Stulla by Panos X. Koutras (2009).
The Greek Film Archive hosts the great tribute to Greek queer cinema that was presented with great success a few weeks ago at the Thessaloniki Film Festival.
The tribute, which was discussed very much, is transported in Athens on 13-19 December. It covers a cinematic journey from the late 1960s to the present day, with 38 short and feature films. It was the first time in Greece that an official, public organization organized such an extensive tribute to the Greek cinematographic production of queer themes. Actors in this effort are the Greek Film Center and the Greek Film Archive.
A few words about the tribute to Greek queer cinema
The Greek Film Archive, consistent with the promotion and emergence of all aspects of cinematic creation, embraces diversity in art. Hosted by this great tribute, it honors these important artists who, over the last 50 years, have given us films of high artistic value that influenced younger generations, were awarded at major international festivals, and in some cases they became cult.
The tribute arose after a great deal of effort and research, as there were difficulties in locating some copies and gathering the necessary material. The program includes representative bands of the kind that spoke boldly, fought by some but eventually won the taboo. Some of them were ahead of their time and opened the way to the younger ones. Other rare and scarce today (like most of the shorts of the tribute), and more recent, popular and beloved by the general public who will have a good chance of enjoying them again on the big screen.
The opening, Thursday, December 13th, will take place with the films “Trios” (1990) and “One place in the sun” (1994) by Konstantinos Giannaris. The director will predict and discuss with the audience. A limited number of tickets will be available, and entry will be made in priority order.
“Trouses” by Konstantinos Giannaris (1990). And one conversation
The films are dedicated to directors and other actors, while the program includes a party and an interesting debate titled “The Image and Social Rights” to be held on Saturday 15 December (16.45). Participants are: director and academician Antoanetta Angelidi, the chairman of the Hellenic Society for the Support of Interplanetary Marina Galanos, the director-screenwriter Panagiotis Evangelidis, the director Iris Zachmanidis, the President of the Board of Directors of the Greek Film Archive and the professor at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens Maria Komninou Professor at the University of Patras Konstantinos Kyriakos, General Secretary of Human Rights Maria Giannakaki and the director Takis Spetsiotis. The address will be addressed by the Secretary General for Human Rights Maria Giannakaki.
The event takes place under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Human Rights. Together with the tribute, the Film Archive will present for the first time in Athens, and the Acrobatics section. This includes short, queer themes of recent productions, which have been rewarded by young award-winning shorts (Th.Neofotistos, D.Nakos, G.Teltzidis, N.Leousis, M.Mavris) following the assignment of the Greek Directors’ Association specifically for the Thessaloniki Festival.
The term “queer” and the tribute to Greek queer cinema
The tribute has been edited by Constantine Kyriacos, Assistant Professor of History of Theater and Greek Cinema (Department of Theater Studies, University of Patras), who tried to see the term “queer” not just imprinted on films dealing with homosexual issues but and to those that contain a specific political positioning and a more general aesthetic approach that does not necessarily directly concern the homosexual field.
Moreover, “in the early post-dictatorial period in Greece the main concern of the creators was how to combine sexuality with their political identity”. Of course, at that time the word “queer” was totally unknown even for the directors of these films. Konstantinos Giannaris, in a discussion held at the Thessaloniki Festival, said the term began as a breeze. But he came across a conscious choice of trying to separate his own position and sexuality within the homosexual community itself.
“Aphrodite in the yard” by Telemachos Alexiou (2012). the movies
K. Kyriacos notes that in this tribute “selective criteria coexist with films which undoubtedly belong to the queer / gay current of Greek cinema. Other precursors and brothers, other honestly honored and awarded in Greece and abroad and other unfairly unrecognized ones. All, however, representative. “
- Unexpected choices
The film “Vortex” or “The Face of Medusa” (1967) with the exuberant, subversive look of Nikos Koundouros and “Orestis” (1969), the only film of the Oscar-winning set designer and artist Vasilis Fotopoulos, which portray the most exemplary depiction of the male body. And all this at a time when the queer identity was well secured in the wardrobe.
