CULTURE

Reaching out to a broad public

It is always hard to make a film – especially a Greek one – that is aimed at a broad audience. Nevertheless, «Chariton’s Choir,» currently being screened around the country, is being hailed as a crowd pleaser. The story, which takes place during the Greek dictatorship of 1967-1974, delves into the intrigues of a love triangle in the midst of a choir competition. The 44-year-old director, Grigoris Karantinakis, spoke to Kathimerini about the trends that influenced this, his debut film. Did you spend a long time preparing for this film? It is a project I have had in mind since 1996. The idea began with my teacher Iraklis Kvirikanje at the Moscow Academy of Film Arts. When the time came to write the script, he was unable, so I wrote it together with Giorgos Makris and Dimitris Vakis. Greek directors usually take on entire projects on their own. I believe that cinema is a team effort, even though there might be one person in charge of the overall coordination. A script always needs a second set of eyes. This is just one of the things that it takes to make a film, like the photography or the music. I like exchanging ideas and even though the first draft was done in quite a hurry, the final one was not. How do you expect the audience to react to the film? I am hoping that it will strike a chord with the public and that they will see what I saw in it. I want the people to laugh, to cry, to feel the nostalgia of a time past. It is a story told in the simplest of ways. I think it is a charming story, with interesting characters that the audience can identify with. The film shows an influence from Russian and Georgian cinema. Was this deliberate? We make films that touch on the various paths that have influenced us. I have walked along the paths of Georgian cinema, of Ioseliani. I love Fellini, and I really like Kusturica too. There are references to all these styles that also act as a homage. I love the cultures of Russia and Georgia. But I have also incorporated something of old black-and-white Greek films in the movie as well. I did not want the direction to appear stilted, the film to reek director. What is the central focus of the story? The focus of the film is on the clash of different mentalities and ideologies. The clash motif is carried through the relationship between the characters and within the characters themselves. One of the main characters, the narrator, is played by your son. How did this come about? When I wrote the script, Stefanos was still very young. By the time we began filming, though, he was at the right age. Stefanos knows me very well and I know how to push his buttons, because the role of the narrator needs directness and freedom, because he has to speak right into the