Last Voyage for Theo Angelopoulos

Angelopoulos can be counted

as one of the few filmmakers
in cinema’s first hundred years
 who compel us to redefine
what we feel cinema is and can be.”
Andrew Horton

World-acclaimed film director, and ambassador of Greek cinema abroad, Theo Angelopoulos died on the 24th January, after being hit by a motorcycle, while filming in Drapetsona, near Pireaus. Winner of several international film awards, Angelopoulos had started shooting his latest film, The Other Sea, earlier this month. His untimely death hit headlines around the globe.
Angelopoulos was born in Athens in 1935. He studied Law at Athens University, and at the beginning of the ‘60s he moved to France where he followed courses in ethnography and studied film at the Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies in Paris. Upon returning to Greece, he initially worked as a film critic and in 1970 he completed his first feature film Anaparastassi (Reconstruction).
His next three films make up a trilogy on the history of contemporary Greece: Meres tou ’36 (Days of ’36, 1972), O Thiassos (Travelling Players, 1975) and Oi Kynighoi (The Hunters, 1977), followeed by Megalexandros in 1980.
With these films some of the thematic and stylistic constants of Angelopoulos’ cinema were established – the weight of history, a clinical examination of power, a Brechtian theatricality, wherein the individual has no importance with respect to the group, a rejection of conventional narration in favour of an intentionally broken one, in which stationary cameras and sequence-length shots create an alternative sense of time.
Taxidi sta Kithira (Voyage to Cythera), in 1984, won the Cannes Festival International Critics’ Award for best screenplay, followed by O Melissokomos (The Beekeeper), in 1986, starring Marcello Mastroianni. With Topio stin Omichli (Landscape in the Mist) in 1988 he won the Silver Lion at the Venice Mostra. 
His filmography in the 90s included To meteoro vima tou pelargou (The Suspended Step of the Stork, 1991), followed by To vlemma toy Odyssea (Ulysses’ Gaze, 1995), starring Harvey Keitel – which won the Grand Jury Prize and the International Critics’ Prize at Cannes Festival. 
Then in 1998, he won the Cannes Palme D’Or prize for Mia eoniotita kai mia mera (Eternity and a Day) with Bruno Ganz. In 2003, he began another trilogy with To livadi pou dakryzi (The Wheeping Meadow) followed by H skoni tou chronou (Dust of Time, 2009). The film The Other Sea that he was currently shooting was to complete the trilogy.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Greek film “Harisma” in “The Awakening of the Summer” events in Warsaw (17-18/6/2011)

Some 2000 people gathered in the park  surrounding the Center of Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw on the night of 17 to 18 of June, waiting for the dawn to break and officially start summer 2011.
The Press Office of the Greek Embassy participated in the event, screening the film “Harisma”, a comedy directed by Christina Ioakeimidi in 2010.  
The first nights of summer are strongly connected with the atmosphere of an ancient midsummer St. John’s Night. These nights are filled with growing craziness, pleasure, ecstasy, romance, desire, love, energy and allure.
Ujazdowski Castle hosted such a special night organized in close cooperation with  EUNIC in Poland  Warsaw. On one indoor and three outdoor screens a rich choice of European films were offered ranging from crazy colorful Austrian Pepperminta, hot romance animation from Great Britain  to scary Nosferatu  from Germany. The night was heathen up with performances of the Estonian band OPIUM Flirt, the Dutch/Danish/Polish band Très.B and a Romanian DJ. In addition there were dance performances and food and drinks served from various European countries.
17 members of EUNIC in Poland Warsaw contributed to the event.
At 10.00 p.m. the vice-president of the cluster opened the program underlying that “The Awakening of the Summer” is a symbolic present to Poland that for the first time in history is taking over the EU presidency on the 1st of July. EUNIC members wanted to express their support and gratitude for the hospitality they have been experiencing in Poland.
The program ended at 4.00 a.m. with breakfast at sunrise.