- The bold 70s
Takis Spetsiotis with the films “The Liza and the Other” (1976) and “Kalloni” (1977). Iris Zachmanidis with “The Geekaki” (1976). George Kalogiannis with the film “Libya or the Statue of the Last Epic” (1976). These are some of the creators who degrade gender stereotypes, but also highlight the female side. In 1979, Dimitris Stavrakas signed the short documentary Betty. As she confessed Betty herself in an interview she wanted through the film to “get familiar with the transvestite, get acquainted with the trasnxual. See it through a movie, through a theatrical. Do not take a look at the keyhole. “
- The critical 80s
Greek queer cinema leaves behind censorship and tries to gain recognition. And indeed in a particularly difficult global juncture, with movies very characteristic of the genre. Like the emblematic “Angel” by Giorgos Katakouzenos (1982), based on real events that shook public opinion. The films “In the Resting Part” (1981) and “Meteoros and Shadow” (1985) by Takis Spetsiotis, approach the community from the point of view of the intellectual poets of the 1960s and the first decades of the 20th century. On the other hand, a film that explores the female look with a pioneering look is the “Place” of Antoinette Angelides (1985).
Films that comment on the role of the army, the Greek province and the relations in the urban landscape in Greek queer cinema. (1980), “Poste Restante Omonoia” by Haris Papadopoulos (1982), “… a deserter” by George Corra and Christos Voupouras (1988) and “When no one has a full moon Sleep “by Pantelis Pagoulatos (1989).
- Giannaris, Dimas, Koutras in the 90s
Experiencing one would say his adulthood, in the 1990s Greek queer cinema breaks the links with the past and crystallizes. It is in a calm and totally subversive manner that homosexuality. Konstantinos Giannaris, Christos Dimas and Panos H. Koutras are among the leaders.
The films “Trios” (1990), “North of Vortex” (1991), “Caught Looking” (1991) and “One place in the sun” (1994) by Konstantinos Giannaris. The “4” of Christos Dimas with the shorts “A star full of stars” (1995), “Tender” (1997), “Anesa” (1998) and “American” (1999). The Outrageously Delightful “The Attack of the Giant Moussaka” by Panos X. Koutras (1999). Movies that deal with queer issues in an authentic, passionate and naked manner. It is the time when Greek queer films are artistically recognized and rewarded all over the world.
“Caught Looking” by Konstantinos Giannaris (1991).
New Greek queer cinema. Films that cross the border express the new era and win great distinction. Among them are: “The Perpetual Departure of Stone Gong” by Athena Rachel Tsangari (2001), “The Men Do not Cry” by Kyriakos Chatzimichaelidis (2001), “The Blue Dress” by Yannis Diamantopoulos (2005) Nicholas Kolovos (2008) and “Inside the Woods” by Angelos Frantzis (2010) are typical examples.
Milestone, Stulla by Panos H. Koutras (2009) succeeds in overcoming gender gaps. In the tribute we will enjoy our favorite moments of film “Aphrodite in the yard” by Tilemachos Alexiou (2012), “Diptychos: The love that does not say its name” by Panagiotis Evangelides (2011), “The rebellion of red Maria “By Costas Zapas (2011),” The Tour guide “by Zacharias Mavroides (2011),” Fuck Freud “by Adam Karypidis (2013),” 7 ants “by Christos Voupouras (2014). But also the documentaries “Calarda” by Paola Revenioti (2014) and “Obscuro Barroco” by Evangelia Kranioti (2018).
It is worth mentioning that in the Film Archive, Takis Spetsiotis ‘”Meteoros and Shadow” and Panos X. Koutras’ “Strella” will be screened in terms of universal accessibility for all viewers. With audio description [AD: Audio Description] for blind and visually impaired people and with subtitles for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing with the editing and certification of the Disabled Artist Movement. This action is part of the Festival’s initiative to share the power of cinema with all viewers without exception. Sponsor of accessibility is the Onassis Foundation and the Onassis Foundation Roof. Accessibility conditions are ensured in cooperation with the Disabled Artists Movement.