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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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Greece: Maria Callas Honored by the Prespes Festival

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The 2008 Prespes festival celebrated its 20 years of life on August 29-30. As is the case every year, events were held in the remains of the basilica on the island of Aghios Achilleios in the Mikri Prespa lake. This year’s festival was of special importance, given that guests included President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyannis – Bakoyannis sent a message of friendship and collaboration to neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  An exhibition of Maria Callas memorabilia opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the city of Florina. Showcasing Maria Callas memorabilia (previously on display at the Greek Parliament in Athens), the exhibition was inaugurated in the presence of choreographer Maria Hors and curated by acclaimed set designer Yiannis Metzikoff. During the opening ceremony, President Papoulias honoured filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos, whose work has often been set in the region’s remote landscapes. The programme featured tributes to Greek songwriters Vassilis Tsitsanis and Stelios Kazantzidis among other events, while participants included Dionysis Savvopoulos, Eleni Karaindrou and Goran Bregovic. Kathimerini daily: Art and Politics Come Together at Prespes Festival