08 19 Oct '24
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Theo Angelopoulos

Landscape in the Mist (Topio stin omihli)

Edition 2021
127' - 1988 - Drama - Dialogue: Greek
Director: Theo Angelopoulos Composer: Eleni Karaindrou With: Michalis Zeke, Tania Palaiologou, Stratos Tzortzoglou
LANDSCAPE IN THE MIST is a film about the void. It is a film about despair, about the failure of contemporary society. The prodigal father who figures in almost every Angelopoulos film here has evaporated into his mythical essence - leaving his children to become the wanderers in search of him. In the "chaos", two children appear, little Alexandros and his older sister Voula. In order to exorcise their loneliness, they invent a secret universe for themselves, inhabited by their dreams. Every night they go to a train station to watch the departure of a train to Germany, where they have been deceived by their mother (herself an off-screen presence) into believing that their absent father is living. One night they finally dare to get on the train. But their voyage turns out to be hazardous and pointless and disappointing. They confront suffering, physical and moral illness, jealousy, evil and death, if also love - as many ordeals and rites as initiations. Evading the half-hearted pursuit of the police and uncaring relatives, sneak onto trains, hitchhike in vans and lorries, and suffering poverty, rape and exploitation, take a dangerous leap of faith, an eerie plunge into liberation and danger. The familiar Greek landscape - the cafes, the depopulated towns and deserted beaches - are played for a strangely harsh fairytale quality, seen through the eyes of two children whose introduction to the real world borders on the surreal. The film is filled with extraordinary, unforgettable moments that are at once real and hallucinatory and contains intriguing references to other Angelopoulos' films. The children even encounter the Travelling Players now, thirteen years later, without a stage to act on, their costumes put up for sale. At the end Alexandros tells Voula the same story from Genesis that she told him at the start: "In the beginning there was chaos." The children do finally reach the border, but of course there is no border with Germany and perhaps the river they cross is actually the Styx and perhaps their whole journey was a search for order in a chaotic world.
“Belongs to a stately modernist tradition that embraces figures as divergent as Michelangelo Antonioni, Robert Bresson and Wim Wenders. (...) There are sights in the film that once seen cannot be forgotten.” - The New York Times

With support of

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Credits

Director

Theo Angelopoulos

Composer

Eleni Karaindrou

With

Michalis Zeke, Tania Palaiologou, Stratos Tzortzoglou

Scenario

Theo Angelopoulos, Tonino Guerra, Thanassis Valtinos

Director of Photography

Giorgos Arvanitis

Editor

Yannis Tsitsopoulos

Producer

Theo Angelopoulos, Eric Heumann, Amedeo Pagani, Stéphane Sorlat

Production studios

Basic Cinematografica, Rai Due

More information

Dialogue

Greek

Countries of production

Italy, Greece, France

Year

1988

Filmography

Theo Angelopoulos
Forminx Story (1965), Broadcast (short, 1968), Anaparastasi (1970), Days of '36 (1972), The Travelling Players (1975), The Hunters (1977), Alexander the Great (1980), Athens, Return to the Acropolis (1983), Voyage to Cythera (1984), The Beekeeper (1986), Landscape in the Mist (1988), The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991), Ulysses' Gaze (1995), Eternity and a Day (1998), Trilogy I: The Weeping Meadow (2004), Trilogy II: The Dust of Time (2008), Mundo Invisível (segment, 2012)

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