from the back cover:
In 1907, in the parts of Greece that are liberated, not all Greeks feel free and the biggest ranges of the Thessalian valley are owned by a few big landowners. The farmers who are forced to work like slaves find in Marinos, a well educated young man, their ideal
representative. Odysseus, son of one of the big landowners, supports Marinos and conflicts with his father and brother, a conflict with a tragic end. Continue reading
While vacationing in Greece with her second husband, Louis Silverman (although she wasn’t all that keen in taking his surname in marriage, director DORIS WISHMAN was more than happy to add her hubby’s handle to her ever-expanding list of pseudonyms), Wishman stumbled upon a small-time film company in desperate need of funds, ultimately returning home with the rights to The Hot Month of August and Passion Fever – purloining both productions for less than $4000. En route back to New York, Doris absentmindedly left her briefcase containing both August and Fever’s translated scripts on a train, forcing her to rewrite the narratives from scratch while overdubbing the original dialogue (a prevalent practice throughout her entire career). Continue reading
Singapore Sling, seen here in its world premiere, could very well become this year’s runaway cult hit. A wonderfully outrageous expose of the innermost recess of human sexuality treated with a brashness and candour worthy of de Sade, this film does not hesitate to peel away layer after layer of human sensuality and physical stimulation that almost undefinable point where the distance between pain and pleasure begins to disappear. Singapore Sling is friendless, homeless and always broke; he is always chasing after lost causes, in particular a woman named Laura, a romantic memory from his past. She may in fact have died years ago, and he could very well be obsessed with a corpse. One lonely night in his meandering search, he finds himself in a mysterious villa, watching two women bury a body. He falls into their trap as naturally as a fly is caught in a spider’s web, their unwitting last victim in a sinister play of cruel fun. In a pervasive atmosphere of decadence and isolation, the two women act out insane pleasure games, unappetizing rituals of blood and murder. Theirs is a world turned in on itself where private sexual fantasies are transformed into explosive lust. This cocktail’s unusual recipe is no common mix of violence and sexual pleasure. Incest, lesbianism, sadism, bondage and much more are depicted with assured kinky precision and a perfectly immodest sense of the outrageous. However, Nikolaidis does not pass up a single opportunity to extract the wildly camp humour, albeit of a decidedly dark hue, of this scenario. Neither gory nor offensive in intent, the director’s determined treatment of his material makes for a gloriously entertaining black comedy. Filmed in sumptuous black and white to underscore the mock eeriness of the imagery, Singapore Sling is a cinematic rarity, a skillful, engrossing and elegant balancing act between shock, sensuality and black parody. – Dimitris Eipides, presenting Singapore Sling in the Toronto Film Festival (1991) Continue reading
A 30-year-old man (Lefteris Vogiatzis) returns from America suffering an existential crisis. He goes to Corfu to see his sick mother and tries to find happiness through a desperate love affair with a young music teacher (Maria Xenoudaki). Along the way, he loses his love and ends his sick mother’s suffering.
With a title that expresses the connection/disagreement of bios (βίος) = life, and graphi (γραφή) = writing, this film of Rentzis has as a subject “the passage from homo universalis to homo industrialis” (Stella Theodorakis, “L’Anatreptikos dans Le Cinema Grec”, in “Le Cinéma Grec”, 1995, published by Centre George Pompidou). Based on a visual material provided by the collage book of the Basque Chumy Chúmez, the film forms, out of cultural deposits of the industrial era, a novative oneirographic discourse, through the audacious and unprecendeded claim of a combinatorial optimization of collage/montage techno-poetics. Viewing the body as historical ideotype ‘the sublime point of reference, a matrix and a refusal of all signs’, Rentzis, dissects the body of film, makes an inter-parody of historical utopias and certainties and moves between animation and expanded cinema in order to reflect on the broader social, political question of our social coexistence condition, the unity and rupture.
An experimental film, in which a variety of audiovisual techniques are used to create the sense of polymorphic eroticism as developed by European and Mediterranean cinematography of the 20th century. Combining the methods of “animation” and “live action”, this intricate work embodies the idea of an “ars combinatoria”. The structure is loose, with neither a central axis nor a point where everything converges, contributing greatly to the open-ended character of the film, where rhythm is the key element. Continue reading
Description in English
By the 14th century, the Byzantine Empire was, if not on the verge of actual collapse, at least seriously decadent and clearly on its last legs. The hungry wolves of Europe were preparing to dine on its corpse, and as a result the Byzantine army and its allies were constantly engaged in battles and skirmishes. In this story, a widow lives in the 14th-century Byzantine village of Doxobus with her son Xenos. She forms a relationship with a village elder, and when she gives birth to the elder’s son, her son from her previous marriage is sent to live in a monastery. This is similar to his being sent to live in the streets, and is a sign that his mother either doesn’t want him or is no longer able to keep him. When the boy reaches adulthood, he chooses the life of a soldier in the Byzantine army and swiftly rises through the ranks. In fact, as a reward, he is given the governorship of his native village, proving once again that success is the sweetest revenge.