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The Films of Theo Angelopoulos.pdf

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York University
Modern Greek
GKM 4600
Michail Vitopolous

The Films of Theo Angelopoulos Sunday, January 6, 201312:25 AM • The duality of Angelopoulos's vision-- "both 'documents'… and fictionalizes, alluding to and building on the Greek past" (bottom p. 5) • "This particular tension between the image and its suggestive power, a realistic base and an effort of that which is beyond realism, can perhaps be most usefully described as a poetic realism. Such a term can help us account for the unusual style and content of Angelopoulos's uncompromising approach that continually, for instance, mixes echoes of history and myth, the individual and the group, the past and the present." (top p. 6) ○ "History and myth cross in complicated and provocative ways" (p. 6) • Angelopoulos's films represent a different Greece than other Greek films-- do not contain "straightforward strong drama, comedy, and tragedy" like in Zorba the Greek (1962) nor "bright blue cinematography and romantic stereotyping" • Twelve characteristics of Angelopoulos's work: 1) "Angelopoulos helps to 'reinvent' cinema with each film because of his concern for cinema as an aesthetic as well as a cultural medium." (p. 6)  "His films evoke powerful and essential cinematic questions beginning with, 'What is an image?' And what does an image mean or suggest?" (p. 6) □ "Image is not a 'picture' but a 'likeness,' a matter of spiritual similarity" (p. 7)  "He does not 'explain' or preach" (pp. 6-7) □ "Like a poet, selecting his images carefully, but letting the image speak for itself" (p. 7)  "His poetic medium is time. This allows the viewer to make his own images from what is projected on the screen-- yes, it almost forces him to-- while he remains critically aware of the technical means employed: the long shots, sequence shots, slow pans, and long takes. They are scenes from a voyage through the world. Their complex structure sends the viewer on his own inner journey." (p. 8)  Characteristic techniques: long shots, sequence shots, slow pans, long takes □ "Angelopoulos's respect for and fascination with the single frame has meant that he has developed a form of cinematic narration dependent on long, uninterrupted takes, often involving extended tracking shots." (p. 7)  Angelopoulos vs. typical American film: less than one tenth as many shots, 2-3 hours in length compared to 90 minutes American Angelopoulos Focuses on simple close-ups Extended long-shots Dialogue-centered narratives Very little speech 90 minutes on average 2-3 hours on average Fragmented Non-fragmented  Fast-paced Slow-paced 600-2000 shots One-tenth as many "Action" based Meditative Gives us enough informationto Leaves information out, letting us know what is going on by film's complete it in our own minds (like end a poet)  Two levels to Angelopoulos's "Preoccupation with the 'continuous image'" (p. 8) □ His films are largely silent, thus "we have extended moments when we must concentrate on the image completely." (p. 8) □ Strong musical score "to respond to in concert with the image before us" (p. 8) 2) "Angelopoulos has throughout his career been completely fascinated with history." (p. 9)  "While factual events are suggested-- the German Occupation of Gre
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