Theo Angelopoulos

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zedz
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Theo Angelopoulos

#1 Post by zedz » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:20 pm

THEODOROS ANGELOPOULOS (1935 - )

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"You will have noticed, if you look carefully,
that my films never really end. To me they are
all 'works in progress.' Like building sites."


FILMOGRAPHY

Forminx Story (1965) unfinished rockumentary

The Broadcast / E Ekpombei (1968) short

Reconstruction / Anaparastasis (1970)

Days of '36 / Meres Tou '36 (1972) New Star

The Travelling Players / O Thiasos (1975) New Star

The Hunters / E Kenege (1977)

Alexander the Great / O Megalexandros (1980)

One Village, One Villager / Chorio Ena, Katekos Enas… (1981) television

Athens: Return to the Acropolis / Athena, Epistrophi Stin Akropoli (1983) television

Voyage to Cythera / Taxidi Sta Kithira (1983)

The Beekeeper / O Melissokosmos (1986)

Landscape in the Mist / Topo Stin Omichli (1988) New Star

The Suspended Step of the Stork /To Meteoro Vima Tou Pelargou (1991) New Star

Ulysses' Gaze / To Vlemma Tou Odyssea (1995) New Star / Madman

Eternity and a Day / Mia Eoniotita Ke Mia Mera (1998) New Star / New Yorker / Madman

Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow /Trilogia: To Livadi pou dakryzei (2004) New Star / New Yorker / Artificial Eye

To Each His Own Cinema / Chacun Son Cinema (‘Trois minutes’ segment) Madman

The Dust of Time / I Skoni tou hronou (2008)


RECOMMENDED WEB RESOURCES

Official Website

Senses of Cinema bio by Acquarello

Strictly Film School reviews

Film Comment interview (1998)

Angelopoulos Internet Library (links to articles, reviews, interviews)

Angelopoulos’ Gaze (Senses of Cinema article by Bill Mousoulis)

Precarious Boundaries (analysis of Ulysses’ Gaze by Anne Rutherford)

NFT interview (2003)

Time Out interview (2005)

In the Shadow of Love (Vertigo article by Geoff Andrew)

Greek Myths (New Statesman article by Jonathan Romney)

Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow review by Andrew Tracy (Cinema Scope)

Theo Angelopoulos' Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow (brief House Next Door article by Matt Zoller Seitz)

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zedz
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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#2 Post by zedz » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:41 pm

I was looking for somewhere to post comments on Landscape in the Mist, and realised there was no filmmaker thread for Angelopoulos, so here you go. There's been a bit of dicsussion of his work in other places on the forum (particularly in connection with the Lists Project), so feel free to copy anything you've said over there here.

Landscape in the Mist - As promised, this is major Angelopoulos, with none of the shortcomings that leave me unsatisfied with some of his later works. Once again, there's an inconclusive journey, patterned with interruptions, and those travelling players are still trying to do justice of Golfo the Shepherdess, but Angelopoulos' mode here is that of a fable or fairy tale. That simplicity / openness of structure accommodates mood shifts into the fantastic (the children's magical escape while the adults are transfixed by a snowfall), the horrific (the harrowing slow track in on the back of the truck) and the metaphysical (the enshrouded conclusion) much more easily than the more ambitious, lumpier narrative / symbolic constructions of Ulysses' Gaze and Eternity and a Day.

So many breathtaking sequences - the emergence of an enormous stone hand from a harbour is a real Angelopoulos moment, and its treatment here show off his similarities and differences with Fellini, who treats similar material in La dolce vita and Casanova to quite different effect - but in this film they sit comfortably within the slender, dream-like narrative throughline.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#3 Post by menthymenthy » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:43 am

Angelopoulos is one of my favourites. I find his films like dreams, that I just immerse myself in and can't escape.

Landscape in the Mist and The Bee-Keeper are my easy favourites. They're just so beautiful.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#4 Post by Don Lope de Aguirre » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:13 pm

Fantastic post and a quite startling omission - until now! He really is a grandmaster. I have given up on New Star delivering the missing titles on DVD (after so many false promises)... With his extensive use of deep focus photography, we really need to see Angelopoulos on Blu Ray!

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#5 Post by foggy eyes » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:30 am

I hope you don't mind, zedz, but I've used my mod privileges to add half a dozen more links (which I think are definitely worth a look - particularly the NFT interview) to your original post...

