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Theodoros Angelopoulos Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (17)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 17 April 1935Athens, Greece
Date of Death 24 January 2012Piraeus, Greece  (road accident)
Birth NameTheodoros Angelopoulos
Nickname Theo

Mini Bio (1)

Theo Angelopoulos began to study law in Athens but broke up his studies to go to the Sorbonne in Paris in order to study literature. When he had finished his studies, he wanted to attend the School of Cinema at Paris but decided instead to go back to Greece. There he worked as a journalist and critic for the newspaper "Demokratiki Allaghi" until it was banned by the military after a coup d'état. Now unemployed, he decided to make his first movie, Reconstruction (1970). Internationally successful was his trilogy about the history of Greece from 1930 to 1970 consisting of Days of 36 (1972), The Travelling Players (1975), and The Hunters (1977). After the end of the dictatorship in Greece, Angelopoulos went to Italy, where he worked with RAI (and more money). His movies then became less political.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Volker Boehm

Spouse (1)

Phoebe Economopoulou (1980 - 24 January 2012) (his death) (3 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Extremely long, elaborately staged takes
Shots in his films often drift back and forth in time
Often shoots with rainy, wintry and moody weather in provincial Greece
Uses long, static takes combined with complex tracking shots and beautiful landscape photography.

Trivia (6)

Former student at L'IDHEC (La FEMIS).
Biography in John Wakeman, editor, "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985," pp. 55-59. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1978
Worked frequently with composer Eleni Karaindrou.
Often worked with cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis and Andreas Sinanos, composer Eleni Karaindrou, sound mixer Thanassis Arvanitis, set designer Mikes Karapiperis, writers Tonino Guerra, Petros Markaris, Thanassis Valtinos and film editor Giorgos Triandafyllou.

Personal Quotes (17)

Women more than men are tragic figures. My mother, for example, was Antigone at times or Hecuba other times. In her life she played different roles.
Prizes are prizes, but I still need to tell that story. And being simple is the hardest thing.
In Voyage to Cythera (1984) the voyage is really a reworking of the myth of the Return of Odysseus according to a myth which preceded Homer. Similar to Dante's version, there is a pre-Homeric version that Odysseus set sail again after reaching Ithaca. So the film becomes more a leaving than a homecoming. I have a soft spot for the ancient writings. There really is nothing new. We are all just revising and reconsidering ideas that the ancients first treated.
For all of the difficulties, all the frustrations and hardships, filmmaking is, finally, a human adventure...
Alexander the Great (1980) involves the transformation of a person into a tyrant. It does not aim only at the phenomenon of fascism or of Stalinism, but also any type of power. The view expressed in Alexander the Great is that of the danger of the transformation of any authority or power, regardless of how good its intentions were at the beginning, into despotism.
The Hunters (1977) reflects how a man of my generation sees Greek history, a history whose continuation blends with the years of my own life. It is a study of the historical conscience of the Greek bourgeoisie. In Greece, the ruling class is afraid of history and, for this reason, hides it. The Hunters starts from this premise.
[on The Travelling Players (1975)] Greek people have grown up caressing dead stones. I've tried to bring mythology down from the heights and directly to the people.
[on Days of 36 (1972)] The dictatorship is embodied in the formal structure of the film. Imposed silence was one of the conditions under which we worked. The film is... made in such a way that the spectator realizes that censorship is involved.
What do I want to happen? I simply want our life here to become more human. We need to return to those places to find much of what is still important and authentic to our lives.
[on Ulysses' Gaze (1995)] Every filmmaker remembers the first time he looked through the viewfinder of a camera. It is a moment which is not so much the discovery of cinema but the discovery of the world. But there comes a moment when the filmmaker begins to doubt his own capacity to see things, when he no longer knows if his gaze is right and innocent.
[on The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991)] In dealing with borders, boundaries, the mixing of languages and cultures today, I am trying to seek a new humanism, a new way.
Landscape in the Mist (1988) is not just about two children looking for their father. It is a journey which is the initiation into life. On the road they learn everything - love and death, lies and truth, beauty and destruction. The journey is simply a way to focus on what life gives us all.
[on The Beekeeper (1986)] It's a gesture of despair at the end, but at the moment when he tips over the beehives, he tries to communicate by tapping on the ground in the way that prisoners tap. Because he's a prisoner of a situation and he tries to communicate with past events.... Beekeepers are poetic beings. They have a rapport with nature, and the gathering of honey is like an artistic activity. He communicates with feelings, and at the end he cannot continue that communication. His final despairing gesture is directed also against the bees themselves, like a sculptor would die by toppling his statue onto himself.
[on winning the Jury Prize at Cannes for his work in Ulysses' Gaze (1995) and disappointed for not winning the Palme d'Or] If this is what you have to give me, I have nothing to say.
[accepting the Palme d'Or at Cannes for Eternity and a Day (1998) and referring to his acceptance speech for Ulysses' Gaze (1995)] If I had not won, I would have made the same speech.
[on the impact of winning the Palme d'Or on his career] Contrary to what one would have thought, financing of my next projects proved more difficult than before winning. It could however be that that is the result of changes in the film production patterns in Europe where it would seem that, more and more, the tendency is to favour what, in financial terms, is considered a product.
Cinema is not in advance of the public any more. It follows. Serious film criticism is slowly dying. I cannot foresee what the cinema will be like tomorrow, the course seems uncertain. (2007)

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