Greek cinema gains local approval

In the final months of 2009, the Greek film industry gained long-overdue social acceptance and recognition. Despite some criticism, Pantelis Voulgaris’s «Deep Soul,» Giorgos Lanthimos’s «Dogtooth» and, more recently, Panos Koutras’s «Strella» found their way to audiences both inside and outside domestic theaters. All three films generated lively discussion and commentary, while local cinema production found itself the center of attention. It was not just about the profits – with nearly 30,000 ticket sales for «Dogtooth» and 11,500 on the part of «Strella.» Family as a repressive mechanism (with different compositions in each film), relationships between parents and children, in allegorical or realistic approaches, are common traits in the work of both Lanthimos and Koutras. Both films were well received at international festivals, earning positive reviews from foreign journalists. A presentable movie also debuted at local cinemas at the end of December: Christos Dimas’s comedy «The Island» takes place on a Greek island, focusing on a corrupt and hypocritical society, in this case represented by members of the local authorities – the community’s president, its policeman, the priest and the teacher. The film’s 150,000 ticket sales in the first fortnight alone prove that it’s on its way to become a box-office success. Stella Theodorakis’s «Ricordi mi» is scheduled for release on January 14. According to its director, the film is about loss, memory and love. «Ricordi mi» tells the story of a woman trying to get her life back on track following a period of grief. The camera follows the journey of Fani (interpreted by Theodora Tzimou) and her efforts to come to terms with her loss as she flits between an imaginary and real existence. Co-starring alongside Tzimou is Lazaros Georgakopoulos, who appears in a double role. Also due for release on January 14 is Stratos Markidis’s «I Love Karditsa,» a film starring Costas Apostolakis, Katerina Papoutsaki, Bessy Malfa, Gerasimos Skiadaressis, Eleni Gerasimidou and Michalis Iatropoulos. The plot evolves round a pioneering Greek scientist living in New York City in the 1970s who becomes the first scientist to successfully clone a man. The man in question is Grigoris Kanias from Karditsa and his clone is Mike Kanias. Fast-forward to the 21st century: Living in the United States, Mike is the victim of a vicious attack. Having lost 30 million dollars, he is now being hunted by the Mob. The only way out is to flee to Karditsa and trade places with his clone. Finally, January 28 marks the release of Pericles Hoursoglou’s «O diaheiristis» (The Building Manager), a film focusing on midlife crisis from a male point of view in an attempt to portray how it is manifested and the hero’s difficulty in comprehending its source. The director has taken the lead role, playing alongside his wife, Vangelio Andreadaki. Also taking part in «O diaheiristis» are veteran actors Kostas Voutsas and Katerina Yioulaki.

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