More exciting Opening Nights

All those who found themselves, especially over the weekend, queuing outside one of the four cinema theaters hosting the 11th Athens International Film Festival, Opening Nights, got a vivid sense of the event’s increasing appeal. Long queues, sold-out screenings, mayhem over the purchase of a single ticket: No other cultural event in Athens stirs this kind of crowd. It is, generally speaking, a young audience, hungry for good cinema – the kind of public which, come September, breathes life into the tired city. Opening Nights runs to Sunday and, in some respects, the best is yet to come. Today, for instance, is one of the festival’s highlights. Korean director Ki-duk Kim is expected in Athens as one of the festival’s honored guests. Known to the local public through his 2003 long feature, «Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring,» the director will be present at the screening of «The Isle» (2000), a film which earned four awards at the Venice Film Festival. (The screening is scheduled to take place at the Attikon cinema theater at 8.15 p.m.) Also on tomorrow’s schedule of events is a screening of the much-awaited, four-hour documentary directed by Martin Scorsese, «No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.» This screening has been scheduled at the Apollon Filmcenter movie theater at 9.30 p.m. with an introduction by singer/songwriter Manolis Famellos. More esteemed festival guests are expected to turn out at the Danaos theater tomorrow. Part of a tribute to the unique, identical twin brothers Stephen and Timothy Quay, a screening of «The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes» will take place at 8.30 p.m., in their presence. This intriguing film, which was produced this year, is a dark fairy tale about a doctor who kidnaps an opera signer in the hope of turning her into a singing machine. Following that screening, audiences will be introduced to French filmmaker Francois Ozon’s latest film. Starring Jeanne Moreau and Melvil Poupaud, «Le temps qui reste» narrates the story of a hip fashion photographer who is diagnosed with incurable cancer. The screening will take place at 11 p.m. with Poupaud in attendance. For cinema theater addresses, check the cinema listings below.