The second Contemporary Greek Film Cultures (CGFC) International Conference took place at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, on the 8th and 9th May 2015, following on the success of the first conference (CGFC 2013, London, 5-6 July), which opened up a space for regular meetings of Greek film scholars from around the world. CGFC 2015 was the first Greek cinema conference in the USA, an important milestone for expanding and strengthening the establishment of the field of Greek Film Studies across the Atlantic, where the study of Greek cinema takes place within the broader framework of Modern Greek Studies or Hellenic Studies programmes.
The Hellenic Studies department within the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies hosted this year’s conference in a bid to strengthen the reach and visibility of Hellenic Studies programmes and research within the institution, nationally and internationally; in addition, this was an attempt to broaden the scope of research activities beyond the established, more traditional, areas of enquiry within the Modern Greek or Hellenic Studies domain to include Greek cinema. The organisers, Dr. Taso Lagos and Dr. Nektaria Klapaki, worked tirelessly throughout the process – from a successful bid to host the conference to the successful delivery of the event – in collaboration with the academic committee chaired by Assoc Prof Vangelis Calotychos (Brown University). ... More
(Writer’s note: The following piece is a paper presented in December 2004 at the conference L’Odyssée du Cinéma organised by the Centre Culturel Hellénique and L’Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. It attempted to examine the usefulness and challenges presented by Anglo-American film theory for the study of Greek cinema. In the ten years that followed, developments both in the production of Greek films and in academic scholarship have rendered several of the points raised below problematic or even irrelevant. Other points nevertheless remain pertinent and the paper – presented in its original form with no alterations or revisions – might offer some insights in the dynamic developments in the field of Greek film studies over the last ten years).
This paper is very much motivated by personal experience. My institutional position at the University of Glasgow involves a close and continuous engagement with Anglo-American film: that is what I teach and that is what I write about; my on-going interest in Greek cinema is very much marginal – my publications on Greek cinema are minimal and I do not teach Greek cinema at any point. This is admittedly a frustrating state of affairs necessitated by institutional politics, canonical hegemonies but also by the difficult interface between Anglo-American film theory as a theoretical framework and Greek cinema as an object of study. This paper will attempt to move beyond difficulties and frustration and propose some of the ways in which the two can exist in a more creative and harmonious way. ... More
An international conference for the study of Greek Cinema was established last summer. The organisation of Contemporary Greek Film Cultures 2013, which took place at the Hellenic Centre in London on the 5th and 6th July, was a collaboration between doctoral researchers from the Universities of Glasgow and Reading, bringing together scholars of contemporary Greek Cinema from Greece, the UK, other European countries and the USA. The aim was to reflect on the recent resurgence of interest in Greek Cinema and to promote the study and theorisation of Greek film internationally. Although there were a number of trends that appeared to dominate the conference, there was a great variety of cross-disciplinary approaches and themes, covering a wide range of the filmography of the contemporary scene.
One of the most prominent trends was the scholarly attention turned to the so called ‘weird wave’ of Greek cinema [i], and specifically to Lanthimos’s Dogtooth (2009) and Tsangari’s Attenberg (2010). Each
paper, however, focused on different aspects of the films − a fact that explains the willingness of the organisers to welcome numerous but diverse papers
on these two films in the conference. The issues that were addressed concerned identity, language, family, politics and crisis, but also great emphasis was given to the concepts of the national and the transnational. The choice of elaborating on these topics is not coincidental, since these are recurrent
themes in Greek cinema overall, and contemporary Greek cinema more specifically; themes that seem to attract great attention by audiences and researchers
alike both nationally and internationally.
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