Κυριακή, 24 Ιανουαρίου 2016

Against the Dust of Time, we continue...

Theodoros Angelopoulos.
27.4.1935 - 24.1.2012
Theodoros was used to say that his relationship with the cinema started as a nightmare. When he saw a nightmare the night after he watched his first movie. It was a movie of Michael Curtis. In fact his relationship with the cinema, but his life too, came to an end in a truly horrific way at 18:45, the 24th of January of 2012. However it really impressed me, it was a life lesson, how he was facing such an end, because we had already experienced the same thing, in a different way, during the making of another film of his. 
Theo Angelopoulos during the shooting
of the film Ulysses` Gaze. Magnum Photos, 1994
It was December of 1994, during the filming of Ulysses’ Gaze (Το Βλέμμα του Οδυσσέα), when in the room 206 of the hotel Ligos in Florina the room service opened the door and realized that a half-naked mad was lying dead right behind it. We heard her scream. This man was Gian Maria Volontè. The famous Italian actor who was about to play the role that was given afterwards to Erland Josephson in Ulysses’ Gaze and who had just arrived in Florina in order to participate in the filming. The day before, Volontè, in the hotel’s lobby had started to sing old left-wing revolutionary songs. From Avanti Popolo and Bella Ciao ‘til other songs of the resistance and the partisans. His last salute just before leave us late at night... he raised his fist and said: “We don’t surrender, we continue…”  He was referring of course to all these extraordinary changes that took place few years ago and had a tremendous impact internationally, but had affected as well the image and the character of the militant left around the world.

Theo Angelopoulos with Maya Morgenstern
during the shooting of the film « Ulisses`gaze», Magnum photos, 1994
Theo Angelopoulos with Harvey Keitel
during the shooting of the film « Ulysses`gaze», 1994
Theo Angelopoulos with Harvey Keitel and Gian Maria Volonté
during the shooting of the film «Ulysses`gaze», 1994
The reaction of Angelopoulos when he viewed the dead body of Volontè was a silent inner pain and hours of isolation in his room. He didn’t speak; he didn’t want to see anyone. Sometime after many hours called us, his main collaborators, and put to us a simple question. What are we doing now? 
I remember Takis Katselis, his right hand in many of his movies, responding to him in third person despite the fact that was answering straight to him:  I know that Theodor Angelopoulos the day his father died he decided to go filming. So did we back then in Ulysses’ Gaze.  This fact is “wish & curse” and has been transmitted to every one of us who had the chance to make some steps next to him either in weeping meadows or in other seas but for sure for an eternity and a day. THIS. We don’t surrender, we continue! We continue the journey. This is what we learned the most by being next to him. To travel… 

Alexandros Lambridis 

Small Prespa Lake, 7.1.1997
"The journey, the borders, the exile. The human fate. The everlasting return. And not only that. 
All my persistences come in and out in my movies, as come in and out, as they silent in order to reappear later on the instruments of an orchestra." 

 The Prespa Lakes and their surroundings were
 used as background in many of Angelopoulos films 
In memory of the great Greek film director Theodoros Angelopoulos. He lost his life in an accident οn a day like this 4 years ago during the filming of his latest film "The Other Sea"... 

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