backtrack; Αλέξης Ζορμπάς [Zorba the Greek] (1964)

I personally find Anthony Quinn’s obnoxious character more than a little annoying, but this is still a charming, strange – and occasionally terrible! – morality play.

Laughing carelessly in the face of adversity is a lesson of life that perhaps should not be taken too seriously. In my book of world-famous soundtracks.

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3 Responses to backtrack; Αλέξης Ζορμπάς [Zorba the Greek] (1964)

  1. One might add that Anthony Quinn’s obnoxious character and the rest of the film have precious little to do with real Greek – or Cretan – culture or behaviour, which on the face of it is rather odd, since the novel on which it is based, Zorba the Greek (observe that nationalities are written with capital letters in English, and that goes for main words in titles as well!), is written by Nikos Kazantazkis, a legendary Greek author who was nominated for the Nobel Prize nine times, and considering that Michael Cacoyannis is an equally legendary, Greek director.

    On the other hand, the theme music, composed by another legendary Greek, the musician Mikis Theodorakis, and not at all associated with Zorba at the outset, has – because of the film – become the theme music for all of Greece, always to be heard at Greek parties and recorded in uncountable versions. And this piece of music rarely fails to bring tears to the eyes of a Greek person.

    Well, so it goes.

  2. I was surprised by the terrible fate of the widow. Do those events have »precious little to do with real Greek – or Cretan – culture«, or which parts of the film do you refer to?

    P.S. My daughter and her boyfriend performed the theme music for me and her mother the last time we visited them, perfectly accompanying the greek-styled meal they had prepared!

  3. Just saw this one for the first time recently…despite some reservations, would make my book as well.

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