The Owl's Legacy: Symposium, or Accepted Ideas

“The wake of our dreams is Greek” --George Steiner

This episode sets the tone for the rest of the series, introducing the fundamental idea Marker and his participants explore: For centuries, we’ve used Greek civilization as a touchstone, but as John Winkler—classics scholar, queer historian, and one-time monk—says, looking at ancient Greece is like trying to determine what lies beneath a face covered in many layers of makeup.

The concept of the individual, calls to moderation, the value of knowing one’s self: classical Greek politics and culture have often been represented as models of rationality and order. But, as this episode makes clear, this is not because Greeks were particularly enlightened. On the contrary, order is the prize in a hard-fought battle against humanity’s dark, incestuous, and violent sides—as embodied in the story of Oedipus. Rather than embracing simple binaries, ancient Greece—like Oedipus standing at the spot where three roads meet, killing the man he will later learn is his father—embraced broader choices, including those that lead to the mysterious and unknown.

"We should raze the Sorbonne and put Chris Marker in its place." —Henri Michaux

"The primary pleasure of the series, which is incredibly inspiring, is linked to this great banquet of participants, the sum of knowledge they invoke, but above all to the playful flows the editing establishes between their ideas, constructing a formidable network of meanings, historical and cultural perspectives -  a veritable encyclopedia of development." —Le Monde

"Why did we have to wait so long for this electrifyingly intelligent film?"—Le Point

"Thirteen words to uncover an entire civilization and reestablish its considerable influence on our modern societies." —Les Inrockuptibles

"With erudition, Chris Marker questions in each episode what remains Greek within us." —Philosophie Magazine

 

Citation

Main credits

Marker, Chris (film director)
Peck, Bob (narrator)

Other credits

Music, Eleni Karaindrou [and 4 others]; camerapersons, Andreas Sinanos [and 5 others]; editing team, Khadicha Bariha, Nedjma Scialom.


Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Historical Anthropology
Ancient Greece
Chris Marker
France
Philosophy

Keywords

"The Owl's Legacy"; Icarus Films; France; Chris Marker; Ancient Greece; culture;

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