Ioannis Paraskevopoulos (B.A. in Film Studies, Middlesex Universit; M.A. in Film Studies, C.L.). He has studied filmmaking as well as theory and practice of sound under Michel Chion at École Supérieure d’études cinématographiques (L’E.S.E.C.) and holds PhD in Philosophy from the National and Capodistrian University of Athens. Ioannis has translated The Complete Cinematographic Works of Guy Debord and he has organized the first retrospective of the filmmaker-thinker in Athens (29-30/11/2014). He has worked as a film curator for over four years and has organized many retrospectives of Greek and World Cinema in Cinemarian (Athens) from 2014 till 2017. His main research focuses on post-war avant-garde (Internationale Situationniste), New Greek Cinema, sound in film and the representation of the city in cinema.
A conversation with the filmmaker Dimitris Athanitis
The cinema of Dimitri Athanitis may be identified with a personal vision of Athens. In his films the city is never named but is revealed as a source of multiple histories. The heroes of his films are in many respects expressions of this city. Moreover, Athanitis’s heroes give the impression to the viewer that they are “thrown” in the city -in accordance to the heideggerian “thrown-in-the world”- with their sole goal to seek salvation in it. His heroes are captured in a city that at times may be presented as a prison, as is the case in the sci-fi version of Athens in No Sympathy for the Devil (Athanitis, 1997) or in Three Days of Happiness (Athanitis, 2011). The representation of the city, in its correlation to the world of the dead, may also be a gigantic metaphor for modern life as it happens in Invisible (Athanitis, 2015). This is why Athanitis’s cinema may be described as dark, and sometimes as dystopian. ... More
No Sympathy for the Devil: A critical topography of the future
The blog post discusses the filmmaker’s use of two key elements in the film’s narrative: firstly, the adaptation of the classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice that is being set in a near future, and secondly, the construction of a futuristic city by using the materials of the present (1997). I shall examine how the director uses the hidden city as scenery for the adaptation of the aforementioned myth. Moreover, I shall present the characteristics that compose the film’s futuristic symphony, such as scenery and sound. Finally, I shall examine how and why the filmmaker creates an opposition between the visible and the invisible, darkness and light, and in what way those concepts are empowered by the film’s black and white photography. In the first part of the post I discuss the adaptation of the myth as well as the dialectics of darkness and light that are present in the film in many ways. In the second part I examine the film’s urban imagery and the filmmaker’s construction of the futuristic city. ... More