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Ulysses' Gaze (1995)
"To vlemma tou Odyssea" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, War  |  1 November 1997 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 4,047 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 24 critic

A, a Greek filmmaker living in exile in the United States, returns to his native Ptolemas to attend a special screening of one of his extremely controversial films. But A's real interest ... See full summary »

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Title: Ulysses' Gaze (1995)

Ulysses' Gaze (1995) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
A
...
S., Film Museum Curator
...
Ulysses' Wife
Thanasis Vengos ...
Taxi Driver
Giorgos Mihalakopoulos ...
Friend and Journalist
Costas Santas
Dora Volanaki ...
Old Woman
Mania Papadimitriou
Giorgos Konstas
Thanos Grammenos
Alekos Oudinotis
Angel Ivanof
Ljuba Tadic
Vaggelis Liodakis
Gert Llanaj
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Storyline

A, a Greek filmmaker living in exile in the United States, returns to his native Ptolemas to attend a special screening of one of his extremely controversial films. But A's real interest lies elsewhere--the mythical reels of the very first film shot by the Manakia brothers, who, at the dawn of the age of cinema, tirelessly criss-crossed the Balkans and, without regard for national and ethnic strife, recorded the region's history and customs. Did these primitive, never-developed images really exist? If so, where are they? - "Why A? It's an alphabetical choice. Every filmmaker remembers the first time he looked through the viewfinder of a camera. It is a moment that 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." --Theo Angelopoulos Written by Frank Wallner <wallnerf@informatik.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Release Date:

1 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ulysses' Gaze  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$42,202 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a scene around the 10th minute where a woman is singing a famous mourning song in Kurdish called "Ahmade Mala Musa (Ahmad of Musa family)". It is maybe referring to Kurdish refugees in Greece. See more »

Quotes

A: Good night, good night... Parting is such sweet sorrow... that I shall say good night, till it be morrow... sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breasts... would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest... Hence will I to my ghostly father's cell... his help to crave, and my dear hap to tell!
See more »

Connections

References To Catch a Thief (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Another approach to the language of cinema.
7 June 2004 | by (Ensenada, Mexico) – See all my reviews

Somebody once said that DW Griffith is to blame for having a wide open horizon, full of possibilities, and settling for melodrama as the blueprint of the movie-going experience.

However, once in a long while, a film comes along that breaks the mold and shows us once again what can be done. Glimpses only, hints at untapped potential. "2001: A Space Odyssey" is one such example. Fellini's "Satyricon" is another. "Solaris" by Tarkovsky. And so is "Ulysses' Gaze". There are more.

I like to be challenged, even as I enjoy some standard Hollywood fare. I like to be shaken up with the promise of a nudge towards enlightenment. I love to feel awakened from my everyday, sleepwalking mode.

Granted, "Ulysses' Gaze" is NOT for everyone. But to dismiss this film as "another one of those art films", to call it bloated, is an exercise in laziness. And to condemn Angelopoulos of arrogance, well, how about considering the terms confidence and conviction instead? I do not pretend to understand "Ulysses' Gaze", the film is so riddled with ambiguities and leaps back and forth into the realm of the subconscious and the surreal. I just allow myself to go with the flow, and regard a world that is so outside of the grid that it is like watching a transmission from another planet, with real people I identify, sharing genuine affection in small gestures. And even though the English dialogue is lacking at times, there is not a single one of those "Hallmark moments" that seems to pervade in contemporary Hollywood fare.

As for the prolonged landscape scenes, they show parts of the world (Albania, Bulgaria) that are as unknown to me as the bottom of the ocean. If just for this alone, I am hypnotized.

To make the effort, to absorb "Ulysses' Gaze", is a small step towards understanding the ruthless, constant plight of the people of that small corner of the world that is the Balkans. Just one small corner. Imagine.

I have to say that "Ulysses' Gaze" is an incredible film, one of a few by which XX century's great cinema should (and will) eventually be regarded.


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