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  • Antigone - Rites of Passion [VHS]
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Antigone - Rites of Passion [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Winstar
  • VHS Release Date: January 9, 2001
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000541W5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #737,247 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This first feature by Amy Greenfield brings to the screen the story of the daughter of Oedipus in an emotionally relentless, visually stunning New Music Film Opera which challenges the conventions of narrative cinema to create a genre of its own. The 2500-year-old drama of the woman who defied the state to bury her brother is transformed through stark, ceaseless movement, haunting sounds and music (including themes from Glen Branca, David Van Tieghem, Elliot Sharp and Diamanda Galas) and words of outcry against our own world's injustice.

Customer Reviews

2.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
27%
4 star
9%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
64%
See all 11 customer reviews
At this point it may be useful to note there is essentially no dialog in this film.
D. Merchant
You'd think with all these bodies slithering, you could at least get some gratuitous nudity, but NO, none of that either.
Stan
I do not recommend this for anyone, except as a study in bad, self-important "Art" with that tell-tale capitol "A".
John J. Mclaughlin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 21, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Only an experimental film can tick people off this much, you know? "Antigone: Rites of Passion" is director Amy Greenfield's first feature film, in which she retells Sophocle's classical tragedy about the daughter of Oedipus, who defied King Creon of Thebes and buried her brother. The story is told through action, dance and cutting-edge rock music. The movement is essentially nonstop, from the camera if not the performers. Some critics have tried to characterize it as a rock opera film, but I think it clearly belongs in the category of experimental film. The music for this 1990 effort is by Elliot Sharp, Glenn Branca and Diamanda Galas. Ironically, I think the more familiar you are with this classic tale, the more open you might be to the extreme interpretation. The ending, which is essentially a requiem, is a bit over the top for me but does fit the overall progression of the film in which the injustices of the world build to a crescendo. Ultimately, I consider "Antigone: Rites of Passion" to be more creative than provocative. It is certainly more interesting than most films involving interpretative dance I have seen, but I fully understand that this one is not going to be any where near to most people's cup of tea (more like hemlock apparenlty).
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49 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Stan on January 26, 2001
Format: DVD
My wife begged me to view this DVD with her, which was required for a college course she is taking. She is really in the doghouse now! I found absolutely no redeeming qualities in this movie. It is incredibly boring. It hints strongly at various sexual perversions, including incest and necrophilia. The cinematography is poor, with one scene even showing mud spatters on the camera lens. The music sounded as if it was from India and therefore did not seem compatible with a Greek play. And NEVER should a version of Antigone be shown with Creon (spelling?) wearing a pair of cheap cowboy boots (and we had several close-ups of them, at that). There was no dialogue at all, only a spattered narrative in the background. I think the production was supposed to be interpretive dance, but it missed that too--I would call it interpretive movement, at best. The movements were repetitive and mechanical across all characters. It seemed just an excuse for bodies to slither against each other (especially if they were brother and sister, daughter and father, sister and dead brother, etc.) You'd think with all these bodies slithering, you could at least get some gratuitous nudity, but NO, none of that either. This looked like something that would have been seen in a hippie lair in the 60s, meant to be viewed only while under the influence. My wife and I always give a letter grade to any movie we see. This movie has become the all-time worst, with a grade of F--, finally pushing King Solomon's Mines up one place from the bottom. In states with no death penalty, I recommend that this movie be repeatedly forced upon prisoners convicted of heinous crimes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joe B. on November 25, 2008
Format: DVD
After being involved with theater for years and teaching English, I would like nothing more than to post my own thoughts on this film; however I think the most accurate review I can give is through my students' comments:

"Why does Antigone look like a man?"
"Why aren't they talking?"
*plugs ears* "Aaah! What's with that music?"
"These people are possessed! If not, it sure sounds like it!"
"When Ismene tells Antigone about their brothers' deaths, why does it look like they're about to have sex?"
"When Antigone goes to the fallen body of Polyneices, why does it look like she's trying to kiss it? What's that called again... necrophilia?"
"Why does Haemon look more like a woman than Antigone?"
"I think this is the worst movie... ever... Even worse than Mommy Dearest."
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By John J. Mclaughlin on December 4, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Where to start? Amy Greenfield's "emotionally relentless, visually stunning" interpretation of the classic play is admittedly "relentless" and I was indeed "stunned." The video was purchased to augment an eleventh grade honors class, ostensibly to show a different, modern, visual interpretation of a Greek classic that touches us still, thousands of years later. Sophocles's play does still affect us today because it taps into primal human issues--family honor, immortality, fate, the role of government, faith, and the list goes on. Greenfield's overblown piffle does not. I do not recommend this for anyone, except as a study in bad, self-important "Art" with that tell-tale capitol "A". This isn't dance. The important dialogue is absent. The music is discordant, oppressive and the best part of the whole mess. The oracle at Delphi was clear to both Oedipus and his father, Laius: Oedipus will kill his father, marry his mother and have monstrous children. Finally, in the form of Amy Greenfield's "Antigone: Rites of Passion" we have the monstrous child at last. Apollo is always right. And you know what? He'd tell you not to buy this turkey.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John E. Hartman on March 8, 2012
Format: VHS Tape
I was subjected to this cacophony of sight and sound as part of a literature course in ancient civilizations, and will most probably never recover. At the risk of dwelling too long upon a terrible event of my life, I will attempt to get straight to the point. The play of Antigone is rewritten. Incorrect people die, some people never enter into the play, some who do enter the play show up so late that their impact is entirely marginalized, Oedipus dies and then comes back with his eyes in tact for no reason, and a prehumous promise is made to Polynices to bury him should be die.

Visually, the sets are immediately obvious to anyone who has lived in the Northeast United States, simply put - not Greece. Colors and clarity start off in the forest scenes as nearly unwatchable, but do become bearable later on, despite being VHS. Music is presented as layered noise, and I use the word noise in as denigrating a way as possible. The most embarrassing, self-indulgent wailing, banging, slamming and scratching illustrates the tensions of each scene so oppressively overt that any critical thinking on the part of the viewer can safely be stored away - the horrific sounds will tell you who is good, bad - and what they are feeling.

The acting is mostly intolerable, with laughable costuming. Early on Polynices appears in rags, despite being an heir to the throne of Thebes. Later, Creon appears wearing a bizarre modern outfit of pure black with a huge upturned collar and cheap black cowboy boots. And just in case you can't figure out he is irredeemably evil in this particular presentation (because Greek Tragedies just love one dimensional characters... /sarcasm) the noises that play while he is on screen are, basically, a low and sinister growling.
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