Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

Models of men in the Greek cinema

The “Semiology of a type of male and female as proposed by one film or by groups of films dominates all other elements of fiction. Furhtermore, it adds to the content of narrative cinema, as a cultural product, through the aesthetic and sociological components of the latter. The basic male type,a constant in the Greek movies of the mid-war period of the 20s and 30s, was a “hybrid”, the product of the union of different morals, his bourgeois origin was in the popular pictures and his borrowed “mask” was from American or other stars of the silent cinema.Apart from being naive he created a miserable example without any meaning.Whether he is in films about love, social conflicts,war, the country side, or in comedies,the “jeune premier” of our post-war cinema, the dark, good-looking, reliable young man is omnipresent. He is a petit bourgeois with extreme emotional purity and courtesy for a proper bridegroom, a model of behaviour in a society which is by custom compelled —or deeply desires after its civil-war experiences— to conform.

The deceptive differentiation of the “popular”, young man, as represented by G. Foundas, perfectly fits this logic. The white or black shirt with the unbuttoned collar and the black trousers, Foundas’ typical outfit, gradually becomes the standard costume of similar “heroes” both on screen and in life. The model advertized by the “jeune premier” of the 1950s remains valid throughout the 1960s until new, more demanding fictionsl bring new depths to the psychological portrait of the hero, abolishing the established prototype of the handsome bourgeois in the portrait of the main male character. The Greek cinema of the 1950s and the early 1960s signifies for many of us primarily comedy played by the unique actors of this genre. The comedy of that period managed to become extremely popular to a broad spectrum of the public, which recognized itself in the everyday “idiom” of its great but ordinary-looking actors. In the mid-1960s and next to the “old” cinema that continues to produce male “idols” —usually with a perfect Greek profile, appropriate for being exported abroad— heroes with more realistic features appear, who, nevertheless lack individuality as they also mirror the trivial needs of contemporary society. Finally, modern Greek cinema proposes an absolutely “open”, flexible male model, which can seriously be identified with its film directors themselves.