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Monday, 30 January 2017

Realism in Greek Cinema: From the Post-War Period to the Present, Vrasidas Karalis

Realism in Greek Cinema: From the Post-War Period to the Present

Vrasidas Karalis (Professor in Modern Greek, The University of Sydney)
From the publisher:

"The history of Greek cinema post-1945 is best understood through the stories of its most internationally celebrated and influential directors. Focusing on the works of six major filmmakers active from just after WWII to the present day, with added consideration of many others, this book examines the development of cinema as an art form in the social and political contexts of Greece. Insights on gender in film, minority cinemas, stylistic richness and the representation of historical trauma are afforded by close readings of the work and life of such luminaries as Michael Cacoyannis, Nikos Koundouros, Yannis Dalianidis, Theo Angelopoulos, Antouanetta Angelidi, Yorgos Lanthimos, Athena-Rachel Tsangari and Costas Zapas. Throughout, the book examines how directors visually transmute reality to represent unstable societies, disrupted collective memories and national identity".

An earlier book by the same author:

"This book is a detailed historical survey of Greek cinema from its very beginning (1905) until today (2010).

The history of Greek cinema is a rather obscure and unexamined affair.

Greek cinema started slowly and then collapsed; for several years it struggled to reinvent itself, produced its first mature works, then collapsed completely and almost vanished. Because of such a complex historical trajectory no comprehensive survey of the development of Greek cinema has been written in English.

This book is the first to explore its development and the contexts that defined it by focusing on its main films, personalities and theoretical discussions. "A History of Greek Cinema" focuses on the early decades and the attempts to establish a "national" cinema useful to social cohesion and national identity.

It also analyses the problems and the dilemmas that many Greek directors faced in order to establish a distinct Greek cinema language and presents the various stages of development throughout the background of the turbulent political history of the country. The book combines historical analysis and discussions about cinematic form in to construct a narrative history about Greek cinematic successes and failures".

My own interview with Cacoyannis:

Cacoyannis in Conversation

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