Poems on the Underground – Greek contemporary poetry

The Press Office of the Greek Embassy in Warsaw promotes the contemporary poetry of Greece and participates to   “Poems on the Underground” events (6-30 September 2010).
“Poems on the Underground” (Wiersze w Metrze) has been inspired by other similar projects  in many cities: Dublin, Paris, New York, Barcelona, Stockholm, Stuttgard and Moscow, organised for the first time in London in 1986.
Wiersze w Metrze promotes contemporary European poetry in public city spaces, through happenings, haiku competition, poetry city game and a performing poetry festival.
Many cultural institutes and embassies participate to the project, which takes place under the auspices of the the mayor of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.
Greek contemporary poetry will be represented by two acclaimed poets, Kiki Dimoula and Nasos Vagenas.
Kiki Dimoula has recently been awarded the European Literature Prize for 2010. Her poetry has been translated into English, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Spanish and many other languages.
Dimoula’s poetry is haunted by the existential dissolution of the post-world era. Her central themes are hopelessness, insecurity, absence and oblivion. Using diverse subjects and twisting grammar in unconventional ways, she accentuates the power of the words through astonishment and surprise, but always manages to retain a sense of hope.
Nasos Vagenas, professor of Theory and Critique of Literature in the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of Athens, in 2005 was awarded with the State Poetry Prize for his poetic collection ‘Stefanos’.
His poetic work includes the books: ‘Field of Mars’, ‘Biography’, ‘Roxani’s Knees’, ‘Wandering of a non-traveller’, ‘The Fall of the Flying’, ‘Barbarous Odes’ , ‘The Fall of the Flying B’, ‘Dark Ballads and Other Poems’, ‘Stefanos’.
His poetry has been translated into English, German, Italian, Dutch, Romanian, Serbian.
Two poems of Kiki Dimoula and Nasos Vagenas have been translated in polish language for “Wiersze w Metrze” by the professors and students of the Department of Greek Studies of the University of Warsaw (Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies “Artes Liberales”).

Karaghiozis: “Inextricable part of Greek Culture”

Greece is planning to press its claims to Karaghiozis, a shadow puppet theatre character that UNESCO has deemed to be part of Turkey’s cultural heritage.
“Karaghiozis is an extricable part of our culture,” Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson said, adding that UNESCO allows neighbouring countries to access the same commodity when it comes to intangible cultural heritage.
The issue has prompted an announcement by the Ministry of Culture, according to which, “it is commonly known and undoubted that shadow theatre refers to a cultural tradition which surpasses boundaries and spans through the Balkans, and the broader East, long time before the emergence of contemporary states.

Concerning the Greek version of Karaghiozis, it represents a vivid chapter of Modern Greek culture, which defends traditional values broadly cherished by the Greek people.”

Museum of Shadow Theatre: Museum of Shadow Theatre & Greek Shadow Theatre Group Athanasiou: Karaghiozis-History
You Tube: Karagiozis & Athens Plus (16.7.2010): Greece to stake its claim to Karagiozis show
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Athens & Epidaurus Festival 2010

It seems that ages have gone by since Maria Callas stunned the audience by performing ‘Norma’ at the Epidaurus theatre as part of events celebrating the Greek festival in 1960. The 2010 Greek Festival, which opens today, encompasses a variety of artistic expressions.  

Its aim is to present contemporary artists from around the globe and acquaint the world public with both innovative and pervasive trends of modern artistic creations. 
The festival spans from June to mid –August with old and new venues hosting the events, such as the Herodus Attikus theatre, the Benaki Museum, and the Building H at the Peiraios 260 complex.
This year music lovers will have the opportunity to enjoy Rufus Wainwright in a one-man-show on June 5 at the Lycabettus Hill Theatre.
In the first half, he will present his newly- released album, while in the second, he will play major hits from his entire career. 
Greek Festival: Programme & Greek News Agenda: Athens Festival 2009
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece`s presentation by the Greek Embassy and the Press Office at the European Information Centre in Warsaw (19/3/2010)

