Sunday, April 15, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland
“Astoria” Dir.: Nick Efteriades, USA, (2000, limited release), 2006.
Okay, so it’s not a Academy Award contender, but this independent film by a Greek-American filmmaker is a solid little drama set in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria known as “Little Athens.” The film centers around a blue-collar Greek-American family and its struggle to hold on to the American Dream— it’s like a Greek Saturday Night Fever with much less dancing! The desire of 28-year-old Alex is to escape his stagnant neighborhood, and his father’s plan that he take over the family sandwich shop, and pursue an off-beat dream that will take him to the lost tomb of Alexander the Great. Meanwhile he has to deal with a local mangas; and with the fact that he has become enchanted by a beautiful iconographer, visiting from Greece. The original score by Nikos Papazoglou is a plus. The New York Times called the film “charming.” Rated “R” for language. In English. 103 minutes.
Thursday, February 22, at 5:30pm, Room 211, Wishcamper Hall, USM Portland
The famous filmmaker, Michael Cacoyiannis (Zorba the Greek, The Trojan Women, Electra) is a proud Cypriot. When Turkey invaded the island during the political upheaval in July of 1974, he rushed to the island to document those his- toric events. The resulting film was “Attila 74: The Rape of Cyprus.”
The Hellenic Society of Maine will show the film at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 on the USM Portland campus. Following the 11⁄2 hour film HSoM board member, George Spatoulas, will lead a discussion after a quick break for refreshments.
The surprise invasion occurred after years of wrangling and political maneuvering that involved not only Cyprus but Greece, Turkey, the USA and other countries. The triggering event was the Greek junta’s attempt to depose the Cypriot president, Archbishop Makarios, as part of a plan to reunite the island with Greece.
Once Turkish troops landed on the island, thousands of Greek Cypriots were killed or fled south to displaced persons camps. Supported by only a cameraman and a sound engi- neer, Cacoyiannis traveled across the island in those early traumatic weeks interviewing political leaders as well as countless victims and refugees. Thus this documentary is clearly from the Cypriot point of view.
Both Greeks and Turks — who had been living co- mingled for centuries — lost homes, land, and businesses when the population was separated. Today, more than four decades later, the island remains divided with a Turkish sec- tion in the north and the Greek section in the south, with the line cutting right through the capital of Nicosia. Talks aimed at finding a solution continue to fail right up to this year, stalling on the key issues of governance and reparations.
Dir.: Christopher Papakaliatis , Greece, 2012
Sunday, December 10, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland Campus
In Athens during the current economic crisis, Demetris (Papakaliatis) is a highly independent man, living a fairly normal life. He’s a confirmed bachelor at the age of 33 – his roommate is a female German shepherd called Lonesome. One night, Lonesome wants to be taken out. Demetris tries to change her mind but Lonesome insists. It’s at this moment that he must make a decision. And his choice will change everything. If Demetris goes out, he will meet Christina, the love of his life. If he stays in, he will not meet her and his life will take a different track. The film flips back and forth between both choices and, on the way, asks, ‘Does true love exist?’ ‘What is the impact of a severe economic crisis on people?’ ‘Can the crisis destroy a couple?’ A love story shown from two different angles in a changing world. Not Rated; includes one intense sexual scene. In Greek with English sub-titles. 111 minutes.
Sunday, March12, 3 PM, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland campus.
This movie is rescheduled from last year (due to weather)
An unexpected meeting between the sixty-five-year-old Lazaros Lazarou and a young man, on Christmas Day, brings back hidden memories from 1970 at the time of the Greek junta. Then, in an isolated army camp in Evros, the lieutenant (Yannis Stankoglou) commands the soldier (Antinoos Albanis) to teach him the tango in secret. At a Christmas celebration that winter, the sensual dance becomes the focus for the intersection of four lives: an introverted soldier; a harsh lieutenant; a strict and very conservative colonel (Giannis Bezos); and Zoi Loggou (Vicky Papadopoulou), the colonel’s wife, who is suffocating in her restricted life. Through the dance the lieutenant hopes to get close to Zoi and reveal his love for her. In Greek with English sub-titles. 102 minutes.
“The Christmas Tango” (Το Τανγκό των Χριστουγέννων)
Dir: Nikos Koutelidakis, Greece, 2011
Sunday, December 11, 2016 @ 3 PM
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland campus
An unexpected meeting between the sixty-five-year-old Lazaros Lazarou and a young man, on Christmas Day, brings back hidden memories from 1970 at the time of the Greek junta. Then, in an isolated army camp in Evros, the lieutenant (Yannis Stankoglou) commands the soldier (Antinoos Albanis) to teach him the tango in secret. At a Christmas celebration that winter, the sensual dance becomes the focus for the intersection of four lives: an introverted soldier; a harsh lieutenant; a strict and very conservative colonel (Giannis Bezos); and Zoi Loggou (Vicky Papadopoulou), the colonel’s wife, who is suffocating in her restricted life. Through the dance the lieutenant hopes to get close to Zoi and reveal his love for her. In Greek with English subtitles. 102 minutes.
“One Time and a …Baby” (Μια Φορά και ένα… Μωρό)
Dir: Nikos Zapatinas, Greece
2011 Sunday, November 13, 2016 @3 PM
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland campus
In this cute comedy, Nondas (Sakis Boulas), a pistol-packing tough guy in his 50’s, stops his car to relieve himself, but hears a shout from below. It’s a man tied to the railroad tracks who wants to be left alone to die in peace. Alcibiades (Petros Philinnides), an out-of-work lingerie designer, owes money everywhere, has a wife who cheats on him, has never had children — for all these reasons he wants to put an end to his life. But when the train actually approaches, Alcibiades has second thoughts and begs to be released. Nondas agrees to help only if Alcibiades swears he will become his loyal servant. You see, Nondas has a baby in the car and is traveling around to find her mother. It seems Nondas had slept with many women and one of them dropped off “their” baby so that Nondas could take care of her. He needs Alcibiades to help him on this quest. Meanwhile Alcibiades’s wife is riddled with quilt and tries to rescue her despondent husband with her lover in tow. So amongst sexy lingerie, multiple mistresses, the unfaithful wife, and a hard-nosed father, love blooms for a little baby—truly the star of the movie. In Greek with English sub-titles. 86 min.
“My Grandfather’s People” (Dedemin insanlari)
Dir: Çagan Irmak, Turkey
2011 Sunday, October 9, 2016 @3 PM
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, USM Portland Campus
This Turkish film is a popular drama about the ethnic Turks, who had lived for generations in Greece, who were forced to migrate to Turkey during the population exchange at the end of the WW I. It is somewhat the reverse story that is told in the Greek movie, “Politiki Kousina” (“A Touch of Spice”). When Grandfather was just seven years old his family was displaced from Crete to mainland Turkey. Here the family is not fully accepted because they are considered to be Greeks. Yet in Greece they were considered Turks. The Grandpa’s greatest desire is to see the land of his birth before he dies. It is this longing that makes him frequently drop bottles containing letters into the Aegean. The lack of acceptance in the village is particularly hard on the young grandson who acts out. In the light of the current refugee situation in Greece, it is helpful to once again hear this story of when both Greek people and Turkish people were forced to leave the land of their origins – millions of them. Through these population exchanges, people experience what it means to be “the other”. In Turkish, Greek, and some English with English subtitles. 126 minutes.