Anitgone: Rites of Passion
Stan | Nashville area, TN | 01/27/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"My wife begged me to view this DVD with her, which was required for a college course she is taking. She is really in the doghouse now! I found absolutely no redeeming qualities in this movie. It is incredibly boring. It hints strongly at various sexual perversions, including incest and necrophilia. The cinematography is poor, with one scene even showing mud spatters on the camera lens. The music sounded as if it was from India and therefore did not seem compatible with a Greek play. And NEVER should a version of Antigone be shown with Creon (spelling?) wearing a pair of cheap cowboy boots (and we had several close-ups of them, at that). There was no dialogue at all, only a spattered narrative in the background. I think the production was supposed to be interpretive dance, but it missed that too--I would call it interpretive movement, at best. The movements were repetitive and mechanical across all characters. It seemed just an excuse for bodies to slither against each other (especially if they were brother and sister, daughter and father, sister and dead brother, etc.) You'd think with all these bodies slithering, you could at least get some gratuitous nudity, but NO, none of that either. This looked like something that would have been seen in a hippie lair in the 60s, meant to be viewed only while under the influence. My wife and I always give a letter grade to any movie we see. This movie has become the all-time worst, with a grade of F--, finally pushing King Solomon's Mines up one place from the bottom. In states with no death penalty, I recommend that this movie be repeatedly forced upon prisoners convicted of heinous crimes."
Amy Greenfield's experimental film retelling of Antigone
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 11/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Only an experimental film can tick people off this much, you know? "Antigone: Rites of Passion" is director Amy Greenfield's first feature film, in which she retells Sophocle's classical tragedy about the daughter of Oedipus, who defied King Creon of Thebes and buried her brother. The story is told through action, dance and cutting-edge rock music. The movement is essentially nonstop, from the camera if not the performers. Some critics have tried to characterize it as a rock opera film, but I think it clearly belongs in the category of experimental film. The music for this 1990 effort is by Elliot Sharp, Glenn Branca and Diamanda Galas. Ironically, I think the more familiar you are with this classic tale, the more open you might be to the extreme interpretation. The ending, which is essentially a requiem, is a bit over the top for me but does fit the overall progression of the film in which the injustices of the world build to a crescendo. Ultimately, I consider "Antigone: Rites of Passion" to be more creative than provocative. It is certainly more interesting than most films involving interpretative dance I have seen, but I fully understand that this one is not going to be any where near to most people's cup of tea (more like hemlock apparenlty)."
John J. Mclaughlin | quakertown, pa United States | 12/04/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Where to start? Amy Greenfield's "emotionally relentless, visually stunning" interpretation of the classic play is admittedly "relentless" and I was indeed "stunned." The video was purchased to augment an eleventh grade honors class, ostensibly to show a different, modern, visual interpretation of a Greek classic that touches us still, thousands of years later. Sophocles's play does still affect us today because it taps into primal human issues--family honor, immortality, fate, the role of government, faith, and the list goes on. Greenfield's overblown piffle does not. I do not recommend this for anyone, except as a study in bad, self-important "Art" with that tell-tale capitol "A". This isn't dance. The important dialogue is absent. The music is discordant, oppressive and the best part of the whole mess. The oracle at Delphi was clear to both Oedipus and his father, Laius: Oedipus will kill his father, marry his mother and have monstrous children. Finally, in the form of Amy Greenfield's "Antigone: Rites of Passion" we have the monstrous child at last. Apollo is always right. And you know what? He'd tell you not to buy this turkey."