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subota, 3. travnja 2010.

"PENELOPE"- First Australian-Croatian Film, By Director Ben Ferris

 Foto courtesy of

This is a topic I really like to talk about, you know, art, music, films, philosophy, seksi Croatian girls, history, all that. (For those of you who think these topics are boring, they're really not. It's actually really cool)There's more to watch out there than cable TV and reruns of sitcoms. This is something I wanted to write about on this blog for a while. Croatian films, be it produced in Croatia by Croatians, or joint efforts that include Croatian directors, writers, producers, actors, janitors or shooter girls, itd... again this topic would need a whole blog of it's own to elaborate (Woe is me, time is always the enemy, hehe) Anyway, when I have more available time, I'll try to expand on this particlular blog with more of my personal views, opinions, faves and interesting links. In the meantime, I thought I would quickly throw this out for my readership. This film came out in 2008 and below is the gist of it. If you would like to read more about the background of the plot, directors, actors, trailers and more, visit the the Official PENELOPE website HERE.

(I did a post long after this story came out, regarding Croatian painter Bela Čikoš Sesija. He did a painting themed around Penelope and Odysseus in 1898 - "Odisej ubija prosce" ("Odysseus Kills the Suitors" - Why did Odysseus Kill all the Suitors?) You can view that post HERE)

Photo courtesy of

Source and brief introduction of the film from the PENELOPE Official film website:

Related links:

This film is a new study of the character of Penelope from Homer’s epic ‘The Odyssey’. She is the wife of Odysseus who is waiting for 20 years for her husband to come back from the Trojan War. Situated in Croatia, in a mythological time and space the film examines mythological tradition through contemporary attitudes and is resurrecting the role of Penelope’s character.

"The idea for the film was born in Croatia. I fell in love with the mythological landscapes and people. Every time I would come back to Zagreb over the last few years the project would develop spontaneously" - stated the director and writer Ben Ferris.

Foto courtesy of

‘Penelope’ is his first feature film. With his short film ‘The Kitchen’ he won several awards in international film festivals while the short film ‘Ascension’ secured him the Grand Prix award in the 2004 ‘One Take Film Festival’ in Zagreb.

Natalie Finderle, conveniently an Australian-Croatian, stars as the titular character of Grecian myth. The film re-examines Penelope’s character, bridging legend with contemporary attitudes in “a mythic time and space.”

Shot entirely in Croatia (and performed in Croatian), Penelope recalls the twenty long years the wife of Greek king Odysseus endured during her husband's epic Trojan War journey. The official PR stuff purports that Penelope focuses more on a psychological narrative than a chronological one.

Running Time: 90 Minutes
Country: Australian / Croatian
Language: Croatian with English subtitles
Director: Ben Ferris
Producer: Irena Markovic
Director of Photography: James Barahanos
Production Designer: Jennie Tate
Music Composer: Max Richter
Penelope: Natalie Finderle
Odysseus: Frano Maskovic

Natatle Finderle who portrays the lead role of Penelope. One hot Croatian-Australian doing Croatians proud.

• Art feature film Penelope is an experimental study on time and space
• Film is set in ‘a mythic time and space’ with some contemporary allusions
• Film is a series of long takes
• The longest continuous take is an 8 and a half minute sequence in the forest
• The performances are stylised through movement, with very little dialogue
• Music composer Max Richter wrote the music before the filming started, and the scenes were choreographed to the music played back on set
• The story of ‘Penelope’ is influenced by both Homer and James Joyce
• Director who is a Classics scholar adapted the story by studying the original Ancient Greek Homeric language
• Cinematic influences are: Tarkovsky, Fassbinder, Greenaway, Fellini and Kurosawa
• Filmed in Croatia in November 2007 and May 2008
• First Australian / Croatian co-production
• Independently funded
• Director Ben Ferris and Director of Photography James Barahanos have history in ‘one-take’ filmmaking with internationally acclaimed short films ‘Ascension’ and ‘The Kitchen’
• The film is the last surviving work of legendary Australian production designer Jennie Tate
• Jennie’s designs are heavily influenced by Japanese fashion
• The film is shot entirely in HD using the Sony F900 Cinealta camera
• Independent producer Irena Markovic also produced Croatian ground-breaking film ‘Slow Days’

PENELOPE Movie Trailer

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