Seven episodes; 10 min. each; Romania (no subtitles); dir. Luminiţa Cazacu
The “Penelope and Odysseus” series is made up of seven episodes that take on the story of the heroic couple from a comical feminist perspective in a precious visual style. The films include:
1976 Condiţia Penelopei (Penelope’s Condition)
1977 Penelopa și cele 9 muze (Penelope and the 9 Muses)
1977 După amiezile Penelopei (Penelope’s Afternoons)
1979 Penelopa în templul artei (Penelope in the Temple of Art)
1980 Maratonul Penelopei (Penelope’s Marathon)
1980 Penelopa și Scufița Roșie (Penelope and Little Red Riding Hood)
1981 Penelopa și uriașii cei răi (Penelope and the Wicked Giants)
In each film, the long-suffering heroine of the Odyssey is depicted as “the embodiment of calm and patient, gentle and forgiving femininity,” as she deals with different challenges typically faced by women in contemporary society — e.g., male prejudice, professional achievement, jealousy, the rigors of fashion, stress and the many demands on women’s time — though she always forgives Odysseus’ transgressions. The films treat these issues in a humorous way, often tinged with light irony and sarcasm, which is introduced by off-screen commentators (famous Romanian actors Toma Caragiu and Octavian Cotescu).
Part of the films’ humor also derives from the juxtaposition of elements of modern civilization, such as electric appliances, appearing in the ancient setting (a la The Flinstones).