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TO DEC. 18
It was Zorba the Greek that put both Greek cinema and director Michael Cacoyannis on the map, but that international hit is not considered his best film. (The Time Out Film Guide deems it “dreadful.”) It’s also not included in this retrospective, which concentrates on more serious fare. Three of the films still to be screened in the series (which began last week with examples of Cacoyannis’ social-realist work) are adaptations from Euripides, whose style is widely considered the most modern of the classical Greek tragedians: Iphigenia (at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12) begins the trilogy with King Agamemnon’s decision to accept a divine prophecy and sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia over the protests of his wife Clytemnestra; Electra (pictured, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11), named for the daughter of the slain Agamemnon, has been compared to the stylized masterpieces of Sergei Eisenstein; Irene Papas, who appears in all three films, is joined by Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave, and Genevieve Bujold in The Trojan Women (at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18), an anti-war epic made while Cacoyannis was in exile from military-ruled Greece. Also on the schedule is the director’s only documentary, Attila ’74 (at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11), a study of the fate of Greek refugees from the Turkish-controlled sector of Cyprus. At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)