Panorama of European Cinema

The 14th Panorama of European Cinema, organized by Eleftherotypia newspaper and the Ministry of Culture, commences on Friday at the Apollon Renault Filmcenter in central Athens. As in previous festivals, this year’s program includes a number of avant-premieres, a competition section and interesting tributes to leading artists. Starting with the avant-premiere of the much-talked-about Bridget Jones’ Diary by Sharon Maguire, the panorama will also feature the Thessaloniki International Film Festival’s award-winning Kippur by Amos Gitai, Super 8 Stories by Yugoslavia’s controversial Emir Kusturica and Ed Harris’s Pollock – a biographical film based on the life of the American artist Jackson Pollock that earned Marcia Gay Harden an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. In the competitive section of the panorama, cinephiles can get an idea of what new European artists are up to as it features entries from Britain, the Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia, Finland, Turkey, Ireland, France and Germany. On a darker note, this year’s tributes include one to the king of all vampires, Christopher Lee. The British actor (born in 1922) is best known for his blood-curdling presence in several Dracula films – most of which will be shown at the Apollon – such as Dracula, Prince of Darkness, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave and The Scars of Dracula. The second tribute is to Vanessa Redgrave, a stage and screen actress (born 1937) who stands out in the history of cinema as much for her elegance and charm as for several stunning interpretations. Among the films to be screened at the Apollon will be Weatherby, Julia, A Man for All Seasons and The Seagull. The panorama also focuses on another important female artist: Margarethe von Trotta, whose work as a director, screenplay writer and actress transformed German cinema in the 1960s and ’70s by focusing on controversial issues with a candid cinematic and narrative style. The third and final tribute is to Paolo and Vittorio Taviani; Italian filmmakers who gave new depth to Italian realism in the aftermath of World War II with a sincere look at a range of social issues and masterful camera work. Other highlights of the panorama include awards to Mikis Theodorakis for his work in Jules Dassin’s Phaedra and to Eva Kotamanidou for Rosa, by Christoforos Christofis, as well as an appearance by actress Greta Scacchi on the opening night of the British film One of the Hollywood Ten that features in the competition section.

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