CULTURE

Hoursoglou’s everyday people

People with bourgeois dreams (getting married and having children) and no particular ambition – these are life’s silent heroes. And since 1993’s «Lefteris Dimakopoulos,» Periklis Hoursoglou’s characters have been everyday folk – not part of the glitzy world of the beautiful people. They lack the perfect figure and face, they are neither ugly nor pretty, and they are tired and worn out – whether physically or emotionally. In his latest film, «Eyes of Night» (Matia Apo Nychta), the director gives off a certain gloom. Right from the start, he describes the life of the three leading characters: There’s 40-year-old Eleftheria (Vangelio Andreadaki), who works in a pastry shop and, rightfully so, wishes to get married; then there’s 45-year-old Chronis (Yiannis Karatzoyiannis), a truckdriver and Eleftheria’s lover, and 17-year-old Valia (Ekavi Douma), trapped like a wild animal in a small town with dreams of fleeing to Athens. At first sight, their lives seem dull, lacking any kind of dramatic element. Soon, however, the director gets close up and bares their souls, revealing their obsessions and weaknesses, their unsatisfied desires and insecurities. Low-key cinema The script is well written and straightforward, while the character portraits focus on details and small, intangible movements. This is where Hoursoglou meets his master, film director Pandelis Voulgaris, and defends the kind of cinema that they share: low-key, replete with glances and a few, pivotal moves. «Eyes of Night» stays clear of the easy road of sensationalism. Each time the director shoots a scene involving considerable action (such as a rock concert or drug dealing), he finds himself at his weakest. Why is that? Because Hoursoglou is not familiar with the seedier sides of life. When he homes in on glances and underground emotions, his vision is ripe and precise. When he goes after youth culture or attempts to record life on the margins, he seems ill at ease. Aki Daoutis’s original music discreetly underlines the script with character and vigor.