Friday, April 27, 2012

Google Honours Global Greek Filmmaker Theodoros Angelopoulos

Google today pays tribute to prophetic filmmaker, Theodoros Angelopoulos,
on what would have been his 77th birthday...

Theodoros Angelopoulos, Greece's internationally recognised, acclaimed and multi-awarded filmmaker, screenwriter and producer died after being hit by a motorcycle on the 24th of January this year, doing what he loved most, filming ...
He was filming the third part of his trilogy on Modern Greece - The Other Sea, a trilogy which started with The Weeping Meadow and The Dust of Time

About Theodoros Angelopoulos 

Born in Athens on 27 April 1935, he studied law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and after his military service went to Paris to attend the Sorbonne.
He soon dropped out to study film at the Institut des hautes etudes cinematographiques (IDHEC) before returning to Greece, where he worked as a journalist and film critic. 

His father was taken hostage and returned when Angelopoulos was 9 years old. This  absence of his father and looking for him among the dead bodies had a great impact on his cinematography, according to the director.
Angelopoulos began making films after the 1967 coup that began the Greek military dictatorship known as the Regime of the Colonels.

He made his first short film in 1968 and in the 1970s he began making a series of political feature films about modern Greece:
Days of '36  (Meres Tou 36) 1972,
The Travelling Players (O Thiassos) 1975 and
The Hunters (I Kynighoi) 1977.
He quickly established a characteristic style, marked by slow, episodic and ambiguous narrative structures as well as long takes eg in The Travelling Players, which consists of only 80 shots in about four hours of film.
These takes often include meticulously choreographed and complicated scenes involving many actors. 

In the words of another great filmmaker, Martin Scorsese

Theo Angelopoulos is a masterful filmmaker. 
He really understands how to control the frame. 
There are sequences in his work—
the wedding scene in The Suspended Step of the Stork; 
the rape scene in Landscape in the Mist; 
or any given scene in The Traveling Players—
where the slightest movement, the slightest change in distance, 
sends reverberations through the film and through the viewer. 
The total effect is hypnotic, sweeping, and profoundly emotional. 
His sense of control is almost otherworldly.

His regular collaborators include cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis and screenwriter Tonino Guerra while  composer Eleni Karaindrou's haunting melodies are almost a trademark of his films.

He had also worked with many great actors, both Greek and international, including Thanassis Veggos, Manos Katrakis,  Dionyssis Papayiannopoulos, Marcello Mastroyanni, Harvey Keitel to name but a few.

Issues which are as strikingly relevant today as they have ever been, are recurring themes of his work - immigration, the flight from homeland and the return, as well as the history of 20th century Greece.
Awarded honorary doctorates by various European and Greek Universities for his contributions to filmmaking, Angelopoulos' films won many awards over the years, including the prestigious Palme d'Or at the 51st Cannes Film Festival in 1998 for Eternity and a Day (Mia Aioniotita kai Mia Mera), whilst his films have been regular features of almost all Film Festivals around the world.

The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival recently announced that it will be honouring Angelopoulos by hosting a tribute to this great filmmaker at its annual festival to be held between 31 May and June 3 this year.
This two-part tribute will include a presentation by Frederick Linch (ASU film instructor) and a panel discussion with friends and collaborators of Theo Angelopoulos. Film clips will be included in a presentation of the famed filmmaker's unique visual and musical style, his concept of time, and story-telling world. This will be followed by a tribute screening of ULYSSES' GAZE (TO VLEMMA TOU ODYSSEA) (1995, 176 MINUTES). 

The loss of an internationally recognised Global Greek voice is always a blow but it is especially so at this time which is so difficult for Greece.
Theo's death was as sudden as it was untimely, leaving Greece infinitely poorer both culturally and spritually.
Our only consolation is that his films will always be a reminder of his tremendous contribution to culture and filmmaking and we were gratified to hear that the Greek government quickly announced a prize to be set up in his memory... we hope it materialises.

Theodoros Angelopoulos deserves that to say the least! 

Source:Wikipedia/ IMDB
Official Website

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