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Eternity and History: The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos

Jul 8 — Jul 24, 2016

Greece’s most prominent film director of the post-1968 era, Theo Angelopoulos (1935–2012) was a master cinema stylist. His investigations into history and politics, tyranny and resistance, and spiritual anomie and emotional devastation place him on equal footing with filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Wim Wenders. When he emerged on the world scene in the 1970s, with a distinctive style marked by carefully choreographed compositions and tracking shots, he epitomized the great tradition of international art cinema at the end of the twentieth century.

Yet, looking at his films at this historical moment, Angelopoulos seems ahead of his time. As Greece has struggled with impending economic collapse, and as the country’s refugee crisis has worsened, with displaced populations fleeing war in the Middle East and massing on its borders, the themes of Angelopoulos’s cinema are pressing once again. As a new generation of Greek filmmakers (Yorgos Lanthimos, Athina Rachel Tsangari) have reached international prominence, the time is ripe to see Angelopoulos anew, as cinema that reflects on the past while foretelling the turbulent world we are now living in.

All films are directed by Theo Angelopoulos, and are in Greek with English subtitles.

Presented with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, and with the cooperation of The Greek Film Centre (Athens)

Special thanks to Katerina Angelopoulou, Phoebe Economopoulou-Angelopoulou, James DeMetro, and Haden Guest and David Pendleton (Harvard Film Archive). Program descriptions and series overview written by A.S. Hamrah, film critic for N+1.