chapter  15
From Ancient Greece to Hollywood and Nollywood
ByAlexis Krasilovsky
Pages 13

An Italian novel in which a screenwriter and a director fight it out about how best to adapt the Odyssey is Alberto Moravia's Il Disprezzo, written almost fifty years before the Coen Brothers took such liberties with Homer's epic poem. Ancient Greek mythology is at work in Barry Jenkins' Oscar-winning film Moonlight: its protagonist is named Chiron after a centaur mentioned in Homer's Iliad and known for self-healing. Even before the talkies were invented, permitting movie audiences to hear Shakespeare's dialogue, several theatrical-looking adaptations of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet were produced, among many of his other plays. Franco Zeffirelli successfully directed and co-wrote a more faithful adaptation of Shakespeare's story of the star-crossed lovers by casting much younger actors for his Romeo and Juliet and filming most of the story in beautiful, romantic Italian locations with only a few street scenes shot on a studio set.