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zedz
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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#6 Post by zedz » Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:18 pm

foggy eyes wrote:I hope you don't mind, zedz, but I've used my mod privileges to add half a dozen more links (which I think are definitely worth a look - particularly the NFT interview) to your original post...
Heavens, no, the more the merrier.

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zedz
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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#7 Post by zedz » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:01 pm

The Suspended Step of the Stork

This seems to me effortlessly Angelopoulos best film of the 90s. The film has all the stylistic virtues of Ulysses’ Gaze and Eternity and a Day but far fewer of their detractions / distractions: rickety thematic apparati, overloaded symbolism, clunky exposition, poorly integrated set pieces.

I think one of the keys to the success of this film is that Angelopoulos has hit upon a subject that ideally suits his thematic preoccupations. He tends to structure his films around journeys that never reach their explicit destination, through a pattern of interruptions and repetitions, and is preoccupied with borders and transitions: spatial, political, temporal or metaphysical, but generally all of those and more (which is why his films risk becoming thematically overburdened).

In The Suspended Step of the Stork, whose titular event / image of a person poised mid-step before armed guards at a border crossing neatly synthesises a suspension between states in at least three senses ('state' as geopolitical entity, 'state' as personal legal status and 'state' as living or dead), the consideration of refugees in the bureaucratic limbo of a border town finesses many of the director's concerns. The refugees are physically, politically and legally isolated, and ‘crossing over’ the physical border involves a drastic change of status and the very real risk of death.

Piled onto this, but in a relatively organic way, are more specific transitional states represented by the largely symbolic marriage of a young girl and the shifting identity of the character played by Marcello Mastroianni, who seems to be the only character ultimately capable of moving between the many states contemplated by the film. At the point that Jeanne Moreau finally confronts her long-lost husband (Mastroianni), she turns to us and explains plainly, “it’s not him,” but since she had previously noted that, the last time she’d seen him, he was in the process of “turning into somebody else,” this statement has its own depths of ambiguity.

So, for the most part, this film manages to dovetail beautifully the metaphorical / metaphysical significances that threaten to overload some of Angelopoulos' other films. The only element that seems a little shaky to me is the ‘filmmaker angst’ one: the whiff of narcissism invariably weakens Angelopoulos’ films. Gregory Karr’s performance as the journalist is also a bit of a weak point, especially when he’s performing in too-actorly English.

But the set pieces, when they come, blow all such concerns away. The climactic riverbank wedding is a tour-de-force. The complex, multi-plane action is staged like Jancso but shot as pure Angelopoulos, with slow, penetrating zooms exploring the landscape. You can feel the chill of the morning air.

I also loved the matched plans-sequences which focus on Jeanne Moreau’s relationship with the film crew, one beside a motorway at night and the other in the border town when she finally encounters Mastroianni. In both cases, the physical movement in depth gives way to a view of the interior of the filmmakers' van, where we can see the action doubled on video. It’s an ingenious way of affording Moreau a couple of privileged (and quite essential) close-ups without violating the director’s rigorous long-shot aesthetic.

And finally, there’s the magnificent closing shot which features Angelopoulos’ characteristic yellow-boiler-suited workmen incongruously converting the film’s unadorned landscape into some kind of bizarre art installation. It’s definitely a WTF moment, and arguably over-reaching and pretentious, but the formal effect is so striking I’ll give it a pass.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#8 Post by denti alligator » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:09 am

Thanks for your thoughts zedz. I have always loved this film. I first saw it on the big screen dubbed in German in a near-empty lecture hall at the university in Dresden.

That final scene is for me one of the most powerful in the film, especially in its symbolic resonances. The workers are setting up telephone lines, but these are running only along one side of the river/border. It emphasizes one of the film's persistent themes of our constant efforts to establish communication with others that will only ever run laterally, but never actually across those crucial borders needed to make real connections. In sum: it's a metaphor of our always-already failed intersubjectivity.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#9 Post by Barmy » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:33 pm

I wonder if this image (which may be the back cover of the 7-DVD boxset) implies that the other 5 are forthcoming.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#10 Post by zedz » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:01 pm

This looks very promising! Does the "7 DVD boxset" just collect the already released titles, and is it out or just forthcoming / rumoured?

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#11 Post by domino harvey » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:02 pm

English subs?

