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. 14/12 18:13

    Schubert and workshops in Athens Archaeological Museum for Christmas

  2. 14/12 17:54

    Berliner Zeitung: Persecuted Turks in Thessaloniki admit Greeks saved them

  3. 14/12 17:44

    Building activity up on the rise across Greece during September 2018

  4. 14/12 17:36

    Religious Tourism: Repairing churches and mosques in Cyprus for 10 years

  5. 14/12 17:28

    Winter Tourism in Greece: Christmas in the picturesque city of Kastoria

  6. 14/12 17:13

    Lloyd’s List on Cosco: Operator of Greek Piraeus port is the global leader

  7. 14/12 16:01

    "Survival guide" to Exarcheia, Athens' most bohemian neighbourhood

  8. 14/12 14:48

    Greek Coast Guard storms Syrian drug-carrying vessel off Crete (video)

  9. 14/12 12:03

    WWF: 9 in 10 Greeks call for stricter environmental protection laws

  10. 14/12 10:36

    Cultural Tourism: Watch Greek theatre with English subtitles in Athens

  11. 13/12 23:21

    PhocusWire: How Voice Command Technology will change tourism in 2019

  12. 13/12 23:07

    Passenger traffic at Greek airports soars 10.1% in January-November 2018

  13. 13/12 22:44

    Public and private partnership projects in Greece already surpass 1.2 billion

  14. 13/12 22:19

    ‘Little Foot’ excavation skeleton unveils mysterious 3.67 million human relative

  15. 13/12 21:42

    Opera based on ancient Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex at BAM 201

  16. 13/12 19:26

    Chinese envoy to Greece details ambitious Belt & Road initiative

  17. 13/12 18:09

    Breathing new life into ancient toys to generate children’s interest

  18. 13/12 16:58

    Giannis Antetokounmpo to Toronto Diaspora: “Long Live Greece”

  19. 13/12 16:54

    Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards for 2018 at central Athens event

  20. 13/12 16:12

    SETE: Synergies and moderate optimism for 2019

  21. 13/12 16:04

    Crete from 6,000 BC to the Byzantine era at a fabulous exhibition in Greece

  22. 13/12 12:36

    IATA launches platform enabling carriers to share turbulence data

  23. 13/12 11:58

    Geminids meteor shower to be most visible in Greece at dawn on Friday

  24. 13/12 10:27

    Foreign investors show interest for Renewable Energy Sources in Greece

  25. 12/12 23:48

    ΙΑΤΑ: Cautious οptimism for airlines extends into 2019

  26. 12/12 23:41

    Emergency central bank funding to Greek banks drops still in November

  27. 12/12 23:36

    Daily Mail: Mykonos- London flight route most disrupted in Europe

  28. 12/12 23:24

    Tourist from India tries to steal brick from Rome’s Colosseum and escapes

  29. 12/12 23:06

    Greek queer cinema tribute starts tomorrow at the Film Archive in Athens

  30. 12/12 22:59

    Clay tablet with Homer’s verses among top-10 discoveries of 2018

  31. 12/12 22:55

    European Union approves extension of Athens airport concession

  32. 12/12 22:48

    Heavy snowfall in northern Greece by the end of the week (video)

  33. 12/12 20:36

    2019 Greek Festival of Sydney awarded $75,000 grant by Australian Ministry

  34. 12/12 20:31

    One year extension of out-of-court settlement for businesses' arrears in Greece

  35. 12/12 20:12

    Athens mayor lights Christmas tree in the heart of the city (video)

  36. 12/12 18:42

    US News: Two Greek islands among 20 most romantic global destinations

  37. 12/12 16:34

    Tourism Minister rings the NYSE closing bell on day dedicated to Greece

  38. 12/12 15:47

    Survey: American travelers desire more room for sex during their vacations

  39. 12/12 14:35

    Cyprus companies using high speed internet double during 2018

  40. 12/12 13:08

    Prospective buyer cited for Hellenic Steel in northern Greece

  41. 12/12 12:01

    The stunning Byzantine fortress town of Monemvasia in Greece

  42. 12/12 11:47

    SNF temporarily freezes submission of new grant requests for projects in Greece

  43. 12/12 10:32

    Greek-inspired architecture makes Ancient city of Petra in Jordan a top site

  44. 11/12 20:02

    Survey: Greeks rank as the 4th most religious people in Europe

  45. 11/12 19:54

    Students from Panama learn Greek language and plan to visit Greece

  46. 11/12 19:42

    First Greek lending library opens with huge success in London

  47. 11/12 19:29

    "Women in Diplomacy and Public Life" event organized in Athens

  48. 11/12 19:23

    Religious Tourism: Nativity Church renovation lifts Christmas spirit in Bethlehem

  49. 11/12 19:14

    Chinese buyers leading Greek real estate boom

  50. 11/12 19:05

    Building permits value soars due to large-scale projects in Cyprus

  51. 11/12 18:14

    Internationally famed Greek dancer at Thessaloniki’s Vassiliko Theater (video)

