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Greek Film Festival features comedy, drama, more June 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas, Movies Life.
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Learn about modern life and culture in Greece without having to travel outside San Francisco at the third annual San Francisco Greek Film Festival, which takes place June 5 –  11 at the Delancey Street Screening Room, on 600 The Embarcadero (at Brannan Street).

Sponsored in part by the SF State Center for Modern Greek Studies, the festival will feature seven contemporary, full-length films and several shorts that have garnered critical acclaim in Greece and beyond. Proceeds will benefit the center and the Modern Greek Studies Foundation.

Films include:

  • “Woman is a Tough Person,” a comedy about an advertising executive facing the worst day in his life;
  • “Alexandria,” a journey of a mother and daughter who return to the mother’s hometown in Greece;
  • “The 11th Day,” a documentary about the people of the Cretan civilian resistance movement and their battle against the Nazis during World War II; and
  • “Hostage,” a thriller about a hijacking incident in Northern Greece and the ensuing police chase and media coverage.

The films showcase the talents of both veteran and up-and-coming Greek producers and directors. Films in Greek include English subtitles. The festival is part of an international tour that also includes New York, Boston, Chicago, Canada and Israel.

Tickets for the opening night film and reception are $60 and up. Other individual tickets cost $15 and can be purchased online at the San Francisco Greek Film Festival Web site. Tickets will also be available at the door, subject to availability.

The Center for Modern Greek Studies, based in SF State’s College of Humanities, was established in 1981. The center promotes the study of modern Greek language, literature, history and culture in relation to its Byzantine and earlier Hellenic history and cultural achievements. It is the largest program of its kind in the United States.

Acropolis Rally > a show full of surprises June 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.
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On Sunday 4th June, the BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally, organized for the 53rd time by ELPA, will be completed in the Olympic Stadium of Athens in a show full of surprises almost equivalent to the best WRC Rally.

Helena Paparizou, the famous Greek singer who will be Nikos Aliagas’ guest, will give an unforgettable show along with her partners in front of BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally spectators.

Greek Olympic Champions, Katerina Thanou, Voula Tsiamita, Kostas Gatsioudis and Nikos Kaklamanakis, will honour us with their presence and will also have the chance to experience a rally round in the Super Special Stage by sitting next to Simon Jean-Joseph, Europe Champion, and Sakis Efstathiou, Greek Champion, who will be driving for this occasion a Renault Megane Sport and a Renault Laguna GT. In fact, the Renault Megane Sport will be won in lottery by one of the spectators who will be present at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday. 

The spectators will also enjoy-apart from the show- the last Super Special Stage of the 53rd BP Ultimate Acropolis Rally, which may also alter the overall results. In this SSS, all crews will start the rally again in pairs at 2:15 pm with the WRC competitors in an adverse order.

The Rally is to finish late in the afternoon based on the number of crews that will return to the Olympic stadium from Sunday’s stages.

The big show starts tomorrow at 13:00. Tickets are available at Syntagmatos Square kiosks, ‘Irini’ Metro station, all Odeon cinemas and the relevant kiosks of the Olympic Stadium.

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Acropolis Rally > A trouble free day for Aris Vovos June 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.
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Local hero Aris Vovos and codriver “EL-EM” started leg 2 in 23rd place, under Superally system as the pair did not run on the final stage of leg 1 due to having 2 tyre punctures on SS6 because of having one spare tyre on board.

It has been a trouble free day for Vovos and “EL-EM” as the pair decided to drive cautiously after the punctures they had yesterday which forced them out after SS6. Greek duo didn’t encounter any problems even on both passings of Kineta, the longest stage of the event. (37 kms) The Greek duo managed to climb up 4 places after today’s stages, finishing the day 17th overall, 11,4 seconds off Fracois Duval. 

Aris Vovos: “Today’s stages were better than I expected but still rough. We are driving cautiously after what we experienced yesterday. It has been really hot in the car, both passings of Kineta was a challange. We had no problems all day.”

‘Rites of Passage:’ art exhibition opens in Ermoupolis, Syros June 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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Calliope Lemos, whose family is from the island of Oinousses, has close ties to the sea. She has lived and worked in England for the past 30 years, but devotes her summer to Greece and her native island with its maritime tradition.

Her paintings and sculptures envision art as a means of expressing the inner processes that lead to self-knowledge and a deeper understanding of humankind’s spiritual dialogue with nature and the cycle of life. Well-established abroad, Lemos has exhibited in London, Pietrasanta in Italy, Tucson and Arizona.

This is the first time she has exhibited in Greece and she chose Ermoupolis, Syros, with its strong maritime and cultural traditions. Her sculptures represent a constant transition between opposites, hence the title, “Rites of Passage.”

Seeds, ships, totems, phallic symbols, eggs and embryo shapes are the elements in a visual narrative that goes from birth to death, female to male, immobility to movement, and from the earthly to the ethereal. Lemos sculpts elements from nature — clay, metal, wood, and stone.

