Dir. Yorgos Lanthimos
ALPS is a company of four: a nurse, a paramedic, a gymnast and her coach. They are available for hire by the bereaved as stand-ins for the deceased. Although ALPS members operate under the strict rules demanded by their leader, the nurse does not. With his disturbing depictions of hermetic human relationships bordering on the existential, Lanthimos has established himself as a European auteur. A.O. Scott of the NY Times says, “ALPS’ works by systematically unsettling our sense of what is normal and habitual in human interactions.” For those who missed the film when it was released in New York last summer, the NYCGFF is pleased to bring it back for what is surely one of the last chances to watch it on a big screen.
BURNING HEADS (TO GALA)
Dir. Giorgos Siougas
When one son of a Russian immigrant family living in Athens brings home his wife to be to meet his overbearing mother and disturbed brother, he causes the family dynamic to unravel and forces a confrontation of issues too long ignored. Riveting performances by Promitheas Alfieropoulos and Omiros Poulakis add unforgettable impact to this insightful family drama.
CHRISTMAS TANGO (TO TANGO TON CHRISTOUGENNON)
Dir. Nikos Koutelidakis
On a cold and dreary army base, a lonely lieutenant longs for the beautiful but unhappy wife of his colonel. Determined to ask her to dance and declare his love at the upcoming Christmas party, the love-struck lieutenant recruits a soldier to teach him the tango. This romantic tale of secret desires and unfulfilled passion, based on the novel by Yannis Xanthoulis, drew large audiences and won three Hellenic Film
Academy awards earlier this year, for best art direction, musical score and costumes.
CITY OF CHILDREN (I POLI TON PAIDION)
Dir. Yorgos Gkikapeppas
In a city on the edge of dystopia, four powerful stories are played out, each one dealing with pregnancy. This striking social drama won the coveted FIPRESCI prize as best Greek film at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in 2011. The Hellenic Film Academy named Kika Georgiou best actress of the year for her portrayal of a pregnant Iraqi woman.
FRED WON’T MOVE OUT
Dir. Richard Ledes
Two grown children must decide on whether it is time their aging parents leave the family home where they have lived for 50 years. Greek American director Richard Ledes is working at the top of his form in this semi-autobiographical film, shot in his childhood home. Eliott Gould and a small ensemble cast give resonating performances.
(This film is in English)
GOD LOVES CAVIAR (O THEOS AGAPAEI TO HAVIARI)
Dir. Iannis Smaragdis
The epic story of Ioannis Varvakis (1745-1825) who rose from humble beginnings to become a confidante of Catherine the Great of Russia and the head of one of the largest mercantile empires in Europe, is brought to vivid life by an international cast featuring Sebastian Koch, Catherine Deneuve, John Cleese and Lakis Lazopoulos. From pirate to patriot, the life journey of this enterprising and tirelessly inventive man is as compelling as the film is visually striking.
(This film is mostly in English)
Dir. Kostas Kapakas
No level of Greek society is spared from satirical scrutiny in what has become the most talked about Greek film of the year. From outrageously corrupt politicians to amoral citizens, no one is left unscathed in this funny but sobering road movie. Renos Haralambidis and Tasos Antoniou are the hapless men who seek refuge in the beautiful Greek countryside and in the process expose considerable rot.
SMYRNA: THE DESTRUCTION OF A COSMOPOLITAN CITY, 1900 -1922
Dir. Maria Iliou
Using astonishing archival footage and informative interviews with scholars and i ndividualswith family connections to Smyrna’s Greek, Armenian, Jewish and Turkish residents, this fascinating documentary presents a balanced account of the largely unknown story of the destruction of a the richest and most cosmopolitan city in the Ottoman Empire.
(This film is in English)
THE FIEND OF ATHENS (O DRAKOS)
Dir. Nikos Koundourous
Dinos Iliopoulos stars as a timid, bespectacled accountant who is mistaken for a notorious criminal in this classic 1956 film, recognized as one of the most important in the history of Greek cinema.
(Print courtesy of the Greek cinematheque)
TWO MEN AND A BABY (MIA FOR A KAI ENA MORO)
Dir. Nikos Zapatinas
Overwhelmed by debt and his wife’s infidelity, a desperately unhappy man finds his life changing when he meets Baby Persephone and her shady ne’er do well guardian. This slick and entertaining road movie abounds in comic mayhem and surprises.
UNFAIR WORLD (ADIKOS COSMOS)
Dir. Filippos Tsitsos
The Greek economic crisis provides the subtext of this drama about a world-weary police interrogator obsessed with being fair. When in an effort to protect an innocent man he shoots a corrupt security guard, he finds he must contend with a woman who may know too much about the incident. After their success with Platos’s Academy, director Filippos Tsitsos and star Andonis Kafetzopoulos have scored again with this off-beat film which garnered top prizes for both men at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and from the Hellenic Film Academy.
This film is this year’s Greekentry for best foreign film Academy Award consideration.
Dir. Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel
Under the blazing hot Athenian summer sun, a 16 year old skateboarder sets out for a day of fun with his friends. A middle-aged policeman struggling to support his family, frustration palpable on his face, girds himself for another shift on the job he hates. Before the day is out, a twist of fate will have their paths cross with disturbing consequences. Inspired by the events that led to the infamous Athens riots of 2008, this gripping drama has become a favorite on the international festival circuit ever since its debut in Rotterdam in 2011.
Dir. Gerasimos Rigas
In this fascinating documentary, the camera is brought into the Athens police emergency call-in center, capturing the look , the feel and the tension of the place while at the same time revealing an interesting glimpse of life in the city.
The Films of Theo Angelopoulos: A Cinema of Contemplation
A lecture by Prof. Andrew Horton, University of Oklahoma. Building on his own research which includes two published books and numerous essays on the films of Theo Angelopoulos as well as over thirty years of interviews with the director, Prof. Horton will speak on the
importance of the master director’s films. Excerpts from Landscape in the Mist, Eternity and a Day, Ulysses’ Gaze, Suspended Step of the Stork, and The Weeping Meadow will be screened.