In Greek mythology, maenads were the female followers of Dionysus and the most significant members of the Thiasus, the god's retinue. Their name translates as "raving ones". Maenads were known as Bassarids, Bacchae, or Bacchantes in Roman mythology after the penchant of the equivalent Roman god, Bacchus, to wear a bassaris or fox skin; the maenads were portrayed as inspired by Dionysus into a state of ecstatic frenzy through a combination of dancing and intoxication. During these rites, the maenads would dress in fawn skins and carry a thyrsus, a long stick wrapped in ivy or vine leaves and tipped with a pine cone, they would weave ivy-wreaths around their heads or wear a bull helmet in honor of their god, handle or wear snakes. These women were mythologized as the "mad women". Lycurgus "chased the Nurses of the frenzied Dionysus through the holy hills of Nysa, the sacred implements dropped to the ground from the hands of one and all, as the murderous Lycurgus struck them down with his ox-goad".

They practiced strange rites. According to Plutarch's Life of Alexander, maenads were called Mimallones and Klodones in Macedon, epithets derived from the feminine art of spinning wool; these warlike parthenoi from the hills, associated with a Dionysios pseudanor "fake male Dionysus", routed an invading enemy. In southern Greece they were described as Bacchae, Thyiades and other epithets; the term maenad has come to be associated with a wide variety of women, supernatural and historical, associated with the god Dionysus and his worship. In Euripides' play The Bacchae, maenads of Thebes murder King Pentheus after he bans the worship of Dionysus. Dionysus, Pentheus' cousin, himself lures Pentheus to the woods, his corpse is mutilated by his own mother, who tears off his head, believing it to be that of a lion. A group of maenads kill Orpheus. In ceramic art, the frolicking of Maenads and Dionysus is a theme depicted on kraters, used to mix water and wine; these scenes show the maenads in their frenzy running in the forests tearing to pieces any animal they happen to come across.

German philologist Walter Friedrich Otto writes: The Bacchae of Euripides gives us the most vital picture of the wonderful circumstance in which, as Plato says in the Ion, the god-intoxicated celebrants draw milk and honey from the streams. They strike rocks with the thyrsus, water gushes forth, they lower the thyrsus to the earth, a spring of wine bubbles up. If they want milk, they draw up the milky fluid. Honey trickles down from the thyrsus made of the wood of the ivy, they gird themselves with snakes and give suck to fawns and wolf cubs as if they were infants at the breast. Fire does not burn them. No weapon of iron can wound them, the snakes harmlessly lick up the sweat from their heated cheeks. Fierce bulls fall to the ground, victims to numberless, tearing female hands, sturdy trees are torn up by the roots with their combined efforts. Cultist rites associated with worship of the Greek god of wine, were characterized by maniacal dancing to the sound of loud music and crashing cymbals, in which the revelers, called Bacchantes, screamed, became drunk and incited one another to greater and greater ecstasy.

The goal was to achieve a state of enthusiasm in which the celebrants’ souls were temporarily freed from their earthly bodies and were able to commune with Bacchus/Dionysus and gain a glimpse of and a preparation for what they would someday experience in eternity. The rite climaxed in a performance of frenzied feats of strength and madness, such as uprooting trees, tearing a bull apart with their bare hands, an act called sparagmos, eating its flesh raw, an act called omophagia; this latter rite was a sacrament akin to communion in which the participants assumed the strength and character of the god by symbolically eating the raw flesh and drinking the blood of his symbolic incarnation. Having symbolically eaten his body and drunk his blood, the celebrants became possessed by Dionysus. "Maenads" are found in references as priestesses of the Dionysian cult. In the third century BC, when an Asia Minor city wanted to create a maenadic cult of Dionysus, the Delphic Oracle bid them to send to Thebes for both instruction and three professional maenads, stating, "Go to the holy plain of Thebes so that you may get maenads who are from the family of Ino, daughter of Cadmus.

They will give to you both the rites and good practices and they will establish dance groups of Bacchus in your city." Dionysus came to his birthplace, where neither Pentheus, his cousin, now king, nor Pentheus’ mother Agave, Dionysus’ aunt acknowledged his divinity. Dionysus punished Agave by driving her insane, in that condition, she killed her son and tore him to pieces. From Thebes, Dionysus went to Argos where all the women except the daughters of King Proetus joined in his worship. Dionysus punished them by driving them mad, they killed the infants who were nursing at their breasts, he did the same to the daughters of Minyas, King of Orchomenos in Boetia, turned them into bats. According to Opian, Dionysus delighted, as a child, in tearing kids into pieces and bringing them back to life again, he is characterized as "the raging one" and "the mad one" and the nature of the maenads, from which they get their name, is, his nature. Once during a war in the middle of the third century BC, the entranced Thyiades lost their way and arrived in Amphissa, a city near

34th Saturn Awards

The 34th Saturn Awards, honoring the best in science fiction and horror film and television in 2007 were presented on June 24, 2008 in Universal City Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Below is a complete list of winners. Winners are highlighted in boldface. Note: The category Best International Series was omitted from the Saturn Awards press release as issued on June 24, 2008, but was added to a corrected press release and website update on June 26. Guillermo del Toro Tim & Donna Lucas Fred Barton Robert Halmi, Sr. and Robert Halmi, Jr. Matt Reeves for Cloverfield; the Official Saturn Awards Site

My Memories of Old Beijing

My Memories of Old Beijing is a 1983 Chinese drama film directed by Wu Yigong. based on the novel of the same name written by Lin Haiyin, first published in 1960. Winner of the 3rd Golden Rooster Awards for Best Director, Best Music and Best Supporting Actress in 1983, the film was selected as China's entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 56th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee. In the late 1920s, a six-year-old girl named Lin Yingzi lives on a hutong in the south of Beijing with her family - her father, her mother and her nurse, her first friend is a mad woman Xiuzhen, always standing at the hutong entrance waiting for her missing daughter Little Guizi. Xiuzhen fell in love with a young man in college years ago. However, the young man was arrested before she gave birth to their daughter, abandoned by her family. Yingzi shows great sympathy for Xiuzhen, it turns out. Xiu is so excited; the two run off in the pouring rain to see the father. But they both die after being hit by a train.

Yingzi and her family move to another hutong. She befriends a young man with thick lips who becomes a thief to support his little brother's schooling. Yingzi is unsure if he is a good guy, he is arrested by the police, which made Yingzi quite sad. When Yingzi is nine, the husband of her nurse comes for his wife. According to him, his son has died and his daughter was sold away two years ago. Yingzi becomes sad and cannot understand why her nurse goes out to earn money instead of taking care of her own kids at home. Yingzi's dad dies of tuberculosis. After his death, Yingzi leaves Beijing with her mother and baby brother and bid farewell to all the memories of her childhood; the film is little watched and distributed in the West. List of submissions to the 56th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film List of Chinese submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film My Memories of Old Beijing on IMDb