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Archive for July 5th, 2009

trav players 1

by Allan Fish

(Greece 1975 230m) DVD2 (Greece only)

Aka. O Thiassos

The love of Golfo, tragic and profound, deep in your heart will resound

p  Georges Samiotis  d/w  Theo Angelopoulos  ph  Yorgis Arvanitis  ed  Takis Davlopolous, Georges Trianthaphilou  m  Loukianos Kilaidonis  art  Mikes Karapiperis

Eva Kotamanidou (Elektra), Aliki Georgoulis (Elektra’s mother), Statos Pachis (Agamemnon), Maris Vassiliou (Chrissothemis), Petros Zarkadis (Orestes),

Is there any more eclectic, more challenging, more baffling director at work in cinema today than Theodoras Angelopoulos?  People don’t question his position as a cinematic master, no more than they would, say, Rossellini or Fellini, yet the fact is that this is probably the only film of his that I have seen and appreciated as any sort of masterwork; Ulysses Gaze nearly turned me to stone, Eternity and a Day only felt that long, while The Beekeeper, though with a great performance from Marcello Mastroianni, didn’t have the depth many claimed it had.   Though by no means faultless and still rather long, Players remains a spellbinding experience thirty years on, one for which the recent English subtitled Greek DVD was long overdue.

            A small acting troupe arrive in a provincial Greek town in 1952, just prior to the accession of the right wing military government.  In between wandering the streets, their minds wander to the last time they were here, just before the outbreak of World War II.  Then, the director had been arrested and executed at the conspiring of his wife’s lover, and his son realises what he has to do to gain vengeance.  When his sister, Elektra, takes him to see their performance of the play Golfo the Shepherdess, he kills his mother and her lover and runs off into the hills.  He is later captured and shot, but eventually, when one of the players returns, Elektra decides to start the troupe up again. (more…)

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