Seeks Latin (or Greek) video audio
August 26, 2006 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone ever produced a movie with wholly Latin language dialogue? Not just snippets (e.g. Passion of the Christ), but a clear better-than-fifty-percent on-going conversation. (Productions of Latin plays definitely acceptable.) Second best would be extended audio only. (I did a post once with snippets- I'm looking for extended play, something commute worthy, say.) Finally, repeat above questions for ancient Greek. (There is a video of Medea by the NY Greek drama Company (1986, good luck finding it now). Anything of that sort would be of interest.) Thanks in advance.
posted by IndigoJones to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by holgate at 9:50 AM on August 26, 2006

Well if you're accepting plays, Seneca (Emperor Nero's advisor) wrote a number in an effort to emulate revered Greek playwrights such as Euripides. Oedipus is almost a Latin cover version of the Greek play.

Seneca's plays are of arguably questionable quality, more suited to sitting in a circle and reading aloud than actual stage performance, yet one can very occasionally see them; I remember being bored solid through a rendition of The Trojan Women in Oxford.

More here.
posted by randomination at 9:59 AM on August 26, 2006

PS: Good luck finding video of Seneca's plays. Other people may have forgotten to tape over them.
posted by randomination at 10:02 AM on August 26, 2006

From my second daughter, the Classics scholar:

There is a streaming Latin (audio only) news service.

UNC Chapel Hill staged a comedy by Plautus in Latin and you might find a video of it (some are floating around; you could try contacting the classics department there).
posted by LeisureGuy at 11:26 AM on August 26, 2006

A lot (relatively) of Classics departments at universities stage Latin / Greek plays every year, you might try asking at your local U.

I directed a play in Ancient Greek at Columbia a few years ago, and they may still have the video if you contact the Classics department there. Now I'm wondering where my copy is, so I might be persuaded to send you a copy of the DVD if I can find it...
posted by thumpasor at 11:37 AM on August 26, 2006

Didaskalia (an online journal devoted to modern performances of Greek and Latin drama) would be a good place to start. There is also the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, though currently its website seems to be down.
posted by verstegan at 12:49 PM on August 26, 2006

Stravinsky's rarely mounted oratorio Oedipus Rex is in Latin, translated from Cocteau's French libretto (with modern-language narration). Stravinsky, perhaps the foremost proponent of neoclassicism in music, chose Latin — rather than Greek — because he termed it "not dead, but turned to stone."
posted by rob511 at 5:20 PM on August 26, 2006

Wide ranging and expanding the scope of what I asked- I like that.

Hm. 1970s X rated homoerotica - not that there's anything wrong with that. On the other hand, one comment takes the pronunciation to task, and that would be bad.

Thumpasor- you've no email address! Mine is listed. If other efforts fail, I may wish to prod your good nature some more.

General thanks to all, I will be following up all leads.

(Kind of surprised at relative dearth of material, which is one reason I posted the question. I mean, even esperanto got its own movie. No comments on its pronunciation, however.)
posted by IndigoJones at 6:13 AM on August 27, 2006

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