Music, dance and seduction in the tavern table
Being synonym for the tavern, the table in the Old Greek Cinema allows us to explore gender identities in mid-1960s. The table does not only decorate the tavern film set nor is it just the place for the food and drinks to be served; it also becomes a prop for the leading roles. The protagonists dance with the use of it or on it while the viewers/tavern customers sit at their tables and watch them like as if they are judges in a show. The way people act and behave around the table reveals important information about social relationships in Greece, as it will be explained in the following film analyses. ... More
There is no better way to explore Greek Cinema than looking into dinner and lunch times around tables in filmic representations. Taking into consideration that Greek Cinema flourished during the 1960s with the rise of the Old Greek Cinema, this article aims to investigate how people connected and evolved in relation to a piece of furniture, the table, during a period characterized by identity crisis, social and political instability, but, also, a developed cinematic phase. The table is used as a symbol for a better understanding of femininity, masculinity, gender relations, customs, values and traditions as well as a modernized lifestyle. Table rituals and food manners reveal the national traits of Greek society in this specific time period. ... More
It is always a melancholic moment when a TV series concludes its cycle, when the finale is aired and the viewers realize that it is time for them and the favourite characters to go separate ways. Although reruns provide an opportunity for fictional worlds to return and for viewers to become immersed in them again, it’s foregone that the end is definitive. After all, closure is an important part of real-life experience and narrative closure is (often) an organic component of stand-alone or serialized fictions. In that sense, television revivals, i.e. new episodes of TV series that have seemingly concluded their onscreen journey, constitute an almost miraculous spectacle, a Lazarian-style return from the dead that defies the usual order of things and spreads joy to (television) believers. ... More
Nowadays, the globalization of video distribution and the immediate transfer of information laid the foundations of a new audiovisual era, where every work could be presented in different audiences around the world. Even if some countries prefer the method of dubbing foreign films, the most common technique for a work to reach a wider audience is subtitles. ... More
Papakaliatis’s An…/ What If… (2012) belongs to a trend identified by Skopeteas (2005: 147) as ‘postmodernist mainstream Greek Cinema’, which involves the use of intertextual allusion (Skopeteas 2005: 129), while it is also characterized by nostalgia, identified by Tziovas (1993: 259) as one of the characteristics of Greek postmodernism. In What If… both these elements serve a conservative/reactionary ideological function, especially in the way gender relations, but also class and the Greek crisis are represented in Papakaliatis’s film. ... More
According to Fredric Jameson,
Burke’s problem as he confronted […] the sublime was to find some explanation [...] not for our aesthetic pleasure in […] “beauty”, in what could plausibly gratify the human organism on its own scale, but rather for our aesthetic delight in spectacles which would seem symbolically to crush human life and to dramatize everything which reduces the individual human being and the individual subject to powerlessness and nothingness (2016: 235).
Assessing this particular aesthetic experience, Jameson continues, Burke identified a particular connection to being as essential, detecting an ontological link, glimpses of a force that transcends human life. Through the sublime, the subject encounters a barely detectible force, one that generates a sense of acute vulnerability (2016: 236). ... More
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
The appreciation of Greek cinema outside Greece in the recent years, as well as the screening of Greek films in numerous international film festivals around the world (as for instance in Cannes Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival, among others) has resulted in an increase in the demand of Greek films abroad. Ireland is a country that is proving to be fascinated by Greek cinema: Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF), the largest film festival in the country, has hosted a series of Greek films in the past, especially after the emergence of the Greek Weird Wave, but also, the Dublin Greek Film Festival is bringing Greek films to Ireland for the past four years. ... More
With The Queer Greek Weird Wave, Marios Psaras, independent film scholar and filmmaker, contributes to an exponentially rich body of monographs and collective works that concentrate on visual culture, particularly on the field of film text analysis. Psaras’s text is part of the Palgrave Macmillan book series marketed under the title Representing Cultural Change and Crisis, which includes Davina Quinlivan’s Filming the Body: Trauma, Healing and Hopefulness (2015); Gwendolyn Audrey Foster’s Disruptive Feminisms: Raced, Gendered, and Classed Bodies in Film (2016); Kaitlynn Mendes and Kumarini Silva’s Feminist Erasures: Challenging Backlash Culture (2015); and Eleftheria Arapoglou, Yiorgos Kalogeras and Jopi Nyman’s Racial and Ethnic Identities in the Media (2016). The aforementioned projects are among many others that reveal a shift toward the study of cinema as both a product and an agent of change during times of economic precarity, social fragmentation, and instability. ... More
Θα αντισταθώ στον πειρασμό να δω το λογοτεχνικό έργο του Νίκου Νικολαΐδη μέσα από το κινηματογραφικό του και θα επιχειρήσω μια πιο τυπική τοποθέτηση του έργου του στο λογοτεχνικό πεδίο και στη λογοτεχνική παράδοση. Θα τον αντιμετωπίσω δηλαδή ως λογοτέχνη.
Όσο ξεχωριστός κι αν είναι ένας δημιουργός, όσο ριζοσπαστικός ή ιδιοσυγκρασιακός, πάντοτε βρίσκεται σε ισχυρή σύνδεση με την εποχή του. Μπορεί η δράση των έργων του Νικολαΐδη να τοποθετείται στη δεκαετία του ’50 και του ’60, με το ροκ εν ρολ, τη τζαζ, το σινεμά και τα πολιτισμικά σύμβολα της εποχής, όμως τα έργα γράφονται στη μεταπολίτευση. Για παράδειγμα, αν και τα Γουρούνια στον Άνεμο (1992) διαδραματίζονται εν μέσω Χούντας, ο πατέρας του ήρωα είναι αριστερός που κατέληξε βολεμένος δημόσιος υπάλληλος· ο δε ήρωας ένας ανερμάτιστος αντισυστημικός των Εξαρχείων. Ο Νικολαΐδης στο έργο του είναι πάντα καχύποπτος απέναντι στην Αριστερά, σαρκάζει όποτε μπορεί για τους κουλτουριάρηδες αντιστασιακούς της Χούντας κ.ο.κ. Πρόκειται για μια στάση που διακρίνει και επικρίνει τη συστημοποίηση και ιδεολογική κυριαρχία της γενιάς του Πολυτεχνείου κατά την πασοκική δεκαετία του ’80 και του ’90. ... More