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.
2 Constructing the Urban Cinematic Landscape: Theo Angelopoulos’s Thessaloniki (Stavros Alifragkis)
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2 Constructing the Urban Cinematic Landscape: Theo Angelopoulos’s Thessaloniki
It has been generally noted that Theo Angelopoulos’s (1935–2012) landscapes are generated by and, at the same time, constitute projections of an inner, emotional geography, whose fluid coordinates integrate, alter, adjust and render anew the screen spaces that contain them. Angelopoulos was abundantly clear about his intentions: ‘I do not film documentaries; natural or man-made landscapes in my movies are primarily projections of an inner space. First, I seek within myself and then I scout for locations. If the repérage turns out to be unsuccessful, I design and construct this mythical landscape’.1 A close study of these screen spaces, sourced from characteristic excerpts from Angelopoulos’s films, will enable a better understanding of how the renowned Greek filmmaker utilizes his distinct screen language to formulate his idiosyncratic cinematic landscapes. Thus, this chapter places particular emphasis both on the interrelation between the city – as a physical entity – and its architecture and the study of Angelopoulos’s mise-en-scène and framing, so as to draw some initial inferences on their complicity in bestowing meaning to Angelopoulos’s cinematic constructs. This enquiry into Angelopoulos’s urban filmic reconstructions builds on the widely accepted premise that his signature screen language of long shots and long takes creates a fairly concrete cinematic geography, where the protagonists, the props and the various spatial elements of his moving ← 37 | 38 → compositions are elaborately choreographed well inside the pulsating...
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