jump to navigation

Top US filmmaker at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival February 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
comments closed

Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple will attend the 9th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

Barbara Kopple made her directorial debut filming under extremely harsh conditions, with a miners’ strike in Kentucky. Her persistence paid off, nonetheless, as her documentary «Harlan County USA» received the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1977. Her success did not end there, 14 years later, Kopple received her second Academy Award for «American Dream» (1990) which explored the cost of recession on human life.

One of America’s most prominent documentary makers, Kopple is a guest of the 9th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival. Organized by Dimitris Eipidis, the event runs March 16 to 25.

What makes 60-year-old Barbara Kopple stand out from other documentary filmmakers is the way she narrates the stories that she chooses to tell as well as her in-depth and multidimensional approach to characters. According to Kopple, documentaries are all about life and the filmmaker must be clever enough, flexible enough and willing enough to follow the narrative.

Kopple will not be the only prominent guest of the film festival, which will also host Julia Reichert with Steven Bognar, as well as John Alpert. Reichert, a guru of American independent cinema, is credited with two Academy Award nominations. Steven Bognar has managed, with his relatively recent activity in the field of independent documentary filmmaking, to be recognized as one of the genre’s most promising representatives. Their first joint project, titled «A Lion in the House» tells the story of the uneven battle of five children and their families against cancer.

American director, producer and reporter John Alpert is well known for his historical and exclusive reports from Cambodia, Nicaragua, China, Russia, Iran and Iraq, but also for his interviews with Fidel Castro and Saddam Hussein.

Lysistrata’s ethical power February 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
comments closed

Ancient Greeks, by contrast, were equally sensitive to the social basis of power, how its exercise might strengthen or weaken the personal or communal bonds on which influence ultimately rested.

They distinguished between power exercised through persuasion, which strengthened those bonds, and power that weakened those bonds because it relied on coercion, bribery and deceit.

Greek concepts, and the rich lexicon in which they are rooted, provide the basis for a critique of realist conceptions of power and emphasize its material basis and generally divorce its analysis and application from ethical considerations.

This brings to my mind the famous Greek drama, “Lysistrata”, the third and concluding play of Aristophanes’ War and Peace series.

In this 2,000-year-old play, the women of a small city-state decide to stop having sex with men until they halt a senseless war. The men, driven to frustration, eventually give in, halt the war, and all returns to normal. The comedy focused not only on the ironies of sexuality but more importantly on freedom of choice and social harmony.

Concert > world premiere of Tillirkotissa February 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus.
comments closed

Mezzo-soprano Angela Cathariou in Cyprus to give concert including world premiere of locally-commissioned Tillirkotissa

The Pharos Trust concert will feature Greek mezzo-soprano Angelica Cathariou and French pianist Emmanuel Olivier, with a programme featuring works by Massenet, Bizet, Offenbach, Poulenc, Thanos Mikroutsikos and Evis Sammoutis, whose new work Tillirkotissa, commissioned by the Pharos Trust, will be premiered.

Angelica Cathariou was born in Athens and following initial studies there furthered her vocal development in Italy, before continuing to the University of York, where she received an MA in Music.

She has sung major operatic roles in top venues and performed under distinguished conductors all around the world. She is an active supporter of contemporary music and is the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Premio Leoncavallo Prize in Locarno, Switzerland in 1998.

Angelica Cathariou and Emmanuel Olivier’s recital on Monday, February 26.

Greek company buys Belgrade Refinery February 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy.
comments closed

Greek company Neocimiki L.V. Lavrentiadis bought 70% of the capital of the Belgrade Oil Refinery.

The Privatization Agency and Neochimiki L.V. Lavrentiadis signed an agreement on the sale of Belgrade’s Rafinerija Nafte.

According to the statement relayed in a government press release, the Greek company will pay 16.38 million euros, and will invest further 15 million euros. The buyer has also unconditionally accepted minimum obligations, and additional elements of the social program.

Other bidders in the tender for the sale of 70 percent of the Belgrade-based oil refinery included a Consortium of Novi Sad’s Res Trade MBS Tehno from Belgrade.

The tender commission has approved the tender results and accept the tender list according to which Neochimiki L.V. Lavrentiadis was declared top bidder.

