Hellenic Film Society USA Presents Award-Winning Electra at MoMI

A scene from Electra with Irene Papas at right. Photo: Courtesy of Park Circus

ASTORIA – The classic film Electra, directed by Michael Cacoyannis and starring Irene Papas, will open the second season of the Hellenic Film Society’s Always on Sunday film series at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), 36-01 35th Avenue in Astoria, on Sunday, October 13 at 4 PM.

Originally released in 1962, the film won awards at the Cannes Film Festival and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film. Based on the play by Euripides, the film tells the story of Electra, a young woman seeking revenge for the murder of her father, King Agamemnon, by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Blind to the repercussions, Electra makes her move when she is reunited with her brother Orestes.

“The film was an international success but, curiously, has been little seen since its original release,” said Jimmy DeMetro, President of the Hellenic Film Society (HFS). “To my knowledge, it hasn’t played in a commercial venue in New York for at least 50 years. Eric Hynes, the curator at MoMI, helped us find a print, and we are excited and honored to be able to show it to our audience. There’s an entire generation that has never had the chance to see the great Irene Papas on screen. She is now in her nineties, too frail to work, but her legacy lives on, and we feel privileged to be able to present this fine example of her work to our audience.”

Irene Papas in 1956. Photo: MGM [Public domain]
Writing of Papas’ performance, New York Times critic Bosley Crowther said, “Seldom has a face or conveyance of the human figure so beautifully depicted the nature and the passion of a character.”

Also featured in the cast are Yannis Fertis (Orestes), Aleka Catseli (Clytemnestra), Phivos Razis (Aegisthus), and Manos Katrakis (Tutor). The film is in Greek with English subtitles.

“Cacoyannis was praised for finding a cinematic language to tell the story. He set the proceedings in a stark Greek landscape and was careful to avoid theatrical stage conventions,” said DeMetro.

In addition to collaborating with the Museum of the Moving Image for its series of monthly Greek film screenings, HFS presents the annual New York Greek Film Expo film festival every spring. This fall, HFS will also present a Greek Film Expo in Philadelphia, October 11-13, and in Atlanta, October 25-27.

The Museum of the Moving Image is conveniently located near public transportation. For further information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.hellenicfilmusa.org and use discount code SUNDAY20 or call 646-844-1488 and follow on Facebook and Instagram.

About the Hellenic Film Society USA

The Hellenic Film Society USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization rooted in the belief that Greek cinema can and should be part of the American cultural landscape. The organization promotes feature films, documentaries, and film shorts made by Greek filmmakers and those of Greek descent, as well as films that promote the cultures of Greece and Cyprus.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is the lead supporter of the Hellenic Film Society USA. Additional support is provided by Onassis Foundation USA and the Kallinikeion Foundation.