CULTURE

From the theater to the big screen

«Molis Chorisa» (I Just Broke Up) on Valentine’s Day. The contradiction of the above phrase is one of the elements that makes up the tragicomic character of Vassilis Myrianthopoulos’s first long feature film. The film is based on Myrianthopoulos’s play of the same title, first staged by the Omada Drassis at the Melina Theater 10 years ago. Much has changed in terms of the staging and the actors involved since then, yet the audience’s positive response has always proved to be a pivotal element for the addition of an extra season. A few days prior to the film’s release, the director spoke to Kathimerini about his route from theater to cinema. How difficult was it to adapt the play from stage to screen? My main concern was not to lose the comedy. In other words, to maintain the play’s rhythm and energy on screen. To be honest, some parts of the original text were lost, but were replaced by action – some of the play’s dialogue on stage was translated into movement, for instance. Besides, I find image much faster than speech. The characters on stage were all aware of their own finale. In the movie, that would have had a chaotic effect in terms of the plot. Coming up with a central character in the film, therefore, through Electra, was a conscious decision. What relationship did you enjoy with your cast? Besides Anna Monoyiou, who turned out to be the only one to go from the stage production onto the screen, I had respect for the rest of the cast, though I didn’t know them personally. Right from the start, we had to succeed in becoming a group of friends, for them to understand my way of doing things, and for me to try and decode them in order to achieve what we wanted. The work is largely based on the dynamics of friendship. Ten different rhythms had to turn into a single one and I believe this comes across on screen. Where does music and song fit into your drama language? Music nearly becomes a leading character in the film. Two parties are taking place simultaneously, linked by music. The most important musical moment in the film is a song interpreted by Electra, «Nichta Stasou,» when she has an outburst toward the end of the film. While both male and female characters co-exist in «Molis Chorisa,» the female element seems to play a more important role in your work. Women have such complicated minds. They offer unrivaled, fertile ground for anyone wishing to work on a comedy. Their extroverted natures and immediate reactions create something magical and necessary when it comes to comedy. The women in «Molis Chorisa» utter a number of harsh things without letting go of the fragile part of their personalities. On the other hand, men stand next to them in a loving and stabilizing way – most of the time waiting for the storm to subside.