Lucky Thirteen

The 13th annual San Francisco Greek Film Festival runs 15 – 22 October 2016 at the Delancy Screening Room, 600 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94107.

Mythopathy directed by Tassos Boulmetis (Greece) 20016 is the opening night feature film. It will be preceded by two shorts: Without Milk directed by Thodoris Vournas and Joanna directed by Panayiotis Fafoutis.

Other features include: Suntan by Argyris Papadimitropoulos, Erotica, Erotica, Etc. by Evangelia Kraniot, SMAC by Elias Demetriou, Wednesday 04:45 by Alexis Alexiou, Invisible by Dimitris Athanitis, Chevalier by Athina Rachel Tsangari, and Cloudy Sunday by Manousos Manousakis.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Greek Film Festival.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Mother Daughter

The Meddler written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (USA) 2016 is about a widow who moves from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be with her daughter.

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Marnie is well-provided after the death of her husband but at a loss emotionally, however the constant attention she showers on her only child is overwhelming.

When the two are temporarily separated, Marnie tries to help several people she meets in the neighborhood.

The leading character elicits lots of laughter and even some tears.

Along the way she deals with the Italian family she married into and the soundtrack even includes a familiar Greek tune. While the Mediterranean touch is incidental to the film, the marvelous performance by Susan Sarandon is a delight.

The Meddler opens 29 April 2016 at the Century 9 in San Francisco. And 6 May 2016 at Landmark Albany Twin in Albany, Century 16 in Pleasant Hill, Landmark Aquarius Twin in Palo Alto, Cinearts at Santana Row in San Jose, and Regency Cinemas Six in San Rafael.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

SFIFF 59

The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival takes place 21 April to 5 May 2016 at six Bay Area venues.

SFIFF59

France: The Apostate, As I Open My Eyes, Blood Of My Blood, Cowboys, Dead Slow Ahead, The Dream Of Bottom, The Innocents, Journey To The Shore, Love & Friendship, Microbe And Gasoline, Neither Heaven Nor Earth, Nephtali, No Home Movie, Phantom Boy, Suite Armoricaine, Welcome To My Life, The White Knights, Winter Song, and A Young Patriot.

Israel: Mountain, Mr. Gaga, and Presenting Princess Shaw.

Lebanon: Abu Ammar Is Coming and Very Big Shot.

Spain: The Apostate, Dead Slow Ahead, and Night Without Distance.

Turkey: Frenzy and Sept-Oct 2015 Cizne.

Also: Chevalier (Greece), Blood Of My Blood (Italy), False Start (Morocco), and As I Open My Eyes (Tunisia).

The San Francisco venues are Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, Castro Theatre, Gray Area, Roxie Theater, and Victoria Theatre. Plus the new BAMPFA in Berkeley.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Greek Giant

Film director and screenwriter Theo Angelopoulos (1935-2012) was a major force in world cinema.

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Several of his 14 dramatic features were grouped as trilogies: Trilogy of History, Trilogy of Silence, Trilogy of Borders, and Trilogy of Modern Greece.

My introduction to his work was a 1975 film, The Traveling Players, about a troupe of itinerant actors performing in villages throughout the country during one of many Greek dictatorships. While I understood the general thrust of the story, I undoubtedly missed the fine details because there were no English subtitles during its screening. I left during intermission.

I enjoyed his 1984 film, Voyage To Cythera, about an old man who returns home after a long absence only to realize he can no longer live in the place he left.

Landscape In The Mist (1988) is another one of my favorites. It follows the adventures of two young children who set out to find their father living somewhere in Germany.

Exile is a familiar theme in modern Greece because many of its people left to escape political persecution or poverty. Austerity and high unemployment forces young people to work abroad, while ongoing war brings ever more refugees through the country on their way to richer northern nations.

Angelopoulos died four years ago after being hit by a motorcycle driven by an off-duty policeman. He was making a film about the Greek economy at the time. The Other Sea was never finished.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Money Chase

All About E directed by Louise Wadley (Australia) 2014 is more than a lesbian romantic thriller. It covers many other issues as its main character, a glamorous DJ, sets out on a road trip after discovering a bag full of money. Along the way it’s revealed that her parents are Lebanese, that she gave up a promising career as a flutist, and also alienated the woman who loved her most.

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Even though all the action takes place down under, the actor who plays her father is actually Greek as is the composer whose music plays throughout the film. It played in the recently concluded Frameline 39 and after it finishes the festival circuit it’ll be distributed by Wolfe Releasing.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Greek Life

Three of the films shown at the recently concluded San Francisco Greek Film Festival touched on the current situation in Greece.

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Include Women Out directed by Vangelis Seitanidis (Greece) 2014 is essentially a comic, buddy film that doesn’t delve too deeply into social issues. However, at a pivotal moment in the story, the underlying conflict that separates the two main characters is starkly revealed.

The insults they hurl at each other divide Greek society. One man accuses his friend of getting ahead in business with bribes and other corrupt practices. The other points out that his wealthy friend has his money stashed in foreign banks. Both the upper and middle class are responsible for the disastrous conditions of the nation and must contribute to reforms.

The Cure directed by Ifigenia Dimitriou (Greece) 2015 is an amusing, direct assault on government bureaucracy, a hated institution both center-right and center-left administrations used to reward their loyal supporters. It’s filmed in black and white to emphasize the timelessness of the problem. Though arrogance and inflexibility are widespread in businesses as well.

Consideration directed by Nancy Spetsioti (Greece) 2014 is about a middle-aged man whose failing business prompts him to pressure his widowed mother to sell the deteriorating family home to a developer in order to pay his debts.

A common scheme in urban centers such as Athens is for homeowners to give up their homes to builders in exchange for a condominium in the large residential building constructed on the lot. Of course, urban density is preferable to sprawl.  The arrangement may seem like a win win deal but is it?

There’s a lot people within the country need to do to make it a better place for themselves and those around them. Austerity is a doomed policy and focusing narrowly on the Greek debt doesn’t benefit the European Union as a whole. The only viable solution involves looking beyond national boundaries and insuring that all EU citizens are provided with incomes to meet their basic needs.

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Frameline 39

The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival screens at five Bay Area venues 18 – 28 June 2015. The Castro Theatre, Roxie Theater, and Victoria Theatre in San Francisco, Rialto Cinemas’ Elmwood in Berkeley, and Landmark Theatres Piedmont in Oakland.

frameline39

I highly recommend Sworn Virgin directed by Laura Bispuri (Italy/Switzerland/Germany/Albania/Kosovo) 2015 and Xenia directed by Panos H. Koutras (Greece/France/Belgium) 2014, both award winning films.

Three other Mediterranean features are Hidden Away directed by Mikel Rueda (Spain) 2014, The New Girlfriend directed by François Ozon (France) 2014, and Summer Nights directed by Mario Fanfani (France) 2014.

Contact Frameline for more information and tickets

copyright © 2015 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com