12 23 oct '21

FFG2021 presents full oeuvre of Greek master of cinema Theo Angelopoulos

Still Landscape in the Mist
News 09 Jun 2021

The 48th edition of Film Fest Ghent takes you on a trip to Greece, the country of myths and legends. The festival will celebrate the best of contemporary Greek cinema, the short films of Jacqueline Lentzou and the Greek maestros of film music. This year's programme also features the majestic cinema of one of the European greats: FFG2021 brings a unique, full retrospective of the films of Theo Angelopoulos.

EN Visual Theo Angelopoulos retrospective - Classics FFG2021

Besides screenings of new gems of international cinema and exclusive Belgian premieres, Film Fest Ghent has an annual series of Classics, curated by Patrick Duynslaegher. As part of the focus on Greek cinema, the festival presents a full retrospective (with the exception of shorts) of the films by auteur Theo Angelopoulos, who passed away in 2012. The retrospective is a first for Belgium. For the first time, all films by Angelopoulos - including a mid-length documentary about Athens - will be brought together in one programme.

Theo Angelopoulos was born in Athens in 1935 and grew up in a country torn apart and paralysed by conflict, whether it was WWII, the Greek Civil War or the military junta. His work was infused with this historical upheaval and political conflict, giving his films a distinctive style. After studying in Athens and Paris, he returned to Greece to work as a journalist and film critic. In 1970, Angelopoulos made his feature film debut Anaparastasi, about the mass emigration and social crisis following WWII. With a trilogy about Greece's modern history, he further established himself as the most important Greek filmmaker. Angelopoulos won two Silver Lions at the Venice Film Festival (for Alexander the Great and Landscape in the Mist). At Cannes, he finally won the Palme d'Or with Eternity and a Day, after multiple selections and jury prizes. Following his win in Cannes, Angelopoulos made two more films in an unfinished trilogy on the crisis in modern-day Greece.

For decades, Theo Angelopoulos was a synonym for Greek cinema. His films are possessed by an idiosyncratic cinephile stamp. His style was eloquent and recognisable. With breathtaking plan-séquences and its elaborate scenes in the rain, snow or mist, Angelopoulos' filmography represents a unique body of work. Sequences such as the snow scene at the police station in Landscape in the Mist, the wedding scene in The Suspended Step of the Stork or every shot in The Travelling Players show his gift for the hauntingly beautiful. Poetic, distinctive, patient and layered: words that perfectly sum up Angelopoulos' style. By interweaving past and present, he highlighted the complex and conflict-ridden history of his country. It was the prism through which Angelopoulos examined the Greek cultural identity. For the year in which Greek cinema is our focus, there can be no filmmaker who better epitomises that nation's achievements than Angelopoulos.

Greek history and the ancient Greek myths are two fundamental elements in Angelopoulos' films, resulting in complex works about the social and political state of Greece. Which is why Film Fest Ghent is publishing an additional programme booklet (in Dutch). Curator Patrick Duynslaegher introduces Theo Angelopoulos and offers a timeline of important historical events referenced in his films.

Classics l Theo Angelopoulos #retrospective

  • 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)

  • The Weeping Meadow (2004)

  • The Dust of Time (2008)

ELENI KARAINDROU press 4 copyright Pepi Loulakaki
© Pepi Loulakaki

The composer of most of Theo Angelopoulos' films will also be celebrated at the 48th edition of Film Fest Ghent. Eleni Karaindrou will be one of the central guests at the WSA Ceremony & Concert and will accompany the Brussels Philharmonic on piano to perform film music from The Suspended Step of the Stork, The Weeping Meadow, Eternity and a Day en The Dust of Time. We are honoured to announce she will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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