TIFF tribute to the late movie director Nikos Nikolaidis

Two signature styles in Greek cinema will be the subject of a tribute at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, November 16-25. The first is dedicated to Nikos Nikolaidis, a cult filmmaker and writer who passed away suddenly in September, before he could see the entire retrospective which he was organizing together with the festival’s management. The tribute to Nikolaidis will feature a complete retrospective, while «Singapore Sling, «Morning Patrol,» «The Thrushes are Still Singing» and «Eurydice BA 2037» will be presented in remastered and digitally enhanced versions. The film tribute is also accompanied by a special edition of rare material compiled by Mimis Tsakoniatis, as well as the launch of Nikolaidis’s last novel, «A Poke in the Eye of Montezuma,» which is a reminiscence on life in Greece in the 1950s and 60s. Nikolaidis was born in Athens in 1939 and studied cinema and set design. He started working in the Greek film industry in the early 1960s and his first film was the short «Lacrime Rerum,» which participated in the Cannes Film Festival in 1964. Seven years later, the director’s idiosyncratic style became evident with his first feature film, «Eurydice BA 2037,» a philosophical comment on loneliness that became the aesthetic and thematic precursor of all his later cinematic endeavors. With «The Thrushes are Still Singing» (1979), Nikolaidis made a film that became the emblem for an entire generation, a work of intensely personal politics populated with his typical haunted heroes. Nikolaidis, whether adapting De Sade or borrowing elements from film noir, succeeded throughout his career in remaining faithful to his dark vision of the world. His references to film noir are frequent and as such the tribute to his work can also be neatly incorporated into a broader tribute to Greek film noir, a genre that is sparsely represented in the local industry. The few Greek noir films that have been made generally tended to follow in the footsteps of their American and French predecessors, but also succeeded in holding strongly up to the comparison. «Down Dark Paths: Film Noir in Greek Cinema» was curated by film critic Alexis Dermentzoglou and covers 46 years of output with 12 feature length and two short films, produced between 1958 and 2004.