R.I.P., Michael Cacoyannis

I didn’t discover the Greek tragedies by reading them, or by going to the theatre. I first experienced them through Michael Cacoyannis’s stark, black-and-white films, where the gritty simplicity of the terrain contrasted with the characters’ primal dramas. While Cacoyannis was most well known for directing Zorba the Greek (1964), he was at his most elemental in Electra (1962), which introduced Irene Papas to the world; you can watch the clip below. Cacoyannis died this week at the age of 89. Rest in peace, Michael, although in your autochthonous landscape, the shades never did.

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