The Awakening of Sleeping Beauty

THE AWAKENING OF SLEEPING BEAUTY

 

‘’What would Prince Charming have for occupation if he had not to awaken the Sleeping beauty?’’. That was one out of the ten examples, that Simone de Beauvoir claimed in her book the "Second Sex", when she had to answer to the question - what is to be a woman. This year’s Panorama intends to reinstate the role of the female throughout cinema history. As Marco Ferreri used to say 45 years ago, "Il futuro é donna", which means, "The future is woman", and that future has arrived therefore, the 31st Panorama of European Cinema will hand the prime leading role, this year to "SHE". Starting from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent film ‘’The passion of Joan of Arc’’, which will be screened accompanied by live original music by the composer Nikos Platanos, to great films made by great film makers, such as, Ingmar Bergman and Jean-Luc Godard, Martin Scorsese and Costa Gavras, along with films directed by women. This year's Panorama will state the harrowing routes that women had to go through in order to contribute to the evolution of European (and Greek cinema).

In the International Competition Section, the role of women in work, family and their struggle for independence is captured in films such as ‘’Suleiman Mountain’’ of Russian director Elizaveta Stishova, in Marta Bergman's film ‘’Alone at my Wedding’’, in ‘’Pause’’ by the Greek-Cypriot Tonia Mishiali and in the multi-award-winning film ‘’The Gentle Indifference of the World’’ by Adilkhan Yerzhanov from Kazakhstan. In World Cinema Premieres Section, Valeria Golino will be presenting her film ‘’Euforia’’ and Nikos Kornilios will be introducing ‘’ Back Held Hands’’ a film that concerns the past and the life of two traumatized women.

The film industry wasn't so welcoming to women the first two decades, not only in Greece, but also in many other countries of the world. The idea of a female director was strange that sounded like a script from a science fiction movie. This isolation came to an end when Maria Plyta came along and worked her way up to the top, not only for herself, but for all the other women that had dreamt and wanted to work in the film industry. Along with this remarkable woman, we shouldn't forget Tonia Marketaki and Frieda Liappa, two great directors who managed to make it happen, in a period when money was short and all the doors were closed. Thus, Panorama will honor them by showing and sharing with you five of their personal films.

Seven young female painters were inspired by the Greek and European Cinema and created paintings that reveal themes from famous films. Those paintings will be exhibited till the 5th of December at the Art Gallery "StoArt" (Korai Arcade). Six out of the seven films that inspired these young artists are screened this year in the section Special Screenings in the Panorama. These films are: Ingmar Bergman’s ‘’Persona’’, Josef von Sternberg’s ‘’The Blue Angel’’, Luis Buñuel’ s ‘’Belle de Jour’’, Krzystof Kieslowski's ‘’The Double life of Veronique’’, Sally Potter's ‘’Orlando’’ and Jean - Luc Godard's ‘’Vivre sa Vie’’. Also, in the retrospective 100 years after Nikos Papatakis' year of birth, the female figure in two of his films, is controversial -especially at his time- and dominant, like the women in ’’Les abysses’’ based on Jean Genet's drama play " Les Bonnes " and ‘’Gloria Mundi’’.

Panorama made an exceptional difference this year, with a section dedicated to films based on books that were written by novelists that started their careers as journalists with the co-operation of the Journalists Union of Athens Daily News Papers. Therefore, we will get a close up on movies based on books by journalists/novelists like, Jack London (‘’The Sea Wolf’’ by Michael Cutriz), Ernest Heminway (‘’To have and have not’’ by Howard Hawks), Alberto Moravia (‘’Contempt’’ by Jean - Luc Godard), Edgar Alan Poe (‘’Pit and the Pendulum’’ by Roger Corman), Samuel Fuller (‘’Park Row’’ written and directed by him), Hunter S. Thompson (‘’Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’’ by Terry Gilliam), Nikos Kazantzakis (‘’The Last Temptation of Christ’’ by Martin Scorsese) and Vassilis Vassilikos's, (‘’Z’’, by Costa Gavras).

The Festival also dedicates a section to Akira Kurosawa by featuring his film ‘’Ikiru’’. A book dedicated to Kurosawa’s work will be published with reviews from members of the Greek Film Critics Association with some of them presenting the book to the audience and discussing with them, before the screening of the film. Finally, The Panorama of European Cinema supports short films and gives floor to the students from two ambitious Film Schools, Horme Pictures and New York College, to show to the public their first cinematic attempts.

 

Ninos Fenek-Mikelidis.

Director of Panorama