The Owl’s Legacy new 13 episodes streaming on VHX

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
The Owl’s Legacy new 13 episodes streaming on VHXIt brings home Ancient Greece’s Modern World Idea

Banned for two decades because it was impertinent enough to suggest ancient Greece had little to do with contemporary Greece, the 1989 TV series The Owl’s Legacy, by the late French media artist is now bringing its symposium-style intellectual praise of what Greece brought to the world to a new audience, its 13 episodes streaming on VHX

Somewhat akin to the late Steve Allen’s Meeting of Minds, in which four characters from different times of history would sit to debate politics, philosophy, religion, history, science, and many other topics, the look back at ancient Greece and its ties to the country today bring a provocative air and illuminate again the contributions that helped shape Western civilization, from democracy to math, science, history and, that most Greek of ideas and ideals, philosophy.

It is, the New York Times said in a review, also highly entertaining, difficult to do in a format that, while it resembles how ancient Greeks would sit down with wine to let ideas flow, still depends on talking heads, albeit very smart ones.

It was the brainchild of Marker, who died in 2012, and was the greatest film essayist of his time, and written by Jean-Claude Carriere in another French nod to celebrating what the Greeks brought to the world, and which endures today.

A stream of cognoscenti, most of them Greek or French, give a lively discourse that combines Greek words with ideas, at times disputing the influence of Greek antiquity on the contemporary world and civilization, what’s left of it during a time of terrorism, suicide bombers, runaway corruption, government-sponsored assassination and dictatorships fraying sanity.

It takes place in Athens, Paris, Berkeley, California and Tbilisi, Georgia, with tables adorned with fruits, symbolic perhaps of what we enjoy today, the fruits of thought of ancient Greeks whose minds didn’t have the benefit of modern technology or science but just boundless wonder.

Mostly, it’s one person talking and you can imagine perhaps Plato under a tree or Pericles on the Pnyx on that hill across from the Parthenon carrying forth, the air above him flowing with invisible persuasions.

The Owl’s Legacy, telecast in Britain in 1991, was not seen again until 2007, when it was shown for the first time in Greece as an art installation, the series presented simultaneously on 13 monitors. “Even on one, it can be dizzying. Ideas whiz past and rebound like balls on a squash court,” the Times said.

The talk is punctuated by film clips — including excerpts from Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi-inspired Olympia about the 1936 Berlin Olympics where Germany – five years from invading Greece during World War II – was so enamored of the Games that its organizer, Dr. Carl Diem, created the torch run.

There’s also contributions from Norman McLaren’s number animation Rhythmetic and Elia Kazan’s “America, America” — as well as images of ancient statuary and documentary footage of contemporary Greece.

The showcase speaker is Greek-French philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis; the most provocative is the French-American literary critic George Steiner, who, among other things, wonders whether the death of Jesus Christ or of Socrates was more meaningful, the report said and his questioning of modern Greece’s link was what got it barred for almost 20 years in the homeland of thought.

Each half-hour episode is given a title that consists of a Greek-derived word followed by an often provocative phrase: Symposium or Accepted Ideas is followed by Olympics or Imaginary Greece, Democracy or the City of Dreams, Nostalgia or the Impossible Return, Amnesia or History on the March, Mathematics or the Empire Counts Back, Logomachy or the Dialect of the Tribe, Music or Inner Space, Cosmogony or the Ways of the World, Mythology or Lies Like Truth, Misogyny or the Snares of Desire, Tragedy or the Illusion of Death and Philosophy or the Triumph of the Owl.

It plays like in critical thinking and examination, the roots of ancient Greek teaching with Marker’s narrator comparing Greek words to the angels in director Wim Wenders’s Wings of Desire, unseen but everywhere presences, noting how many Greek words are part of English.

The singer and composer Angélique Ionatos, born in Athens and living in Paris, remarks how proud she feels to hear Greek words in French and the profundity of Plato and Socrates’ high thinking is compared to Greeks arguing in the streets today, hot top politics.

Castoriadis and the Italian scholar Guilia Sissa connect Greek tragedy to democracy, concerned as tragedy is with the clash of contradictory individual rights. More fanciful is the questionable notion, derived from Greek mythology, that Athens invented music, writes the reviewer J. Hoberman, an American film critic, journalist, author and academic.

Greeks will love Georgian philosopher Merab Mamardashvili declaring that “all philosophy is Greek philosophy,” and British classicist Manuela Smith pointing out the injunction to “know thyself,” or whether Freud was Socrates’ heir.

In the episode Misogyny, which deals partly with Greek eroticism, Marker addresses an issue that has been troubling throughout the series — namely, patriarchy, which, Ionatos remarks, persists in contemporary Greece, carried on unwittingly by the lack of women with central parts of the series.

The final episode Philosophy talks of the owl, the goddess of wisdom Athena’s sacred bird and spins from Descartes’, “I think, therefore I am,” to Castoriadis turning it on its head, in typical Greek examination of a life worth living that, “What should I think?”


RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Jorge Láscar f License: CC-BY-SA 

  1. 22/02 21:59

    Hotels: TEMES of Costa Navarino buys out Athens Hilton Hotel from Turkish Dogus group

  2. 22/02 20:14

    Three new Athens Metro stations to be fully operational by June 2019

  3. 22/02 20:11

    Greece to take part in Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona

  4. 22/02 20:05

    Athenians protest against ten-storey buildings set to hide the Acropolis

  5. 22/02 19:57

    “Young Ambassadors” initiative brings Greek and Israeli students together

  6. 22/02 19:46

    EU objects to draft plan for protection of primary residences in Greece

  7. 22/02 19:41

    Olympia’s film European premiere at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

  8. 22/02 19:29

    AxisRooms’ tech to boost availability accommodation in India with Airbnb

  9. 22/02 19:09

    Renowned British comedian John Cleese live at the Acropolis in Athens

  10. 22/02 18:08

    Athens to be spared snow and worst of Oceanis weather front to hit Greece

  11. 22/02 15:03

    Film Tourism: Greek director revisits Mary Shelley classic with new 'Φrankenstein'

  12. 22/02 13:12

    Greek school of Plato teachers host Tsiknopempti event in NY on March 2

  13. 22/02 11:55

    Passenger traffic in Greek airports soars by 9.7% in January

  14. 21/02 21:22

    Greek tourism: Travel receipts exceeded €16 billion in 2018 according to Central Bank

  15. 21/02 21:04

    Ouzo Festival brings spirit of Greek island of Lesvos to Australia (video)

  16. 21/02 21:04

    Marketing Greece’s latest tourism campaign highlights Greek philoxenia (video)

  17. 21/02 20:53

    Western Macedonia Region joins growing national film network in Greece

  18. 21/02 20:39

    IATA announces 2018 Airline Safety Performance

  19. 21/02 20:31

    New cold weather front to sweep through Greece over weekend

  20. 21/02 20:25

    Central Bank: More than 30 million travellers visited Greece in 2018

  21. 21/02 20:25

    Greek carrier Aegean Airlines adds seven new international destinations

  22. 21/02 19:22

    US-Greek dialogue meeting takes place at Foreign Ministry in Athens

  23. 21/02 15:39

    City Break report: Five projects that will change the Athens Riviera

  24. 21/02 15:39

    City Break report: Five projects that will change the Athens Riviera

  25. 21/02 15:32

    Tramline obstacle prompts bold vision for Athens's ancient Ilissos River

  26. 21/02 15:26

    Greece to take part in Expo 2020 in Dubai after completion of agreement

  27. 21/02 15:21

    24 privatizations in Greece line up in HRADF's revised list

  28. 21/02 15:14

    National Herald interview: Travel expert on direct flights from U.S. to Greece

  29. 21/02 13:09

    Parliament's Budget Office detects positive signs in Greek economy

  30. 21/02 11:00

    TAIPED: No date set for commencement of Elliniko development project

  31. 20/02 18:52

    Cosco's master plan projects for Piraeus rejected by Greek Ministry Committee

  32. 20/02 07:54

    ECM records' annual meeting and live shows at Thessaloniki Concert Hall

  33. 20/02 07:49

    Greek coastal shippers ask that new port surcharge won't be bumped to sector

  34. 20/02 07:42

    832 wines sampled at Thessaloniki International competition

  35. 20/02 07:37

    Event celebrating Ancient Greek music takes place in Athens

  36. 20/02 07:28

    Greek hospitality body SETKE blasts airbnb-style accommodation

  37. 20/02 07:22

    Parliament votes on draft bill for exploitation of 10 regional Greek ports

  38. 20/02 07:04

    Snow set to hit Greece again by end of the week

  39. 20/02 06:47

    Work stoppage on line 1 of Athens electric railway on Thursday

  40. 20/02 06:30

    Greek Tourism showcased at 6th Mediterranean Tourism Forum

  41. 20/02 06:23

    New €1 billion raiway projects in Peloponnese launched by Greek Infrastructure Minister

  42. 20/02 06:20

    Minister: Greek forestland registration more than half complete

  43. 20/02 06:10

    Modern Greek event in Sydney of Australia inspired by Athens nightlife (video)

  44. 20/02 06:03

    Privatized Thessaloniki port to become a final destination for goods and commuters