The exhibition opens June 3, at the Ermoupolis Municipal Cultural Center. The curator is art historian and AICA Hellas president Effi Strouza, who wrote the bilingual, Greek-English catalog with Andrew Lambeth, art critic for the Spectator newspaper in Great Britain. The exhibition is being held under the auspices of Ermoupolis Mayor and Culture Center president Yiannis Dekavallas.

Movies > Iran’s movie festival welcomed in Greece June 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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Appreciating Iranian culture, the governor of Rhodes Island in Greece called Iranians and Greeks as close friends during Iran’s movie festival in this island which was held last week. 

Last week Iran’s movie festival was held in Rhodes, one of the most important tourism destinations in Greece, by Iran’s Movie Enthusiasts Association and with the cooperation of Iran’s cultural attaché in Athens.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with Iran’s cultural attaché, the governor of Rhodes welcomed further cultural cooperation between the two nations and pointed out that holding such programs would be an important step for strengthening the cultural relations and making the people familiar with cultural aspects of the other nations. “We support Iran against the possible threats, because Greek nation is in favor of peace and justice,” said the governor of Rhodes.

This festival was greatly welcomed by the inhabitants of Rhodes and supported by Rhodes municipality. This festival was one of the most successful movie festivals which were held during recent years in the island.

Iran’s cultural attaché in Greece also negotiated with mayor of Rhodes during which different aspects of cultural development were discussed. The mayor of Rhodes also described Iran as a country with a rich cultural background and expressed his hope for repetition of such cultural programs in this island. “It was the first time this festival was held by Iran in this island, but we hope it won’t be the last time,” said mayor of Rhodes.

Iran’s movie industry has made a considerable progress during the last two decades and has shone in some important international movie festivals such as Cannes movie festival in France. Iranian females have played an active role in this respect. “Among the 4000 who works in Iran’s movie industry, almost 1800 are females. Iranian women have succeeded in winning 71 international prizes in this field so far,” explained Seyed Mohammad Reza Darbandi, Iran’s cultural attaché in Greece in the opening ceremony of this festival.

Rain, The Color of God, and Children of Heavens directed by Majid Majidi, and the Blue Scarf directed by Rakhshan Bani Etemad were the four Iranian movies which were screened in this festival.

On the sideline of the festival, the Greek version of Nahjolbalaghe book, (the book written by Imam Ali, the first Imam of Shiite Muslims) was distributed among the participants in the festival which was welcomed by the people.  

Greece Seeks Return of ‘Looted’ Works from Getty June 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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The J. Paul Getty Museum, already embroiled in a dispute with Italy over looted art, now faces demands by Greece over the return of allegedly stolen antiquities.

Greece has backed its claims by presenting archaeological evidence proving the Greek origin of three items ranking among the masterpieces of the Getty's antiquities collection. A gold funerary wreath, an inscribed tombstone and a marble torso were all purchased in 1993. The fourth item, an archaic votive relief, was bought in 1955 by the museum's founder, J. Paul Getty himself.

According to the Greek media, the gold wreath was purchased by Marion True, the museum's former chief curator of antiquities, who resigned after 20 years with the Getty, the world's largest and wealthiest museum. Her resignation came about due to a conflict of interest. She reportedly secured a $400,000 (£225,000) loan with the help of one of the Getty's main art suppliers for a holiday house in the Greek island of Paros.

Ms True faces criminal charges in Italy over conspiring with dealers to traffic in stolen goods. Her trial is scheduled to resume in Rome. Greek officials initially lodged their claim nine years ago and renewed it in May.

The Greek consulate in Los Angeles said that a 20 May letter to the Getty Museum cited a "lack of evidence" regarding the time and way the wreath and other objects were exported. The letter pointed out that there is a strong indication that the artifacts entered the art market illegally.

Monday's LA Times said officials in the US had told the Getty before it bought the wreath and marble torso they had almost certainly been looted. The newspaper says Ms True first saw the wreath in a Zurich bank vault but walked away after realising the men she was dealing with were impostors. She went ahead with the deal several months later, museum records show.

Ms True's lawyer referred questions to the Getty but the museum declined to comment. In the past, it has denied knowingly buying stolen artifacts. But the Getty has returned three objects the Italian government claimed had been stolen. Documents show that the votive relief bought by J. Paul Getty himself was from the archaeological site of the Greek island of Thassos.

EU legislation on prosecuting antiquities smugglers has tightened in the past decade. Artifacts that lack a documented ownership history are presumed to have been illegally excavated.  

Ancient sanctuary of Hermes discovered in central Greece June 3, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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Residential construction in the central Greek city of Trikala brought to light the remains of an ancient sanctuary to god Hermes.

Terracotta tablets dedicated to the deity of commerce were discovered near two greenish sandstone walls respectively 12.3 metres (40 feet) and 4.3 metres long.

Other findings included bronze coins, pieces of broken bowls as well as figurine fragments dating from Hellenistic and Roman times (4th century BC – 3th century AD).

The finding is located in the site of the ancient town of Trikke – home to the Asclepion, the ancient world's oldest and most renowned sanctuary.

Known to the Romans as Mercury and member of the ancient Greeks' 12-god pantheon, Hermes was the messenger and herald of the gods, deity of science, eloquence and cunning, as well as patron of thieves and travelers.