A presentation of Greece by the Greek Embassy and the Press Office in Warsaw took place at the European Information Centre of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 19th March 2010 (www.cie.gov.pl).
Various aspects of Greece were presented by the Deputy Head of Mission, Paraskevi Charitidou, and the Press Attache, Maria Mondelou.
The audience, 70  students of higher secondary schools of Warsaw, was informed about Greece`s geostrategic position, its political system, the participation in international organizations, such as the EU and the NATO, the Greek Presidencies in the EU.
A brief presentation of the Greek history, mainly during the modern and contemporary period, was followed by characteristic examples of Greek culture, in the fields of literature, poetry, music, theatre and cinema.
Views of the New Acropolis Museum were presented, as well as Greece`s request for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles.
During the discussion, the students were informed about Greece`s foreign policy, the situation of the Greek economy, tourism, the educational system and the scholarships offered for foreign students. They were, also, particularly interested about the image of Poles in Greece and their life.
 The European Information Centre, that invited the Greek Embassy to make the presentation of Greece, organizes annually discussions with representatives of the EU member states.

Centrum Informacji Europejskiej  

Spotkanie z przedstawicielkami Ambasady Grecji
 19 marca 2010 r. w Centrum Informacji Europejskiej MSZ odbyło się spotkanie uczniów XL Liceum Ogólnokształcącego im. S. Żeromskiego oraz LXXV Liceum Ogólnokształcącego im. Jana III Sobieskiego w Warszawie z przedstawicielkami Ambasady Grecji. Ambasadę reprezentowały Pani Paraskevi Charitidou, zastępca szefa misji oraz Pani Maria Mondelou, Pierwszy Sekretarz w Biurze Prasowym Ambasady Grecji w Warszawie.
Prelegentki omówiły historię i system polityczny Grecji oraz aktualne działania Grecji w Unii Europejskiej. Opowiedziały również o warunkach studiowania w tym kraju i stypendiach dostępnych dla polskich studentów. Podczas prezentacji został wyświetlony krótki film o Atenach.
Po wykładzie miała miejsce dyskusja, w czasie której przedstawicielki Ambasady odpowiedziały na liczne pytania publiczności dotyczące stereotypów o Polakach, greckiej kultury, popularnych Greków, kryzysu gospodarczego, relacji z Turcją, aktualnego sporu między Grecją i Byłą Jugosłowiańską Republiką Macedonii przed Międzynarodowym Trybunałem Sprawiedliwości oraz doświadczeń czterech prezydencji Grecji w Radzie Unii Europejskiej.
W spotkaniu uczestniczyło ponad 70 osób.
(Polish text by www.cie.gov.pl)

Greece: The Culture Agenda

» VISUAL ARTS

                                     Tribute to Ianis Xenakis

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in association with the Center for Music Composition & Performance (CMCP) is organizing a second series of events in tribute to the composer Ianis Xenakis.
The events are taking place from September 15 to October 11.

“Itinerary to Mount Athos, 1928-1930” Boissonnas_sofia_1

The exhibition “Itinerary to Mount Athos, 1928-1930” features a selection from the 400 photographs taken by Swiss photographer Frédéric Boissonnas during his travels to Mount Athos in 1928 and 1930.
The exhibition is organised by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, in Sofia and runs from September 16 through October 25.

» MUSIC

                                     Jose Carreras returns to Athens

Legendary tenor Jose Carreras returns to Greece after four years since his last appearance for a concert with the ERT National Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of David Gimenez, on 19 September at the Herod Atticus Odeon (Herodion) in Athens.

Amadou & Mariam in Athens

Amadou & Mariam, the two musicians who manage to overcome all obstacles to become international stars and ambassadors of Mali’s musical tradition throughout the world, will be appearing live in Athens 18 September at the Papagou Garden Theatre.

The Spaghetti Western Orchestra @ Badminton Theatre

Armed with over 100 instruments the Spaghetti Western Orchestra is performing in Athens the stunning music Ennio Morricone wrote for movies such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “For a Few Dollars More” and “Once Upon a Time in the West.” At the Badminton Theatre from September 16 to 25.