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Eternity and Theo Angelopoulos

27 January 2012 / 22:01:48  GRReporter
3709 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

It was a cold winter day when Theo Angelopoulos began his "voyage to Cythera." It was a sad irony that on that very day the shooting of his latest film The Other Sea was due to take place which included the shooting of a symbolic funeral. There was no rain, or fog, but the members of the crew pitched black umbrellas for luck, as in the films Ulysses’ Gaze and The Suspended Step of the Stork.

His family and thousands of relatives, friends and ordinary citizens filled the front yard of the church in the central Athens cemetery to honour the world famous filmmaker for the last time. Movie camera tracks were placed in the lane between them while his daughter Eleni, a filmmaker too, was documenting the last journey of her father.

"I feel too small to say anything about this giant. He was an ambassador to our country to the whole world with his philosophy, poetry and art. Keeping this person in our minds, we must remember that the Greeks should not be reviled in this way by everyone else. Because we have given a lot to this world and we will give more. Theodoros Angelopoulos was a gentle intellectual who will remain in our memory. His characteristic images were the picture of Greece. He was just more poetic than us, prosaic everyday people," said actor Yannis Zouganelis.

"Theodoros was a great teacher and working with him was a continuous training. He gave himself entirely to his work. While we were walking, while in the car, he was speaking of his frames everywhere. He was the man who planned them and decided how to make them, but he was always interested in the opinion of the whole team. He was a wonderful collaborator and, although I have worked with many directors, I have not met a person more dialectic than him. He was strict with his frames, however, there was something very specific in him," said director Dimitris Kitsikoudis for GRReporter. He has worked with him in the film Eternity and a Day, for which Theodoros Angelopoulos was awarded the Golden Palm of Cannes Film Festival in 1998.

During the funeral service, friends and associates of the filmmaker recited poems and sang his favourite folk song. The main character in his latest film Tony Servillo thanked Theodoros Angelopoulos for "the good fortune to act in his works" on behalf of dozens of stars of world cinema. Among them are Marcello Mastroianni, Jeanne Moreau, Harvey Keitel, Willem Dafoe and the list goes on.

"Today, Athenians said their final goodbyes to the great artist Theodoros Angelopoulos, who honoured Greece and remains a source of inspiration to us all. His aesthetics, resilience, tenderness, and his great art have placed Greece very high – where it is supposed to be. We cannot fill the gap, but it must drive us to new achievements. The last frame of Theodoros was not yesterday. He will continue to be among us, and we are the ones who will create him," said writer Manolis Tsakiris, a close friend and collaborator of the filmmaker in his last four films. "His favourite friends were next to him until the last minute. I had the special privilege of meeting him frequently to discuss many things with him. He was telling me about his friendship with Akira Kurosawa, Michelangelo Antonioni, Andrei Tarkovsky. I keep these stories as an amulet in my heart and soul. He made our lives rich; he made Greece rich in such a hard age. I hope and am convinced that his children and friends will finish the film and that it will be successful and will bring Greece a new Golden Palm now, when it needs it more than ever."
 
In his lifetime, Theodoros Angelopoulos said he does nothing else but recreate his own biography through the things that impress him. His admirers considered his specific, slow and minutely detailed pictures his characteristic images. So they sent him - in the shadow at the end of the day, with endless applause for one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20th century.

Tags: CinemaTheo AngelopoulosFuneralThe Other SeaEternety and a Day
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