Do you lean more towards watching a good film or a good movie?
Whatever your preference is, watching a good movie at a movie theatre or watching a good film during a Film Festival is well worth it. I love old films not to say I don’t take in a good movie now and then. I was raised watching good quality Greek films and grew to love films of many cultures.
BACK IN TIME
The only form of entertainment in Greece at the time was good old films as they were slowly regaining their freedom from war. It was a way of escaping from the hardships of life. Most films were comedies, incorporating famous musicians and singers which helped in the development of their careers. It is believed that Greek cinema first appeared in 1897 and became more popular over the years. The Greek film industry has succeeded internationally since the early 1900s despite all the stumbling blocks throughout the war and political instability. Filmmaking flourished in the 1950s and 60s (known as the “Golden Age”) after the end of the Greek Civil War. There is an array of popular old films and I will give you a glimpse of a few as there are too many to mention. “Golfo” (a love story) was the first longest Greek silent film that was filmed in 1914 and directed by Kostadinos Bachatoris, written by Spiridon Peresiadis in 1894.
For the full program across Canada visit gifft.ca here. Greek Cinema
“Stella” is a 1955 film starring Melina Mercury and directed by Michael Cacoyannis. The film won the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 13 th Golden Globe Awards. “Zorba the Greek” is a 1964 film starring Anthony Quinn and directed by Michael Cacoyannis. This film demonstrates how life can be enjoyed while weathering the storms of life. The film is based on the novel, The Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas.
“IpolochagosNatasa” a 1970 film starring Aliki Vougioklaki and directed by Nikos Foskolos. This story is about the German occupation of Greece and the role of resistance demonstrated by the Greeks. Aliki Vougioklaki was one of the most popular actresses and was recognized as the National Star of Greece.
“Lilies of the Field” is a 1963 film and is based on William E. Barrett’s novel. Sidney Poiter was the first African-American to win the Oscar for best actor in the 1964 Academy Awards. Filmmakers concentrated mainly on filming documentaries that were captured on battlefields. This can be a separate article in itself; therefore I will try my best to stay on topic.
The first Greek Film Festival was held in Thessaloniki and first opened its doors in 1960, and was called Greek Cinema Week (1960-1965) today called The Thessaloniki Film Festival. The period 1966-1991 was called the Greek Film Festival.
Katina Paxinou was the first Greek woman to be awarded for best- supporting actress in her role in the 1944 film, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel. She was also the first non-American to be honored by the American Film Academy.
In 1982, composer; Vangelis Papathanasiou; won the award for his music in Hugh Hudson’s film, “Chariots of Fire”.
The Manakis brothers were pioneers in the film industry and started recording in Macedonia in 1906.
Today International Film Festivals take place all around the world. They are the best place to take a film or two and expand your knowledge in the world of artistic films.
I will indulge in quite a few incredible films at this year’s International Film Festival, as the experience will be unforgettable. I leave you with the following quote.
“Old films, an insight into the past
Knowledge and inspiration into the present”