TIFF, whose 63rd edition will take place from 3 to 13 November, will pay tribute in Thessaloniki to Greek director Theodoros Angelopoulos on the tenth anniversary of his death. This tribute to the innovative and prolific Greek filmmaker who left his mark on the history of cinema will take the form of several events: two large-scale exhibitions spanning his early to late career, the screening of his first film, Reconstruction (Anaparastasi, 1970), plus a documentary that unveils a fascinating conversation between the director and his colleague Nikos Panayotopoulos, as well as a pioneering dual-language edition that delves into the power and mystery of Angelopoulos’ cinematic images, are the main pillars of the tribute.
The central concept of this year’s Festival is “reconstruction”, which consolidates and expresses how we capture the world around us. It is a notion that lies at the heart of the Greek festival, which, as in Angelopoulos’ films, is identified with the human vision of reality and life itself. The main exhibition of the Festival will be held at the MOMus-Experimental Center for the Arts (one of the cultural facilities of the port of Thessaloniki) and will be open until 27 November. It will then move to Athens, where it will be hosted by The Project Gallery, from 20 December to 28 January. Entitled Anaparastasi: Reconstruction, Reenactment, Reconstitution, the exhibition explores the different variations and versions of the concept, where twelve Greek and foreign visual artists take inspiration from director Angelopoulos’ debut and contemplate the form, content and limits of the reconstruction process: Larry Amponsah, Dimitris Anastasiou, Antonis Donef, Eirene Efstathiou, Andrew Pierre Hart, the artistic duo Hippolyte Hentgen (Lina Hentgen – Gaëlle Hippolyte), Magdalena Karpinska, Natalia Manta, Asako Masunouchi, Vivi Papadimitriou and Antonis Theodoridis.
The second exhibition paying tribute to Theo Angelopoulos is entitled“The ‘Sea’ in the Port and is based on the photographs Nikos Nikolopoulos took on the set of the film The Other Sea, during the shooting of which the director died ten years ago. The photographer’s works show the core of Angelopoulos’ artistic act and vision, shedding light on unpublished aspects and moments. The exhibition also provides an enormous interest factor by awakening our imagination about an unknown and unfinished film. The exhibition will take place in an iconic location, the former nursery station at the port of Thessaloniki, which appears in several of the director’s works, from Voyage to Cythera and Landscape in the Mist to Ulysses’ Gaze and Eternity and a Day, and symbolises the completion of the homecoming, the reconstruction of a locus that was left half-finished, the repatriation of the gaze. The architectural design of the exhibition has been carried out by Maria Maneta, while Orestis Andreadakis —director of the Festival— has curated both exhibitions, which will open on Saturday 5 November.
One of the most interesting initiatives of the tribute to the director, because of the popular and inclusive dimension it implies, is the universally accessible screening of the film Reconstruction, which the Thessaloniki audience will be able to enjoy on the big screen, accompanied by audio-description for the blind and visually impaired and subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. The film, starring Toula Stathopoulou, Yannis Totsikas and Thanos Grammenos, with a screenplay by Angelopoulos himself, is a benchmark of new Greek cinema and won five awards at the 11th Thessaloniki Film Festival (Best Art Film, Best Debut Director for Theo Angelopoulos, Best Cinematography for Yorgos Arvanitis, Best Supporting Actress for Toula Stathopoulou, Critics’ Prize for Best Feature Film), as well as a FIPRESCI Special Mention at the Berlinale. Set in the village of Tymphaea (Epirus), the story follows the return of an immigrant from Germany who is murdered by his wife and her lover. The story unfolds through a series of different investigations that bring to the surface the sociological framework at the heart of the story, but also the dramatic social reality of the village, which remains an open wound.
The 63rd Festival will also screen the film To Each Their Voice; Theo Angelopoulos & Nikos Panayotopoulos, directed by Antonis Kokkinos and Yannis Soldatos, which reveals an unknown and fascinating conversation. One summer night in the 1980s, Kokkinos and Soldatos met the two directors at Angelopoulos’ home in Mati and recorded a three-hour discussion between the two filmmakers. Unfortunately, the interview was never published. 35 years later, the tapes and the transcript, a rare and precious document on the work of two prolific filmmakers, Greek cinema and the seventh art as a whole are coming to light.
*Information provided by the festival’s press office.