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Ulysses' Gaze (1995)

To vlemma tou Odyssea (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, War | 1 November 1997 (USA)
Trailer
1:52 | Trailer

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An exiled filmmaker finally returns to his home country where former mysteries and afflictions of his early life come back to haunt him once more.

Director:

Theodoros Angelopoulos (as Thodoros Angelopoulos)

Writers:

Theodoros Angelopoulos (screenplay) (as Thodoros Angelopoulos), Kaii Tsitseli (dialogue translation) | 3 more credits »
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11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harvey Keitel ... A
Erland Josephson ... Library Curator
Maia Morgenstern ... Kali
Thanasis Vengos ... Taxi Driver
Giorgos Mihalakopoulos ... Nikos
Dora Volanaki ... Old Woman
Mania Papadimitriou ... Mother
Giorgos Konstas ... Father
Thanos Grammenos ... Manakias' Assistant
Alekos Oudinotis ... Greek Film Library Manager
Angel Ivanov Angel Ivanov ... Bulgarian Interrogator (as Angel Ivanof)
Ljuba Tadic
Vaggelis Liodakis Vaggelis Liodakis
Gert Llanaj Gert Llanaj ... Little Boy
Agni Vlahou
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Release Date:

1 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ulysses' Gaze See more »

Filming Locations:

Korce, Albania See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$42,202
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part two of "A Trilogy of Borders". See more »

Quotes

A: I didn't expect to see you suddenly, I guess... For a moment, I thought I was dreaming of you... Like I did all these past years... Do you remember the railway station?... You were shivering in the rain, like now... The wind was blowing hard... I was going away, but I meant to come back soon... And then I got lost, wandering along strange routes... If I could stretch out my hands, I would touch you... And time will be held again... But something is holding me back... I wish I could tell you I'd...
See more »

Connections

References The Adventures of Arsène Lupin (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Paei o palios o hronos
New Year's Folk Song
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User Reviews

 
A proof of the superiority of European cinema.
26 October 1999 | by Odysseus-9See 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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