CULTURE

Angelopoulos visits Moscow

MOSCOW – Celebrated Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos was in the Russian capital recently to hold talks with Russian Minister of Culture and Mass Communications Aleksandr Sergeyevich Sokolov before he begins filming in the country for his latest film, «The Sands of Time.» According to sources, the meeting between the Greek filmmaker and the Russian minister went well and the government responded favorably and swiftly to his requests. Within the framework of his visit to the Russian capital, Angelopoulos also attended the annual Golden Eagles awards ceremony of the Russian Academy of Cinematographic Arts at Mosfilm, where acclaimed Russian actor and director Nikita Michalkov invited him to present the honorary director prize to Alexei Uchitel. On the last day of his stay in Moscow, Angelopoulos agreed to give Kathimerini some clues as to what his upcoming project is about. «The Sands of Time» will compose the second part of the director’s epic «The Weeping Meadow» trilogy. Angelopoulos was extremely pleased with the Russian minister’s eagerness to help with the project, he said, also explaining what it was that drew him to the Ural Mountains as a setting for a part of his film. «It is a combination between the Stalinist model and Russia,» he said. «The area where we will film is called Congur. This an old, charming town which has a wonderful old church, a beautiful train station and an army camp, and I don’t mean to imply that Stalin’s era was characterized solely by army camps.» The film, according to the director, «looks at the 50-year story of a family and basically of the man who narrates it. It begins in 1953 and ends in the present,» covering numerous locations around the globe. But, says Angelopoulos, «the actual locations will not necessarily be the same as the those used in the film.» What the filmmaker expects is that the film «will be like a long journey. Almost every one of my films has been a rewriting of Odysseus’ journey. It is like I am rewriting ‘The Odyssey’ or the human adventure again and again, using other terms, other forms, but, in the same world, with the same sense of imminent arrival and the same poetic ambience.» Regarding the cast, though, Angelopoulos was not forthcoming, several names are buzzing around, such as Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Bruno Ganz and Valeria Golino.