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The Beekeeper (O melissokomos)


Dir. Theo Angelopoulos. 1986, 117 mins. 35mm. With Marcello Mastroianni, Nadia Mourouzi, Serge Reggiani. The bleak industrial landscape of northern Greece, dotted with truck stops and lunch counters, dominates this road movie as much Marcello Mastroianni does. The great star of Italian cinema is deglamorized here, as a lonely beekeeper driving a truck across Greece. He becomes involved with a young hitchhiker whose name we never learn. The Beekeeper seems inspired by the truck-driver sequence in Chantal Akerman’s Je tu il elle, an unsavory episode made into a covert incest tragedy by Angelopoulos. It ends in an abandoned cinema, a location that also links the film to Wim Wenders’ Kings of the Road. Unlike road movies by Wenders, Jarmusch, or Kaurismäki, The Beekeeper never resorts to hip or ironic gestures or references, even as it wanders into Blue Angel and Lolita territory.

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