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.
Introduction (Tonia Kazakopoulou)
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The journey of this book began in early July 2013 at the international conference Contemporary Greek Film Cultures in London. And while it has since become a separate entity from the conference, the book has retained the name and heritage of that event.1 There are three constitutive elements to the naming of the conference and subsequently the book: contemporary, Greek film, and film cultures. Moreover, this book marks the early 1990s as the departure point of Greek cinema into its ‘contemporary’ phase, following from the preceding periods of ‘New Greek Cinema’ of the 1970s and 1980s and ‘Old Greek Cinema’ before that. Needless to say that these few opening lines are a minefield of terms, concepts and historical demarcations one needs to navigate carefully.
It is contemporary no more, this latest phase of Greek cinema. In temporal terms at least. As Lydia Papadimitriou has noted, using ‘the term “contemporary” to characterize this period is undoubtedly problematic as this is clearly a temporary temporal designation – what is contemporary now will soon cease to be so’.2 However, apart from its strictly temporal designation ← xiii | xiv → and a discussion with wider implications about periodization in Greek film history, the conceptualization of the ‘contemporary’ in Contemporary Greek Film Cultures can be flexible, and used as an umbrella term for all the films produced after 1990 and to the present, as well as to describe Greek cinema as it develops. In other words,...
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