  45. 19/02 18:17

    Crucial vote on Tuesday on Cosco's master plan for Greek port of Piraeus

  46. 19/02 17:08

    Majestic super moons rise over Greece even during winter

  47. 19/02 10:04

    Cyprus’ residents trips abroad grow by 11% in January 2019

  48. 19/02 09:59

    Eminent US archaeologist wants Parthenon marbles return to Greece

  49. 19/02 09:52

    Athens Benaki Museum Pireos opens its architectural archives to children

  50. 19/02 09:48

    Tourist arrivals to Cyprus up by 8% in January 2019 due to rise in UK flow

  51. 19/02 09:42

    Scoot: Flights from Australia to Greece for only $299

  52. 19/02 09:35

    Athens-based company presents Euripides-inspired play to London theatre

  53. 19/02 09:29

    The Telegraph: Foreign Airbnb golden visa investors booting Greek tenants

  54. 19/02 09:23

    Climbing Tourism: Female expedition to plant Greek flag on Mount Everest

  55. 19/02 08:55

    Ancient Greek phisosopher Aristotle: Pursuit of happiness not a destination but a journey

  56. 19/02 08:47

    City Break report: Athens can be a changed city by the 2021

  57. 19/02 08:42

    Medical Tourism: Greek-Australian philanthropist donates $500,000 for health care

  58. 19/02 08:33

    Ten Athens eateries distinguished at FNL Best Restaurants awards

  59. 19/02 08:28

    Expression of interest for "Thriassion II" logistics park near Athens to take place in March

  60. 19/02 08:22

    Report: Real estate market growth can boost the Greek economy

  61. 19/02 08:13

    Greece’s top-10 archaelogical discoveries during the last decade

  62. 18/02 10:16

    AHEPA welcomes Congress support for United States-Greek relations

  63. 18/02 10:12

    Undeclared work decreased significantly in Greece during 2018

  64. 18/02 10:08

    BBC radio provides translation of quintessential Greek words

  65. 18/02 10:00

    Video of Good Samaritan saving stranded sea turtle in Crete goes viral

  66. 18/02 09:56

    International tender for casino at Helleniko site on the horizon

  67. 18/02 09:52

    "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo to play for Greece in FIBA World Cup

  68. 18/02 09:48

    Concession contract for Crete's new Kasteli Airport to be inked by end of February

  69. 18/02 09:40

    InSETE report records 7% drop in air seats to Greece after several years of rises

  70. 18/02 09:35

    Saudi Arabian Airlines launches new Riyadh-Athens flight connection on June 5

  71. 18/02 09:28

    Juncker expresses condolences for iconic Greek "Baker of Kos" passing

  72. 18/02 09:22

    Book on Google promotes direct hotel reservations in more European markets

  73. 18/02 09:12

    AP: Hundreds stranded as British carrier Flybmi collapses due to fuel cost and Brexit

  74. 18/02 09:07

    EU Commissioner Cretu in Ancient Olympia: Greece has ingredients and tools for success

  75. 18/02 09:01

    Movie Tourism: Cyprus joins race to attract filmmakers for shooting

  76. 18/02 08:52

    Visitors and revenues to Greek museums and sites rise in first ten months of 2018

  77. 17/02 13:06

    Athens airport concession contract extension approved by Greek Parliament

  78. 17/02 12:44

    Award-winning Australian writer Hannah Kent to visit Athens and Thessaloniki

  79. 17/02 12:37

    First Energy Leadership Summit to be held in Athens in June

  80. 17/02 10:20

    Road rules restricting use of vintage cars amended in Greece

  81. 16/02 22:40

    AHI President visits Greece and Cyprus for series of meetings and events

  82. 16/02 22:36

    US government offices in Greece to stay closed on Monday, February 18

  83. 16/02 22:26

    Norwegian Air offering summer deals with $159 one-way to Athens

  84. 16/02 22:13

    Thessaloniki Regional Forum hosts three-day event with Balkan agenda

  85. 16/02 20:44

    Folk Tourism: Greeks mark arrival of Spring with ancient tradition of Martis

  86. 16/02 18:32

    Cyprus Religious Tourism: Spiritual leaders urge churches' restoration

  87. 16/02 16:22

    Athens Half Marathon to take place on March 17

  88. 16/02 12:10

    Mountain professionals gather in Germany to seek their way to the top

  89. 16/02 10:06

    Greek banks: Deal on first home protection a positive step

  90. 15/02 23:57

    Cabinet greenlights changes in Cyprus Investment Program

  91. 15/02 23:50

    Greek “Blessings and Vows” wins best documentary awards

  92. 15/02 23:38

    Greek Minister stands firm on realizing Crete-Attica power connection

  93. 15/02 23:13

    The Hellenic Initiative supports “Agigma Zois” with a $17,000 grant

  94. 15/02 22:19

    iMEdD marks launch with a 24-hour program of events in Athens (video)

  95. 15/02 21:07

    Thessaloniki Metro's trial operation to commence soon

  96. 15/02 19:23

    Six major motorway projects underway in Greece during the next 5 years

  97. 15/02 19:02

    Ancient Greek tragedy "Agamemnon" at the National Theatre of China

  98. 15/02 17:04

    Greek supermarkets to record turnover growth of 1.5% from last year

  99. 15/02 15:59

    Greek MPs back separation of president's election from dissolution of Parliament

  100. 15/02 13:50

    AP report: Seven arrests for counterfeit cash targeting tourism in Greece