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To proxenio tis Annas

Athens in the early 70s
SPOILERS, ONE OF WHICH CAN BE LISTED AS MAJOR(Though most of what is written is what can be found in most reviews about the movie):"To proxenio tis Annas" is the first great film of the director Pantelis Voulgaris. Anna, a young woman comes to a Greek house in Athens to work as a servant. The family loves her and they try to find her a man in order to get married. When the man is finally found, they change their mind and this is when relations start to break up. Voulgaris depicts in a great way the way Athenians used to live, people gathering on Sundays and/or Holidays at big momma's house, playing backgammon, little ambitious girls wanting to become models, the ethical way of family, Anna has to find a man and make a good, descent, Christian family etc. Voulgaris as he had once said was inspired by an incident that has happened in his family when he was young. There is also a kind of political implication, Anna's father was executed at Kalavryta by the Germans. But most of it, the film shows how 2 families are attached to and depend on a girl, the victim in the whole case, and how difficult it is finally for her to make her life the way she wants it to be when she finally compromises with it. Anna Vagena and the rest of the cast (along with a must-seen Costas Rigopoulos) are great !

Loufa kai parallagi

Dictatorship in a different way
Perhaps the best Greek film the last 25 years and a film along with 2-3 more that kept the Greek cinema alive during the 80s. A story of the soldiers who worked on the first attempt to make television in Greece (at the YENNED studios) in the mid-to-late 60s and a funny view of the 7 year dictatorship (1967-1974). People who don't have much to do in life and try to make money from everything (they even try to film a porn film to earn some). Perakis writes and directs this film and makes it hilarious sometimes and caustic, but really serious when it has to deal with matters of people with left political beliefs. The film is original because it does not follow the path other Greek directors used to follow in order to make a film for such periods (and they were many who have done so since 1975). It shows that not anybody was fighting against the regime, not because they didn't like what was happening, but because they did not feel that their life was changed that much and most of all it's not the gloomy depiction of the 7 years. The "ghost" of the dictatorship is always there, don't forget that it's a film about a military dictatorship, seen from a view of people who are IN the army. If you are Greek, then it is, a must-seen-film ! Highly recommended for anybody else !


Top of the tops
Along with "Aparadektoi, the best Greek Comedy series ever ! Lefteris Papapetrou writes and Antonis Aggelopoulos directs in a magnificent way Soso, Alekos, Flora, Achilleas, Grandpa Aristides, Machi, Johnnie, Corrina and Michalis ! In a few words, Alekos, a butcher living in a district around the center of Athens is married to Soso. One day he meets Flora, an old date of his, who now is married to Achilleas and lives along with her father-in-law and his caretaker, Machi. Machi also has a son named Johnny who appears at the end of the first period and the entire second one. the rest main characters are Michalis, Alekos's assistant at the butcher's and bi-sexual and Corrina, Achilleas's lost sister who has turned up to be the best prostitute in the entire Athens. The main story of the series is Soso's attempts to kill Alekos, because he is cheating on her, but everything else happening in that are not of lower importance. Brilliant screenplay, with an excellent plot, poisonous quotes, awesome performances and a great directing. Original idea and especially the shootings were something that was done at the Greek television, for a series of the Greek television, for the first time, e.g. scenes shot under water ! Surely a serial you will never stop enjoying !

Secret Window

Secret that never stays in one's mouth
I haven't seen lots of Stephen King's novellas played either on TV or at the movies, but till I saw "Secret Window", I didn't really like them. "Secret Window" is something else ! A film with Johnny Depp playing an author, separated from his wife, whose life becomes really confused when a guy named John Shooter, played great by John Turturro, comes and accuses him of stealing his short story. A film both funny, some of Depp's quotations are really poisonous, musterious and with a really interesting plot. Depp's performance shows yet again that he's one of the best actors of his generation. The ending is not what you could wait for, but, I admit, the other way round, it would spoil the whole good impression I have for the entire film.