Have a Bouzouki Tonic February 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Oceania.
comments closed

Fringe Festival 2007, New Zealand
Bluenote Productions Presents Bouzouki Tonic
Tuesday February 27 7pm
Bluenote Bar Cnr Cuba and Vivian Streets, Wellington, New Zealand
Tickets $10 from Bluenote Bar

Bouzouki Tonic is a show on the fringe, it’s different as it is something that people don’t often get to hear live authentic Greek music locally especially from the exotic instrument the Bouzouki.

With Greek mezze food available the Bluenote will capture the atmosphere of the exotic Mediterranean in the heart of Wellington and the audience will be able to fully participate and have fun.

Nic and Antonis have been playing together for 12 years and are considered the best local exponents to bring the bouzouki alive. Expect to hear popular songs of Greece including old favourites including Never on Sunday and Zorba the Greek.

So bring along your dancing shoes and have a night with a difference at the Bluenote. Opa!

Splatter-fest Greek tragedy flops February 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
comments closed

In David Johnston’s new adaptation of Aeschylus’ “Oresteia”, the Blue Coyote Theater Group flounders in its attempt to portray the Greek tragedy with a modern flare of language and style.

“Oresteia” is a series of three tragic plays that recount the catastrophic events within the House of Atreus in Argos following the Trojan War. In an act of revenge and greed, Clytemnestra, queen of Argos, murders her husband, Agamemnon, and his prophetess concubine Cassandra. Seeking retribution for their father’s death, Electra and Orestes slay their mother, incurring the wrath of the Furies and the sympathy of the gods. The ensuing battle for Orestes’ life reaches its climax in a debate over the logic and reality of revenge.

Rather than using roughly translated verse, Johnston has made the dialogue smoother but this modern approach is only partially successful by lending itself to a contemporary audience. In his redesign of the dialogue, however, a few key elements of the plot are omitted, confusing audience members, particularly those who are not familiar with the plays.

For instance, upon his entrance in the second portion of the production, Prince Orestes, played by Brendan Bradley, is boyish, seemingly na’ve and dreamy-eyed, even while murdering his mother. As the story segues into the final part of the series, it is announced, appropriately enough by the goddess of wisdom, Athena, that Orestes is still an adolescent. After this declaration, Bradley’s performance makes sense. Unfortunately, Orestes has fallen into the background by this point, denying him the opportunity to use the audience’s newfound knowledge to his advantage.

Regal yet devious, Queen Clytemnestra drives the plot forward in the first portions of “Oresteia”. But Kathy Lichter’s performance straggles. She embodies the fate used by her character, often morphing into a counterfeit over-actor with little emotional variation. Equally one-dimensional are Clytemnestra’s partners: her husband, the king, a strange political combination of a screaming Howard Dean and George Bush, and her lover, an alcoholic sex fiend. Their deaths are awaited with anticipation, and while King Agamemnon and the lover Aegisthus remain delightfully dead, Lichter returns as a ghost in the third part, linking the three portions with her overdramatic presentation.

Unfortunately, the most captivating performances are short-lived. Sounding a noisemaker and donning a party hat at the death of her mother, Sarah Schoenberg is funny yet powerful as the mentally disturbed Electra. In another bout of insanity, Cassandra, portrayed by Jonna McElrath, surpasses Schoenberg, vividly displaying madness from her prophetic gift yet never abandoning her humanity. As Cassandra goes to her impending death at the hands of Clytemnestra, she asks to be remembered, a feat McElrath easily accomplishes.

Overall the deaths in the production seem less like dramatic tragedy and more like staged horror-movie mimicry, almost drawing from the gaudiness of “Evil Dead: The Musical”. As a slasher-flick soundtrack pipes through the sound system, a shower and a knife seem more appropriate than the rolling-out of bloody corpses that would make professional haunted-house owners weep. A prime opportunity for suspense is misused.

“No one is ever the worst thing they’ve ever did,” says a curator at the opening of the production, describing the atrocities of the House of Atreus. The phrase describes not only the characters but also the production as a whole – unintentionally showing the need to look beyond many shortcomings to discover the value of the Aeschylus tragedy.

Oresteia, Blue Coyote Theater Group, Presented by Access Theater, 380 Broadway.

Alzheimer’s skin patch on Greek market February 26, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness.
comments closed

A new treatment, in the form of a skin patch, will be used by patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s dementia, and is expected to be on the Greek market in October.

The patch will be used to convey the drug rivastigmine through patients’ skin, eliminating the need for the consumption of pills orally on a daily basis.

The announcement was made during the 5th conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders, held in Thessaloniki.