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Athens as it once was.
I saw "Angelos" at a film festival in the 1980s, and watched it again on the web after almost three decades.
This movie has two essential qualities: courage and honesty. It was not easy to introduce viewers to this topic in 1982, and particularly not in such an open and "picturesque" way. Life on the margins has always existed, but the eyes of the (Greek) public were mainly closed. Most people did not want to see and acknowledge it. Therefore, the appearance of this movie caused such a big shock and reluctance.
On the other hand, the movie honestly shows that a bitter subject it engages with permeates various social milieus and communities, in this case the environment of poverty and despair. The scenes of "weird" transvestites' night life in Athens of the 1970-80s reflect the real situation on spot at the time, but such things have probably changed since then (have they really?), taking at least a different form.
One can discuss about the "external" qualities of this movie and acting (excluding excellent supporting roles of Angelos' sister and mother), but this does not diminish its overall result a contribution to the cognition that there is no much choice when people are trapped by distressed life circumstances. However, we all have a right to life regardless if we did or did not choose by ourselves a certain kind of existence. We all pay at the end, one way or another. And, this is the main point of "Angelos".
Maybe not great, but this is a very good movie, and Greek cinema should not be ashamed of it. Quite the contrary!
To nisi (2010)
It's really nice that the viewers in Serbia had a chance to see this brilliant TV series (Pink, March, 2012), though I doubt that many endured to watch it all the way. Unlike many similar TV products (especially Spanish, Turkish, Brazilian and Indian), this series did not offer us a fairy tale on luxury and 'la dolce vita', but the touching story about a serious illness, human isolation, suffering and fear ... with a lot of emotional charge.
A small rocky island, so near yet so far away from the rest of the world, has become the personification of horror and despair of the despised and rejected. But even in this terrible and gloomy setting there is enough room for human hope, enthusiasm, friendship, and love. Although it does not seem so at first glance, the series actually emits optimism because it shows that people in difficult personal situations can accept their ill fate in a dignified way.
The atmosphere was brilliantly depicted as well as the characters, especially the main ones. Needless to say: the actors are fascinating, including children and 'naturčiks' (non-professional actors). Despite some possible small flaws (in the script, directing, or editing?) in two or three episodes (WWII), the series is, in general, excellent!
Finally, I would like to point out something that is important for viewers in Serbia: translation was perfect. The translator (unsigned?) respected what the actors uttered in Greek, skillfully adapting certain colloquial expressions to Serbian ones.
All in all, 'To Nisi' is a job well done!
The Russia House (1990)
A masterpiece of its kind!
Without any hesitation, I admit: this is one of my favorite movies! To be more precise, it's one of the top 5 movies I have ever seen, and a rare one I watched several times in the course of the two decades (in cinema, on video or TV).
I noticed an interesting development of my attitude towards this movie: my first watching hasn't resulted in a special satisfaction (as far as I remember), but every subsequent time the movie engaged me more and more. Obviously, this masterpiece of non-standard political thriller should be seen more then once!
What is so good about it? I would say everything! First, the theme: a subtle story of personal relationship (ending with love affair) between two people from different political worlds placed in the atmosphere of the last faze of the cold war era and the beginning of the USSR collapse. Second: the brilliant main roles performed by Sean Connery (charming as always) and Michelle Pfeiffer (probably her best appearance ever; she was so persuasive in the role of a 'typical' Slavic character and mentality). Third: some amazing scenes of dilapidated Moscow environment, conveying the atmosphere of a derelict regime which is about to be changed. Fourth: excellent, unobtrusive and well attuned music. Fifth: a contrived direction and film editing ('fusion' of two different scenes), etc.
All in all, The Russia House is a masterpiece of its kind and I wander about the pretty low rating it got at IMDb.com. It's not fair in this case. It's not fair, indeed!
La leçon particulière (1968)
A sweet remembrance
I also remember this film which made a big impression on me so many years ago. I still recall several scenes, e.g. the one at the Paris railway station (Renaud getting on the train with his fellow students) or those filmed at Avoriaz ski center under snow cover, with modern hotel apartment blocks lit at night like Christmas tree, a love play between Natalie and Renaud wearing his bear costume, a fireplace, a dispute between Natalie and Hossein and, generally, a very romantic and sexy atmosphere. I would like to see it once again although I know I would be watching it now with different eyes. In my country, the title of this film was appropriately translated as 'The first experience'. In sum, after such a long period I keep this beautiful film in my memory; it surely represented one of the nice moments of my growing up.
The Hunting Party (2007)
On the wave of hatred!
I am really disappointed with the result of what could have been a good, interesting and decent movie. At first glance, 'The Hunting Party' resembles a low budget movie (a cheap hodgepodge as the result of a naive and unconvincing plot), but then you clearly realize it is a poisoning political pamphlet which promotes the need for and justification of revenge: if the alleged war criminal cannot be caught by officials (NATO, CIA, local police etc.) and prosecuted he must somehow be kidnapped and delivered by the three brave and righteous American journalists (sic!): not to the legal forces (the journalists decided to lose a fairly high remuneration of 5 mil. $), but directly to the furious victims because, as the movie suggests, lynch law is the only justice for some people. Blood for blood, that is what promotes this movie in 2007! And, when the victims (Bosnian Moslems) get their most wanted enemy (we see what they are about to do with him), the story can end up with nice, nostalgic and peacefull tunes of a typical Bosnian folk song, sevdalinka. I read all the comments posted here and am not fully agreed with all of you who judged the movie as wasting of time. In fact, we have something worse here - a very good example of crooked and professionally unscrupulous film-making covered up by several high-sounding names such as Richard Gere. I only feel sorry for him: this movie is not only well below his acting standards but hopefully below his professional and personal ethics! It is enigma for me (is it indeed?) why he had taken the role at all?