Feb 22, 2012

26th Feb 2010; Theo Angelopaulos' Landscape in the Mist

Konangal pays tribute to the epic poet of cinema

Landscape in The Mist
A film by Theo Angelopoulos
Country: Greece
Year: 1988
Runtime: 127 minutes
Greek with English subtitles
26th Feb 2012; 5.45 pm
Perks Mini Theater

"In the beginning was the darkness. And then there was light..." Every evening, Voula (Tania Palaiologou) begins to tell her younger brother, Alexander (Michalis Zeke), the same bedtime tale - the story of creation - and is invariably interrupted by the approach of their distant mother as she momentary peers through the door to ensure that they have fallen asleep. It is an appropriate preface for the children's own unresolved story of their origin, as they attempt to unravel the mystery of their father's identity.Each day, they walk to the train station and attempt to stow away on a German-bound train to reunite with their unknown father who, their mother explains, lives in Germany. The children compose letters to their absent father in their thoughts, and await his response in their dreams. Alexander believes that their long-awaited reunion is near, and one day, the children succeed in boarding the train.Landscape in the Mist is a poignant, lyrical, and allegorical fable on the human struggle for identity and connection. Theo Angelopoulos expounds on the transient, yet cyclical process of life as the common, universal bridge of human experience: the image of a dying horse on the snow, juxtaposed against a wedding celebration; Orestes' departure from his family vocation to join the military, the odd image of a large statue hand rising from the sea that metaphorically connects the cultural legacy of ancient Greek civilization to contemporary Greece.Like the symbolic, disembodied sculptured hand, the children, too, are incomplete - severed from their heritage by being denied a relationship with their father. In the haunting, surreal final scene, the children embrace a surrogate connection to their ancestral history - a universal icon that binds all humanity towards a shared purpose of survival and continuity - an enduring symbol of nature and life. (from Internet)


Theodoros Angelopoulos (born 27 April 1935) is a celebrated Greek film director.
Angelopoulos studied law in Athens, but after his military service went to Paris to attend the Sorbonne. He soon dropped out to study film at the IDHEC (Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies) before returning to Greece. There, he worked as a journalist and film critic.
Angelopoulos began making films after the 1967 coup that began the Greek military dictatorship known as the Regime of the Colonels. He made his first short film in 1968 and in the 1970s began making a series of political feature films about modern Greece: Days of '36 (Meres Tou 36, 1972), The Travelling Players (O Thiassos, 1975) and The Hunters (I Kynighoi, 1977). He quickly established a characteristic style, marked by slow, episodic and ambiguous narrative structures and long takes (The Travelling Players, for example, consists of only 80 shots in about four hours of film). These takes often include meticulously choreographed and complicated scenes involving many actors.
Angelopoulos has made 19 films so far. His regular collaborators include the cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis, and the composer Eleni Karaindrou.
At the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, during which Angelopoulos received the coveted Palme d'Or for Eternity and a Day, the filmmaker remarked, "I belong to a generation slowly coming to the end of our careers". Nevertheless, despite his seemingly resigned statement, he continues to work diligently at his craft, having begun filming the first installment of an ambitious, large-scale romantic trilogy on the star-crossed destiny of two people from Odessa during the early part of the 20th century. The century-spanning, international three-part epic—the latest chapter in Angelopoulos' evolving, 'work in progress' oeuvre—is scheduled for completion in 2004.

Theo Angelopoulos died at the age of 76 in a road accident while shooting his latest film in Greece.

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