This collection of new writing on contemporary Greek cinema builds and expands on existing work in the field, providing a coherent analysis of films which, despite their international importance, have so far received limited critical attention. The volume maps key trends in Greek cinema since the 1990s within the wider context of production and consumption at both national and international levels. It offers a wide range of critical analyses of documentary and avant-garde filmmaking, art house and popular cinema, and the work of established and new directors as well as deliberations on teaching methodologies and marketing strategies. The book seeks to highlight the continuities, mutual influences and common contexts that inform, shape and inspire filmmaking in Greece today.
7 No Country for Old Faggots: Exploring Queer Utopias in Panos Koutras’s Strella (Marios Psaras)
Marios Psaras 7 No Country for Old Faggots: Exploring Queer Utopias in Panos Koutras’s Strella The essential function of utopia is a critique of what is present. If we had not already gone beyond the barriers, we could not even perceive them as barriers. —Ernst Bloch1 In Panos H. Koutras’s Strella/A Woman’s Way (2009), the eponymous pro- tagonist’s (Mina Orphanou) final confrontation with her ex-lover Yorgos (Yannis Kokiasmenos), in the film’s penultimate scene, is marked by the latter’s confession that she had made him love her in every possible way a father could have loved his child. Their meeting ends in a kind of silent, yet salient reconciliation. Devastated, but redeemed, Strella leaves the luxuri- ous hotel and wanders about the festively decorated streets of Athens at Christmas, with Tosca playing on the soundtrack, as uniquely performed by the iconic symbol of Greek femininity, Maria Callas. There then follows a series of medium shots of Strella walking past the Christmas lights on the lampposts, with cars passing, and even a garbage truck, while Strella casts blurred glances to the nocturnal, busy streets of the Greek capital, as tears draw bifurcated streams on her androgynous face. Through a series of close-ups and medium shots, the camera is, evidently, fixed and fixated, in this sequence, on Strella’s/Orphanou’s face; an exotic queer face with strong features, long nose, succulent lips, high cheekbones, and big almond eyes emerging as a reflection of the inherently traumatic past of this and 1 Ernst Bloch, The Utopian...
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