literature, cinema, fine arts

Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

Being Woody Allen

  • Produced by Müpa Budapest
  • Müpa Film Club

Ticket prices

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Take that, Sophocles! Clearly, nothing is sacred for Woody Allen. (But he does maintain a very strong and intimate relationship with life.) But what about ancient Greek drama? We wouldn't have thought so, since Woody Allen is a defender, advocate - and parodist - of Old World culture with a shining shield. This time, however, he decided to choose ancient Greek drama as the framework for his film. It is practical, because it allows the chorus to play the role of narrator instead of him. No one should expect a tragedy.

While the complications are, naturally, complicated, it is only the constantly wailing chorus that sees the dark hand of destiny. We viewers only see things that do not yet make us want to call the police or an invincible hero. Love, infidelity, self-mutilation. It is better not to turn to the gods of the pantheon. Not only because what these gods have done is something fit for adult viewing only, and because the adventurous and libertine history of Linda, the heroine of our story played by Mira Sorvino, is nothing more than a gentle evening's tale compared to theirs. There is no doubt that the character of sports journalist Lenny Weinrib (played by Allen) fits better into mythology, as Lenny tries to shape destinies. (He gets his own from the chorus.) This is Lenny's tragic flaw, if you will. The question of whether his efforts in this regard point in the direction of arranging things or the very opposite will be answered in the film. Woody Allen's dramaturgy is certainly remarkable, as there are moments when the viewer looks around in confusion: how can one get out of this situation? (In Greek tragedies, this is when the divine intervention, the deus ex machina, comes, provided that Zeus does not let his answering machine pick up the call for him.) So it is a cheeky piece in which even the blind fortune teller, Teiresias, can see, and even does some peeking. And he even gossips... At the end, that moment with Oedipus and Jocasta is downright scandalous. Anyone who might have a hard time bearing such tension should calm down. That is when the chorus breaks into song.

In English, with Hungarian subtitles.

The discussions before and after the screening will be conducted in Hungarian.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest
  • director
    Woody Allen
  • host
    András Réz

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