  52. 11/12 18:03

    Greek literary masterpiece “My Mother’s Sin” presented for first time in English

  53. 11/12 17:54

    Greek delegation pursues FDIs and planned bond buyers at Capital Link forum

  54. 11/12 15:55

    Υellow vests: Tourists cancel Paris hotel Christmas bookings due to violent protests

  55. 11/12 15:13

    Historic Tourism: Bactria, the Ancient Greek State in Afghanistan

  56. 11/12 15:04

    Greek academics call for private universities to be recognized in country

  57. 11/12 14:58

    Greek airports among Europe's top-7 in passenger traffic

  58. 11/12 14:33

    Greek farmers from Thessaly exhibit a sexy side in new calendar

  59. 11/12 13:52

    Athens University of Agriculture gives EU Commissioner honorary doctorate

  60. 11/12 13:42

    10 finalists in 1st UNWTO-Globalia Tourism Startup Competition announced

  61. 11/12 13:21

    Funding approved for four new Ionian island water airports in Greece

  62. 11/12 11:16

    Corporate bonds put on hold in Greece until market turmoil eases off

  63. 11/12 01:53

    Christmas celebrations at the National Observatory of Athens

  64. 11/12 01:47

    Anti-fascist film festival commences at Studio cinema in Athens today

  65. 10/12 23:49

    Greek trade deficit declines in October as exports continue to grow

  66. 10/12 22:36

    Greek architects present "smart" hotel room at 5th Athens International Tourism Expo

  67. 10/12 22:31

    Magical night of Broadway classics at the SNFCC in Athens

  68. 10/12 20:26

    Greek President inaugurates Athena Center for Science and Technology

  69. 10/12 18:36

    Infrastructure investment: ERGOSE's new-generation railway projects in Greece

  70. 10/12 17:26

    Winter tourism: Arachova, Greece’s top skiing destination

  71. 10/12 16:19

    Welt: One in every two new LNG ship orders by Greek companies

  72. 10/12 15:09

    EU Commission's Costello urges Greece to conclude privatizations and reforms

  73. 10/12 14:10

    Last Greeks of Alexandria strive to keep their historic community alive

  74. 10/12 13:58

    Prime Minister at NY Forum: Greece is a safe investment destination

  75. 09/12 13:35

    Unique experiences at Athens Museum of Illusions on central Ermou Street

  76. 09/12 13:32

    2018 Global Migration Film Festival in Cyprus honouring migrants

  77. 09/12 13:19

    Greek island of Kea pays tribute to American archaeologist Miriam Caskey

  78. 09/12 13:11

    Cosco eyes separating draft master plan for Piraeus port to speed up process

  79. 09/12 13:05

    Nicosia advises Cyprus citizens on 'yellow vests' riots across France

  80. 09/12 12:55

    'Right-of-use' extending into decades for illegally built structures in Greek forests

  81. 09/12 12:45

    EBRD: TAP pipeline a great opportunity to give up use of coal in Greece

  82. 09/12 12:36

    New York City taxi board sets minimum pay for app-based drivers

  83. 09/12 12:36

    Greek top-500 companies generated impressive profits in 2017

  84. 09/12 10:10

    Greek doctors and hospital staff on work stoppage between 11:00-15:00 on Monday

  85. 08/12 13:45

    Island of Corfu to host International Open Chess Festival at Easter

  86. 08/12 13:37

    Holiday season festivities guide: Celebrating Christmas in Athens

  87. 08/12 12:51

    Daily Mail dream job report: Get paid 90,000 euros to travel

  88. 08/12 12:45

    Foreign Minister Lavrov: New starting point in Greek-Russian relations

  89. 08/12 12:34

    Three Greek hotels voted best in the world at Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) competition

  90. 08/12 12:25

    Draft law on thematic tourism approved in Greek parliament

  91. 08/12 12:04

    President Putin: Record one million Russian tourists to visit Greece in 2019 (video)

  92. 08/12 11:56

    Ryanair launches new Thessaloniki – Krakow route in summer 2019

  93. 08/12 11:02

    Alitalia accepts purchase offer from Italian State Railways (FS)

  94. 08/12 10:54

    Bronze age finds from excavations at Agios Sozomenos- Ampelia and Nikolides sites

  95. 07/12 18:04

    Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Cyprus to spread Christmas spirit

  96. 07/12 17:57

    Construction works for Kasteli Airport in Crete to commence in January 2019

  97. 07/12 17:50

    First e-charging of commercial vessel at Greek port of Kyllini this month

  98. 07/12 17:45

    Commercial property prices grow by 3.5% in Greece during H1 of 2018

  99. 07/12 17:13

    Media report: Thousands of Turks flee Erdogan’s purge by seeking asylum in Greece

  100. 07/12 16:24

    Large-scale infrastructure projects to be delivered across Greece by 2021