity’s enemies. Evil belongs to the bestial phase of the human evolution, and that belongs to the past, should, but instead of trying to evolve humanity seems to love its outdated prehistoric evil side, loves it to watch evil, is thrilled by it, excited, and creating by that directors who produce evil. Evil is a guarantee for success in the film industry, for making dollar millions, and not only there.
I do not mind what you think about me, Mikis Theodorakis. I write about your music in this blog, and since you allow yourself to write down, or to speak out your opinion, I have the same right. The music of the 1962 Electra film is not something to get thrilled about.
Interesting might be the review, published in the New York Times, by film critic Bosley Crowther on December 18, 1962. About the music he writes: A brilliant musical score by Mikis Catodorakis.
Bosley Crowther was a film critic, not an acknowledged music critic. Why did he name Theodorakis Catodorakis? The film is 45 years old. Our ears have heard in the meantime so much more film music, have become more trained, and critical. Our taste has changed, been developed. How excellent.
If the Electra film music was something special, it would have been widely known. A real masterpiece survives all times. Electra did not. I found words though, in praise of the Electra film music composition (not the opera) in the following audio-video information:
“The Michael Cacoyannis film Electra, starring Irene Pappas, Yiannis Ferti and Aleka Katseli, was one of the best productions in the Greek cinema – it was one of the few Oscar-winning films. The music was written in Paris in 1962. Having repeatedly seen the film in the musiol (the machine with which the montage is made), Mikis Theodorakis was inspired mainly by the priestly element and the simple style and wrote fourteen musical themes, using a variety of instruments (from santour and gypsy clarinet to bass and trombones) and percussion – mainly lances, but also stones and irons. The result, especially in co-existence with the image, is impressive. As the composer says, the music acted as an internal sound extension of all the elements of Cacoyannis: the landscape, the faces, but also the thoughts, premonitions, fears, anguish, pain and despair.
After remastering, the audio sounds noticeably improved, while the song with Yiota Lydia, which has been added, comes from the much-awaited and visibly worn optical sound of the film.”
Another audio track:
- Κυριακάτικο Ξύπνημα – Suite No.1
- Στέλλα- Suite No.2
- Το Κορίτσι Με Τα Μαύρα – Suite No.3
- Το Τελευταίο Ψέμα – Suite No.4
- Έρυκα – Suite No.5
- Ο Ήλιος Κοίταξε Τη Γη – Suite No.6
- Ηλέκτρα – Suite No.7
- Αλέξης Ζορμπάς – Suite No.8
- Όταν Τα Ψάρια Βγήκαν Στη Στεριά – Suite No.9
- Τρωάδες – Suite No.10
- Αττίλας 74 – Suite No.11
- Ιφιγένεια – Suite No.12
- Γλυκιά Πατρίδα – Suite No.13
- Πάνω Κάτω Και Πλαγίως – Suite No.14
- Βυσσινόκηπος – Suite No.15
The two years later Cacoyannis film Zorba the Greek (1964) is based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ book with the same title (published in1946). Nikos Kazantzakis’ awareness about life, and being human, goes deeper than any mythology and its deepest though interesting and important psychological analyses. It might only seem so that exactly the myths show a deeper understanding of the human mind and soul, than any other kind of literature.
Well, it is not about understanding the human mind and soul only, but more about the essence of their universal context. The human being is more than his lower instincts, related with his physical body and lower emotions, and out of that flowing thoughts. Myths are based on the conviction that the out of a lower instinct born bestiality is a human factor that will never ever be conquered. This is contradicting later philosophies and ethical developments, as we know for instance the teachings of Jesus Christ, 400 years after Euripides wrote his ideas about evil and good in his Electra. It is therefore not strange, within the context of my views in this blogpost, that Nikos Kazantzakis is also the author of Christ Recrucified (1948), and The Last Temptation of Christ (1955). Note: his views are not strict, not orthodox, but reach beyond any religious horizon, and are therefore deeper.
Greek myths are shallow compared with his writings, and even more shallow compared with the teachings of Jesus Christ (Dead Sea Scrolls) and the Eastern Philosophies. Also the knowledge of the older Ancient Egypt dynasties goes deeper than the knowledge of Ancient Greece. ancient Greece and the later Egyptian dynasties (black magic among high priests) are interrelated. Though Greeks consider the church as one of their three most important values (church, family, country; myths are not named), myths are more alive and deeply rooted in the Greek society and cultural inheritance, more than the Greek orthodox church.
The films about myths are showing Greek theater and drama around mythical stories (which are not more than daily life stories that still exist, world wide), by using overacted theatrical bombastic words, related with shallow depths, filmed in a decorum of huge impressive historical areas, with actors in ancient-Greek dresses, trying to make you believe this is art, the words are true and the result beautiful, because it is about ancient Greece, Greek mythology, and therefore, because the world decided so: high standard culture. The music makes it an all-round pretty fiction. With darkness, evil, as the winner. The eternal winner. I wonder what Shostakovitch would have composed around this theme, or Stravinsky.
