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.
6 In the Name of the Father: Rituals of Gender and Democracy in Olga Malea’s First Time Godfather (Tonia Kazakopoulou)
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6 In the Name of the Father: Rituals of Gender and Democracy in Olga Malea’s First Time Godfather
This chapter analyses Olga Malea’s last comedy to date, Proti Fora Nonos/First Time Godfather (2007),1 and the director’s use of comedic strategies, which locate patriarchy at the centre of national discourses and at the very heart of Greece’s cultural heritage and socio-political systems. The director examines an important moment in the history of the contemporary Greek state (the early 1960s), when traditional modes of living and organizing power were beginning to be challenged by new models of democracy in the formation of a national political discourse. The main character in the film is a young boy, Alex (Tex Pardue), who wants to go out for a ride with his father, a prominent politician (archigos, translated as Chief). Before the ride can take place, Alex needs to perform a mission: he has to go to Crete to participate in a baptism on his father’s behalf, as the godfather to a baby girl, the daughter of a political ally. After the Christening, Alex is to deliver his father’s speech, in order to secure votes for the cause of democracy, as represented by his father’s party. Indeed, the film begins and ends with the highlighting of the importance of ‘words, speeches’, of discourse; and the use and choice of language is a key factor in determining the success of Alex’s endeavour.
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