Long considered a “diabolical prodigy” and entrusted to foreign technicians and merchants, the cinema was established in Greece only around 1930 thanks to D. Gaziadis (Prometheus chained, 1927; Astero the shepherdess, 1932) and O. Laskos (Dafni and Cloe, 1931). With the Metaxàs dictatorship (1936) any further development was precluded while in full war and occupation, with the screens invaded by Nazi films, The voice of the heart (1942) by actor Yanikopulos and Gli applausi (1943) by G. Zavellas. Immediately after the war, G. Grigoriu made his debut in the first social film (Il pane amaro, 1948). The 1950s, with the increase in theaters and the number of films and a certain influence of Italian neorealism, as well as of national modern theater and literature, saw works and authors assert themselves also abroad. Among the directors, M. Cacoyannis (Sunday awakening, 1953; Stella, 1955; The girl in black, 1957; Elettra, 1962), N. Konduros (The magic city, 1954; The ogre of Athens, 1956) and, less known, the aforementioned Zavellas (L’ubriacone, 1950; The false pound, 1955; Antigone, 1961). Among the actors, Melina Mercouri, Elli Lambetti, Irene Pápas, D. Korn, G. Fundas. Among the musicians who write for the cinema, M. Kadzidakis and M. Theodorakis. Among the set designers, Tsarukis. In the following decade, while production exceeded one hundred films a year, and Mai di Domenica (1960) by J. Dassin and Zorba il Greco (1965) by Cacoyannis represented its cosmopolitan peaks, a new, more authentic cinema began to develop with works such as Il cielo (1964) by T. Kanelopulos, Bloko (1965) by A. Kyrou and The excursion still by Kanelopulos, The light in the eyes by P. Glykofrydis, Up to the boat by A. Damianos and Face to Face by R. Manthulis, all presented at the 1966 Thessaloniki Film Festival; but it did not follow due to the changed political climate following the coup d’état of the colonels, which induced the best-known artists to exile and N. Papatakis to clandestinely export and mount The Shepherds of Disorder in France (1968). That same year, shot in Algeria, is Z-L’orgia power of Costa-Gavras. In 1969-70 television arrived, which shocked the market by causing the frequency of spectators and the number of films to plummet; but precisely from 1970 is Reconstruction of a Crime, a highly realistic first work by a director, Th. Angelopulos, destined to revolutionize Greek cinema from its foundations with a previously unknown social, political and artistic charge, which imposed itself at European festivals, in which Giorni del ’36 (1972) and La recita (1975) proved to be extraordinary and disruptive historical frescoes, of great civil impact and of the highest aesthetic level. More metaphorical, but delicate and heartbreaking, was also The Betrothal of Anna (1972) by P. Vúlgaris. At the collapse of the military regime in December 1974, the filmmakers were able to come out into the open, as resulted from the abundant harvest presented a year later at the week of Bologna and Porretta Terme, with new names and even new ways of making cinema (Bio-grafia di Th. Rentzis). With lucid mastery, Vúlgaris in Happy Day (1976), while Cacoyannis received every possible government aid for Iphigenia (1977) and Angelopulos was instead forced to fight again to realize, producing them in person, The hunters (1977) and Alexander the Great (1980), for who won the Golden Lion in Venice and the international critics’ prize. His artistic activity then continued with works such as Il volo (1986), The suspended step of the stork (1991), The look of Ulysses (1995) and Eternity and a day (Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, 1998) and tragically ended in 2012 with the unfinished L’altra mare. In the 1990s, the figure of Dimitrios Yatzouzakis emerged, a student of the Experimental Center of Cinematography in Rome, author of documentaries, of La Torta di San Fanurio (1991) and Don’t touch me (1996), two rather salacious comedies, evidence of the awakening of the Greek cinema, while in the 2000s it was Filippos Tsitos with My Sweet Home (2001), Akadimia Platonos (2009) and Adikos kosmos (2011) that was internationally appreciated.
CULTURE: THEATER. PERFORMANCES AND THEATERS
As for the performances, although the regained independence had seen a flowering of initiatives at all levels, only in 1932 did a National Theater open in Athens, which soon rose to European prestige above all for its exemplary revivals of the great Hellenic repertoire. In 1936 they also began to act again in large open-air theaters. Alongside the Nazionale, which also stages Shakespeare and modern national and foreign authors, around twenty private theaters operate in Athens, many of them with mere costume shows. The Theater of Art founded in 1942 by Cárolos Cun has assumed greater importance (1908-86), who also presented excellent editions of Aristophanesque works abroad. Thessaloniki has a certain importance, since 1961 it has been the seat of a National Theater of Northern Greece. According to constructmaterials, after the restoration of democracy (1974), theatrical activity was given considerable impetus and the opening of municipal and regional theaters was promoted.