Myths, psychology, evolution and the Essence of Life
The Greek myths could be compared psychologically with fairy tales. Fairy tales have also archetypes. However, fairy tales have another story line: in the end “good”, that what is right, Love, wins, not evil. Myths have a sad, depressing end: evil cannot be conquered.
The human evolution is a millions of years old process, that never ends. It is an inner journey of going from darkness to light. Darkness as a word for unconsciousness, and light as a term for an opened consciousness, awareness, into knowledge, knowing, wisdom, as the top of the pyramid. The pyramid as a metaphor of the human being, overviewing the total scenery around, and understanding all the details. Risen from the darkness into a light being. Evil is a total of acts born out of unconsciousness, unawareness, psychopathy, darkness. The deeper the psychopathy, the deeper the darkness and the most evil the acts will be.
There is no eternal evil.
Finally humanity will step out of the darkness by transforming evil. This was also the message of Jesus Christ, and reason for his birth as a human being, 2000 years ago, to speak about Love, and forgiveness. He forgave all and died in Love. In a way the myths fit very well in the belief system and the acts of IS.
This process of transforming evil, by bringing light in the inner darkness, our unconsciousness, takes place in each human soul as a part of the human evolution, during the cycle of the soul, in several reincarnations. This is explained in the books of Jozef Rulof. These books are not so easy to read and need a basic insight about psychology. The psychological insights of Carl Gustav Jung create an easy understanding of our deeper self, and encourage us to work at our own inner dark side.
The psychology in the Greek myths does not go in such deep levels. The authors did not know the cause of evil, did not know anything about the transformation of evil, about evolution, forgiveness and true love. Revenge is not the way. Transformation in the own true self creates inner light, and it is the only way to break the cycle of evil.
This is possible.
Believing this is impossible is one of the powerful effects of evil itself. One has a choice, a free will, to follow evil and live in a self created hell, with mythological stories as the source of truth, or to turn away from it, to study the psychology of the human soul in an up to date version, and learning to find the way of bringing light into the dark side of the own inner self. The earth is not flat, the earth is round. We know that. But believing in mythology, as truth, is similar with believing that the earth is flat. Mythology keeps you imprisoned in an outdated, fatalistic, evil and therefore dangerous view on the human soul.
Without rejecting the myths, without accepting the existence of a higher and lower astral world, invisible for the human eye, but realistic cosmic light and dark energies, which influence us, humans, as a soul and spirit, there will be no natural development of the evolution of the human soul: the human mind pauses this evolution with a wrong belief system, the unwillingness to accept the reality of an astral world, and the unwillingness to see the power of the own choice in which side to chose, to start transforming into a higher level, to become aware. Without hard working at the self there is no way out of the personal darkness. Then you keep it alive, yourself, creating bigger and bigger hells, deeper hatred, and catastrophes.
We are undergoing the climate change, created by humans, materialism, greed, evil. Not God dooms, the human being dooms, because he likes evil, so much, that it is even a curse to be against myths, which keep evil alive, by spreading the words and thoughts that evil is eternal, and therefore unbeatable. This thought, this philosophy offers the human, who believes this, even the excuse that acting in an evil way is okay, because it is just like that, per definition. Which definition? The old Greek myth definition, written down by writers from ancient Greece, and because it is literature from ancient Greece it is true. This is narrow minded dogmatic thinking, and wrong. The mythical view that evil is unbeatable is a myth itself, fiction, based on an outdated philosophy. This is fatalism. Destructive.
- Electra (1962 film)
- Electra (1962 film, IMDb)
- Spotify: Electra soundtracks
- Michael Cacoyannis
- Irene Papas
- Bosley Crowther
- Electra (Euripides play)
- Electra (Sophocles play)
- Essay: From Mythology to Psychology – an essay on the Archaic Psychology in Greek Myths
- Psychology today: What Mythology Reveals about the Mind
- Carl Gustav Jung: Classical Mythology
- Sigmund Freud: Classical Mythology
- Nitika Garg, Research Scholar (Ph.D.), Department of English and Cultural Studies
Panjab University: Incest in Greek mythology
- Wikipedia: Mental illness in Ancient Greece
- Jozef Rulof: Books about Life, Death, Cycle of the Soul, Psychology, Evolution
- Carl Gustav Jung: videos about his psychological wisdom
- Wikipedia: Electra complex
- Dead Sea Scrolls
- Nikos Kazantzakis
- Nikos Kazantzakis: Christ recrucified
- Bohuslav Martinů: The Greek Passion (based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ Christ recrucified)
- Martin Scorsese: The last temptation of Christ (based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ book)
- Ellines: The Greeks and the Oscars
- Academy Awards 1963: Electra, nominated for best foreign language film
Updated: 17 November 2017.