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

 -  Drama | War  -  1 November 1997 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,817 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

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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

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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

Niko: The first thing God created was the journey, then came doubt, and nostalgia.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A proof of the superiority of European cinema.
26 October 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

With "Ulysses' Gaze", Theo Angelopoulos proves that he is one of the most influential figures in contemporary cinema. This film explores the idea of how people must go through their personal Odyssey to reach their destination with an unbelievable poetic quality. By exploring the idea of this journey, Angelopoulos shows how much he is influenced by the poems of Nobel prize-winning Greek poet George Seferis. The atmosphere of the film is admittedly extraordinary, aided by the terrific cinematography of Giorgos Arvanitis, Angelopoulos' collaborator since "Reconstruction" (1972).

But the incredibly dense philosophical context of the film does not stop there, as Angelopoulos depicts the tumultuous history of twentieth-century Balkans with extreme precision and artistry.

Harvey Keitel gave the best performance of his career, even managing to speak a few sentences in Greek without sounding too awkward. Maia Morgenstern (as symbols for Penelope, Nausikaa, Circe and Calypso in her multiple roles) and Erland Josephson are also quite good, while Thanassis Vengos gives a tragi-comic note to the film, with his performance as the taxi driver.

The fact that I am Greek (and therefore I am familiar with the political situation and able to identify with events better) admittedly played a major part in my interpretation of "Ulysses' Gaze" and non-Balkan viewers may find it difficult to identify with the film. However, the idea of the journey is universal and it is a pity that Angelopoulos is often dismissed by most Greeks as being too "difficult".


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