Πικρό ψωμί [Bitter bread] (1951)
Greek postwar neorealism feels similar to its italian predecessor and inspiration; not especially »realistic« but heartfelt, indignant, and at times clumsy. This particular example, supposedly the first ever, is about a poor family trying its best not to disintegrate while being tormented by hardships.
Emotional and endearing, but not in my book of social injustice.
Το εργοστάσιο [The factory] (1981)
– I’m the head of the family. I know what to do.
The immensely sad, eastern-sounding music sets the tone perfectly for this absurd and tragic tale of poor, ignorant villagers trying to get along in the modern world. A troubled family has its patriarch clinging to traditional ways but slowly and inexorably losing his grip. Everyone seem trapped in a hopeless downward spiral of outdated behaviour, capitalism, bureaucracy, bribery, and abuse.
Scenes of slaughter, skinning, and the preparation of hides feel deeply symbolic. Maybe in my book of clashes between old and new.
Just finished »Citizenfour«, meaning I have now watched all additions from last year’s edition of the book! But since the 2016 version just arrived and I had seen only one of the ten new movies in it, there are suddenly another nine to enjoy! Plus almost sixty older ones still remaining to check out – from the various localized editions, that is.
A creepy documentary about paranoia and selfrighteousness, showing how the US government is spying – digitally, massively, constantly – on just about everyone, while also lying shamelessly about it.
Thoughtful low-key suspense, chilling cynicism, indignation – and wry humour. In my book of selfsacrificing idealism.
Левиафан [Leviathan] (2014)
»Who shall prove something? And to whom?«
An outsider arrives in town, to help the little man against the system. But »facts« and »evolution« mean little when both family and society perishes slowly to human foibles, brutal abuse of power, and hypocrisy. Tension, bitter betrayal, thwarted hope – only skeletons remain.
Sparse, run-down, depressing beauty. In my alcohol-soaked book of futile struggle for justice.
»God don’t live in strength, but in truth.«
Ακατανικητοι εραστές [Invincible lovers] (1988)
An enigma from beginning to end. This odd little road movie gives the viewer few clues as to why its main character, a strange mannish boy, behaves the way he does. We are told he has escaped from an orphanage, and he eventually teams up with a woman who goes even less explained. A strange reluctance to straighten things out pervades everything.
Funny and touching, though not in my coming-of-age book.
Café Paradis (1950)
»You shall never believe in anything«
The didactic, inept, slightly awkward intro is followed by a long flashback depicting social pressure and the dangers of alcohol in a very oldfashioned, careful, matter-of-factly way.
Rather crass but also touching in its slow build-up, heavy use of clichés, and unabashed sentimentality. Some interesting parts, but ultimately not enough for my book of class or drinking issues.