Greek Cinema for Beginners: A Thumbnail History. - Film Criticism

Greek Cinema for Beginners: A Thumbnail History.

By Film Criticism

  • Release Date - Published: 2002-12-22
  • Book Genre: Performing Arts
  • Author: Film Criticism
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Greek Cinema for Beginners: A Thumbnail History. Film Criticism read online review & book description:

The history of the Greek cinema is not well documented in American sources, and at least one major reference work has significant errors. (1) The few accurate summaries are often hard to obtain, and the majority were not published until the 1990s. (2) Further complicating any account of early Greek cinema is that at the turn of the twentieth century, with the Ottoman Empire collapsing, the boundaries of the Greek state were in flux. The constant consideration of who and what is Greek would be a subject for Greek cinema for most of the twentieth century. When "moving pictures" arrived in Greece in 1897, audiences sometimes shouted in terror as trains seemed about to leave the screen and destroy the auditorium. In the years that followed, the pioneering work of filmmakers such as the Lumiere brothers and Georges Melies became familiar to Greek audiences. Rather than being shown in theaters, one- or two-reel films were often part of carnivals or "acts" in variety shows. The first known Greek film, The Weavers, was made in 1905 by the Manakia Brothers, whose work would be the subject of Theo Angelopoulos's Ulysses' Gaze (1998). A year after The Weavers was shot, the tradition of the Greek film "journal" took form with a short celebrating that year's Olympic games. Another journal film lauding King Constantine followed in 1910. That same year a production company was founded in Athens by Spiros Dimitrakopoulos, and formal movie theaters opened in Athens and Smyrna. Greek comedic shorts were made in 1912. Other shorts celebrated archeological sites.

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