CULTURE

Athens 2004 inspires movie

Even before filming has begun, Antonis Kokkinos’s new film «Marathon» has aspirations of being a landmark movie, which, according to a statement by the director, will «define Athens in the year 2004.» The film is directly related to the Olympic Games, as it tells the story of a young marathon runner (played by long-distance runner Michalis Goussis) preparing for the big race in the runup to the August Games and that of his coach, played by 44-year-old Yiannis Kokiasmenos. The movie takes in the Greek capital as it changes and transforms for the purposes of the Games, focusing simultaneously on its people. Filming is scheduled to begin very soon (some scenes have already been shot) and is to end in mid-June, for the film to be shown at the Thessaloniki Film Festival in November. The focal point of «Marathon,» the coach, is a great sports lover who, however, still has a romantic’s idea of competition being for the sake of sport itself. The director’s look at the way in which he coaches the young athlete also makes references to the coach’s personal life, his own emotional obstacles, and, on a closer look, a string of relationships that have failed because he is unwilling to feel tied down. At a recent press conference, Kokkinos admitted that the stories and subplots only interest him as catalysts to his main plot line: «I don’t remember the stories in any of my films, even my favorite ones, but I do remember their color, their atmosphere,» said the veteran director. In fact, the real star of «Marathon» is the city of Athens itself, he says. The plot is centered on the mundane aspects of life in the metropolis, revealed through numerous directorial tricks, such as flashbacks and voice-offs, which lend color to the film’s journey from the Olympic Stadium to Glyfada. The screenplay has been co-written by the director himself and Costas Koronidis. The rest of the main cast is composed of Giorgos Yiannopoulos, Maria Zorba, Sylvia Venizelea, Stella Kazazi, Eleana Tachianou and Emilia Valvi. The film, which is a Thalassa SA production, is expected to come out in mainstream movie theaters by October.