The 54th Thessaloniki International Film Festival (1-10 November 2013) will undoubtedly be remembered as “the festival of Jim Jarmusch”. Not only because the very name and the films of Jarmusch are benchmarks of independent cinema worldwide, but also because the rest of the Festival developed in a quite moderate way in terms of films, filmmakers and events. Despite the crowds that were gathered outside the festival’s ticket glass cubes, the viewers’ enthusiasm during the screenings (most of which were sold out) and the overall cinephilic mood of the public, especially among young people who packed the venues in large numbers (more than 90%), the Festival programme was rather predictable, with no particular surprise regarding films, emerging national cinemas or groundbreaking film trends.
Jim Jarmusch, the legendary “prince of independent cinema”, was the undisputed protagonist of Thessaloniki, where he was invited to attend the Festival as
an honored guest, a fact that enhanced the overall cinephilic atmosphere. Jim Jarmusch’s new film Only Lovers Left Alive premiered in
Thessaloniki, opening the Festival at the Olympion Theatre. After an eventful parade of public officials, who annoyed viewers with their
impersonal speeches about the future of cinema, Jarmusch managed to calm the spirits and to bring the Festival back to its familiar, mystical rhythms of
the viewing experience.
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