Ta paidia tis Helidonas

Great film !
"Ta paidia tis Helidonas" ( Children of Helidona ), is another film that deals with the Greek civil war between communists and democrats, which was something really common in the 80's. Talks about the story of a journalist (Alekos Alexandrakis), who returns back at the village of Helidona somewhere in the Greek province and that's because of a TV documentary. The main point is a family that was separated during the civil war. 3 of the kids joined the communists and fought for them and the other 3 went to major cities, where things were safer. All children are gathered, because of the death of the eldest. We can see them 40 years after remembering how things were, everybody seeing the facts from his/her own sight but everybody gives us the impression that has regretted about whatever he/she has done. A film showing what has happened to the ex-rebels, who have inevitably lost their "appettite" for revolution, because time has left them no choice but "follow" the system. You can also see how the people of TV see things. The scenario is great, with Vassilis Diamantopoulos and Mary Hronopoulou giving outstanding performances, awarded at the Thessaloniki Movie Festival, and pay attention at Mara Martika and Ilias Logothetis, too ! The film has a documentary style sometimes, but it's so beautifully given, that it never becomes boring. A great film, not only for a Greek film, but a great film in general !

Ti psyhi tha paradoseis mori?

A pity ! ! !
"Ti psihi tha paradoseis mori?" -an expression meaning literally "What Kind of soul are you going to give to God, you fool woman?" and it's used to talk about someone who has done bad things in her life- is one of the Top 3 comedy serials ever in the history of Greek television. 4 women who have grown up at an orphanage and were raped constantly by a social worker, plan to take revenge by killing him, when he returns to Greece in order to be honored for his contribution to children. Women who have suffered from a man and will never stop suffering. They were all raped by Yerasimos Mandas (Yannis Mortzos), Aleka (Hrisa Ropa) is still suffering from her husband who has dumped her and her son who is a real menace, fun of cyber-sex, Dodo (Eleni Randou) is tortured by her boss at the sailing company she's working, Fotini and Popi (Eleni Kastani and Ava Galanopoulou) are constantly hit, the first by her father, the second one by her husband, so they try to take revenge from everyone. By killing Mandas, they say stop to people who still torture them. Great actors, nice plot and most of all poisonous, lethal, unforgettable quotes. *SPOILER AHEAD*: The serial has a marvelous start. It's a family in 1966 New Year's Eve, the day the common fate of all these girls start. Anyway, it's that family who is ready to celebrate the arrival of the New year. The great thing is that they're talking about how things were like that era and we can see that though they were hoping something to change, actually nothing did, but things became much worse. It's also nice seeing the thoughts these people had and how things are today. As time passes, we can hear from the radio that Dodo's parents were killed on a cruise across Aegean, cause of a storm, Aleka's mother gave birth to her while imprisoned, and accidentally gave her child a male name, Fotini's father got imprisoned once again and Popi's parents dumped her outside the Radiotelevision Mansion. The next day they all end up at the orphanage. Aleka, fanatic communist, now has become a chief editor at a gossip-magazine with every Greek celebrity sewing her, Dodo is working at a sailing company, Popi works at her husband restaurant and sell souvlaki and Fotini works at the toll-station and tries to make more money by dropping "accidentally" the change the drivers have to take. When Mandas arrives, Aleka tries to gather them all together and convince them that they have to kill him.That's when the "party" starts. Every time they try to kill him something happens and he runs away. The serial unfortunately stopped at 4 episodes,because of "disagreements" between actors mostly, rumor has it, but people's love was outstanding. I don't think that the audience will ever forget it. Even in today talk shows people are talking about it. The most memorable of all was Pavlos Haikalis (Papa Lambros), a priest with modern views about church.

Arpa Colla

Summary of Greek cinema
"Arpa-colla" in Greek literally means "Grab and stick", a phrase used to show something that has been done quickly and therefore isn't good enough. This is what the 2 main heroes of the film are doing. The one is a director(Giorgos) and the other an author(Kostas) with communistic ideas, who has won a prize at a festival. They both want to make a movie for the cinema, guided by the success another Greek movie had and was released at about that period (O anthropos me to garifallo=The man with the carnation, dedicated to the Greek communist, Nicos Belogiannis). Kostas falls in love with Soula, a girl who she found working as a model at a commercial Giorgos was filming and he's dreaming about making her starring at every film he makes. But every idea they have never comes true, because every time they meet someone to whom they tell their idea, they change their mind, and they want to make a totally different movie, ideas varying from political cinema to Greek historical dramas and modern films with motorcycle gangs. Not a bad attempt for the Greek cinema of the early 80's, which starts to wake up from the hibernation of the 70's. There is the pretty good trick with the basic protagonists holding almost every part in their imaginary movies, movies that vary from the Second World War II till modern era with people who belong to motorcycle gangs. I really enjoyed watching it every time I did and I recommend it to everyone who wants to have fun and see ho things in the Greek cinema used to work and maybe still do.

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