Learn about Mythology and Hubris While Watching Netflix!

Recently, a new movie production appeared in Netflix Poland offer. It turns out that it is related to the world of mythology – are you curious how? 🙂

Before I Fall (2017)

Director: Ry Russo-Young

Age range: 13+

Genre: Drama, Romantic Drama

World premiere: January 21, 2017

The movie is based on Lauren Oliver’s novel with the same title (published in 2010). It shows the story of popular high-school student Sam, who has to re-live over and over the same day (February 12 – Cupid Day) in which she dies in a car accident.  Living in a “time-loop” every day Sam wakes up, goes to school, spends time with her cocksure friends and… dies. When she finally realizes what’s going on she is trying to avoid the car crush by changing the events.

While watching the movie, it is worth to pay attention to the details. After a deeper analysis of the film you will be able to see that every day during the same lesson at school, Sam’s teacher tells the class about… the myth of Sisyphus.

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“All right, back to Sisyphus. What’s his character like? Does he learn from pushing that boulder…”
Read more

Reminding the real meaning of the myth and its message about hubris, guilt, and punishment, you will be able to understand Sam’s fate… No more spoilers. 🙂

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Found by Dorota Bazylczyk

 

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Ancient Guests in the Old Orangery (The Royal Łazienki Park, Warsaw, Poland)

Recently we have found an innovative Polish publication, created by Aleksandra Pawlińska (author) and Wojciech Pawliński (illustrator). The book is entitled “A King, the Muses and Some Oranges: the hiddden delights of the Old Orangery”  [“Król, muzy i pomarańcze, czyli co się kryje w Starej Oranżerii”] and it was published for the first time in 2015 by Dwie Siostry Publishing House.

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The cover of the book [source]
“A King, the Muses and Some Oranges” is a creative guide designed for the youngest ones. It takes the readers on a tour to the Old Orangery (built in 1785-1788) – a magical place in the Royal Łazienki [Baths] Park in Warsaw, where we can find a lot of mythological motifs.

The Old Orangery, Royal Łazienki Park, Warsaw, Poland [source]
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“A King, the Muses and Some Oranges”, page 21 [source] 
The book is full of interesting tasks and different activities that take the kids to the world of Ancient Greece and teach them some facts about the times of Stanisław August (the last King of Poland) and his marvellous residence.

Here are the examples:

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“A King, the Muses and Some Oranges”, page 10 [source]
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“A King, the Muses and Some Oranges”, page 94 [source]
“A King, the Muses and Some Oranges” is available in two language versions – Polish and English.

 

If you are planning to visit Warsaw in the near future, we recommend you to see the new exhibition in the Old Orangery (open until the 30th of November, 2017). It is entitled “Jan Bogumił Plersch. Works by the royal painter on exhibition in the Royal Łazienki”. You’ll find there two famous works of the artist: a plafond where Stanisław August is shown as Apollo and the design of a lost artefact – the curtain entitled “Muses on Mount Helicon”.

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Found by Dorota Bazylczyk

 

“Pre-Civilization: Marble Age”

Finally we have something for the fans of the strategy games! 🙂

“Pre-Civilization: Marble Age” is an old-school designed game, developed by Clarus Victoria (Russia). It’s available for PCs, tablets, and smartphones (Google Play and AppStore).

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The main game icon presents Athena [source]
Pre-civilization: Marble age

The action of the game starts in 3000 B.C. and it lasts 4000 years. Every next round is a small step into the future. The player’s task is to expand a small Greek village into a new powerful civilization:

“It is your responsibility to manage aspects of your civilizations such as material production, cultural growth, trading and military forces.” 

(read more here)

During the game you have to raise the population, create new buildings, trade goods, conquer new cities, lead the wars, take part in historical events, etc.

If you are interested in this kind of historical simulation strategy games, we also recommend you  Bronze and Stone Age and Predynastic Egypt created by Clarus Victoria.

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Found by Przemysław Kordos (Faculty of “Artes Liberales”, University of Warsaw)

 

“Mia and Me” – the Klimt-inspired World Full of Mythical Creatures

“Mia and Me” is a TV animation series for kids, created by Gerhard Hahn. The series had its world premiere in 2011 (“Mia and Me” was produced by Lucky Punch, Telescreen, Hahn Film, Rainbow S.p.A., and March Entertainment).

The animation tells the story of a girl (Mia) who – thanks to some magical items – can travel to the fantasy world of Centopia.

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Mia as an elf [source]
The design of the enchanted land and its inhabitants is inspired by the works of the famous painter – Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).

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Royal family [source]
In Centopia we can find many interesting characters (also those related to Greek mythology), for example: elves, unicornsfauns (the famous one is called Phuddle), hippocampi, a gorgon (Polytheus), the evil queen Panthea (the name Panthea can mean: All the Gods).

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Fauns from Centopia [source]
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Polytheus [source]
Water_Unicorn
Hippocampus [source]
Panthea [source]
Perhaps you know other examples of the reception of Antiquity in this animation? We are sure there are many more to be found in Centopia! 🙂

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Found by Dorota Bazylczyk

Pandora Became a Fox!

“Pandora” (Clarion Books, April 2017), a picturebook by the British author and illustrator Vitoria Turnbull, does not seem to have many connections to Antiquity, apart from the title.

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The cover of the book

After all, it is a story about the lonely fox that finds a friend in a blue bird.

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Pandora and a blue bird

However, if we get a closer look, we discover that it is actually a metaphor for many issues concerning womanhood, including depression and hope that constitute the core of Pandora’s myth. Sometimes it is good to dig a bit deeper… 🙂

Sources of illustrations: 1, 2.

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Found by Anna Mik

 

 

“Moonlighters #3” with the Figures of Medusa and Cerberus

“Moonlighters” (Space Goat Productions) is a new comic written by Katie Schenkel, illustrated by Cal Moray. It talks about a girl who becomes a werewolf  (Renee) and joins the Moonlighters team. In the third episode of the comic (digital release date: July 26, 2017) the team receives an order from Ms. Scaleson – it turns out that her dog Cerb is Cerberus and her daughter is Medusa!

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The cover of Moonlighters #3 [source]
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Ms. Scaleon’s dog – Cerb [source]
Renee and Medusa [source]
 

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Found by Dorota Bazylczyk

Traces of Antiquity in “The Making of Harry Potter” Tour

Recently we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of the first book about Harry Potter and today Harry celebrates his 37th:) birthday – on this occasion we wish to dedicate a post on our blog to the famous wizard.  🙂

During our recent research query in London, we had the opportunity to take part in “The Making of Harry Potter” Tour in Warner Bros Studio.

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Thanks to this magical experience we were able to catch all the traces of Classical Antiquity and mythology on the film set. We wish to share with you our favourite five pieces of the exhibition:

1. Chocolate Phoenix (The Yule Ball from the “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”)

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2. Hallway from The Leaky Gauldron (designed using ancient technique called “forced perspective”)

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3. Werewolves on the wall of Defence Against the Dark Art Classroom 
 
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4. The Basilisk (from the “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”)
 

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5. Buckbeak (Hippogriff)
 
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All the photos were taken by the authors of this post in “Warner Bros. Studio Tour” in London. 
Happy Birthday, Harry!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 
Found by Dorota Bazylczyk and Anna Mik during the research query in London, UK.