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zedz
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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#12 Post by zedz » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:24 pm

domino harvey wrote:English subs?
All the existing New Star Angelopoulos titles have English subs (well there are three I don't have, but all the other ones do). I found a seller on eBay who had them all available with reasonable shipping late last year.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#13 Post by Barmy » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:44 pm

The 7 DVD boxset is available on eBay, but it's the 7 films that are already available. Still a good deal if you don't have any of them.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#14 Post by knives » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:50 pm

I just introduced myself to this master today with The Beekeeper and I'm a little dumbfounded. I eventually found my footing with this and managed to really enjoy it, though I'm at a loss for ideas. I really do wish the AE disc had come at least with an eclipse like page to contextualize things(it's to my understanding that this is the second in a loose trilogy, right). Even with my ignorance overshadowing the experience though I have found myself falling in love. The film is unlike anything from the '80s I've seen. It is more akin to my experience with '70s films really. Of course I mean that as a compliment and I;m glad to find such a strong character piece. The moment that really made me a convert was about thirty minutes in when they walk by the smokestacks. I don't know why, but that image spoke to me in just the right way. I may not understand what the purpose of the film is, but even on the surface it seems to have a lot of depth.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#15 Post by John Cope » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:02 pm

The Beekeeper is the second part of Angelopoulos' self-described Trilogy of Silence (starting with Cythera and ending with Landscape). I've always liked it and appreciated it primarily for its atypical qualities. Formally and aesthetically it's very similar to the rest of his mature work but otherwise its not that representative (just as I'm Going Home is not all that representative of Oliveira but is formally of a piece with the rest). Its empahasis on character and psychology sets it apart, though obviously Angelopoulos does excellent, incisive work here and does situate all this into the specifics of a certain socio-cultural historical frame.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#16 Post by knives » Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:03 am

Sadly I haven't chanced upon de Oliveira yet(though when the Cinema Guild DVDs are cheap I'll snatch things right up). I do agree heartily with you on the one thing I'm presently aware of though. It helped so much that he builds the world of the characters. Without those sort of landmarks as a guide I think I would be even more lost and not able to realize how wonderful the film could be. Too bad the Greek DVDs are OOP and ridiculously expensive. At least there's a little pool that's easy to pick from.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#17 Post by porcupine2 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:39 am

Hello,
I've got a trivial question about The Beekeeper - but it really bugs me. What is the song which plays on the jukebox, it's in English and it sounds like a kind of country power ballad. Google searches for the lyrics bring back nothing. The lyrics tie in to the film's theme very directly - so possibly the song was created for the film?

The appearance of pop music in Angelopoulos films is interesting - it tends to be disconnection / allied to spontaneity - in the bar in Landscape in the Mist, in the streets in Ulysses' Gaze, here in The Beekeeper, whereas Karaindrou's music often seems like popular music beautifully re-orchestrated.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#18 Post by John Cope » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:41 pm

porcupine2 wrote:I've got a trivial question about The Beekeeper - but it really bugs me. What is the song which plays on the jukebox, it's in English and it sounds like a kind of country power ballad.
I'll Hit the Roads by Julie Massino. It's on the official soundtrack album. Whether it was created specifically for the film I have no idea.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#19 Post by Stefan Andersson » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:22 am

New French-language article with some brief info about content and shooting of The Other Sea:

http://www.lemonde.fr/cinema/article/20 ... _3476.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

More info, in English:
http://cineuropa.org/2011/nw.aspx?t=new ... did=212418" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

BTW, in an early 1980s issue of Sight & Sound I found a brief mention of Angelopoulos´ plans to film a novel by Costas Taktsis, called The Third Wreath in the article. The film was never made. I think it is this novel:
http://openlibrary.org/works/OL10689104 ... ing_wreath" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by Stefan Andersson on Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#20 Post by stroszeck » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:12 pm

I still can't believe Angelopolous died in the middle of making a movie. What a tragic loss. At this point, all of the few last films he's made have gone OOP in R1 land. I'm surprised his films haven't found proper releases in the States yet, as he's a giant in Greek cinema.

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Re: Theo Angelopoulos

#21 Post by andyli » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:25 pm

Four Angelopoulos films are heading to blu-ray in Japan on 4/28. They are Voyage to Cythera, Landscape in the Mist, Eternity and a Day and The Weeping Meadow. All are labeled as newly tranfered by Director and are already available for pre-order on amazon.co.jp.

On the same day Kusturica's Underground is also being issued on blu-ray by Kinokuniya.

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