1981-1990ArthouseDramaGreeceNikos Panayotopoulos

Nikos Panayotopoulos – Varieté (1985)


A director in existential and creative crisis tries to find the script of his new film. Thus he invents a story about a successful man in an existential crisis, who separates from his wife. He then meets another woman, lives with her a possible love affair and seeks the continuation of their love story on a trip with disappointing results.

Nikos Panayotopoulos (1941-2016) was one of the most prolific directors in Greek cinema: he produced fifteen films in 39 years, starting in 1974, an emblematic year both for the state affairs in Greece – the fall of the dictatorship – and for Greek cinema itself – the end of the studio era. Over these years, Panayotopoulos created his own, unique cinematic universe, which carries the seal of an auteur veritable: somehow and obliquely a step away from the others, nevertheless ironic, and, almost always, unconventional and unpredictable.

His strongest and most recognizable auteur characteristic, however, is the creation of a self-reflective cinema under the influence – but not a strictly imitative one – of the French nouvelle vague. Even when, in the late 90s, he began observing a “normalized,” non-arbitrary narrative flow, that was only the pretext for developing further a personal cinematic apparatus consisting of genre exploitation and pastiche, ironic glances both at his surrounding reality and cinema itself, and a dominative set of high production values with an emphasis on the visual through art direction and cinematography.
(Excerpt from Athena Kartalou’s article about the director on “Journal of Greek Film Studies)

The film was booed when it screened at the Film Festival of Thessaloniki in 1985 but Panayotopoulos was a person who encouraged audience participation and obviously knew how to evoke it.



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