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A demanding role in Angeliki Antoniou’s “Eduart” March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life Greek.
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‘I created my own Eduart in my mind and in my heart, and I was afraid that if I met him and he was very different it would confuse me tremendously,’ says Durmishi.

A true story about a rare event is always a promising opportunity for a role full of dramatic tension and a display of thespian talent. The young Kosovar actor Eshref Durmishi was given this opportunity to shine in his first feature film, Angeliki Antoniou’s “Eduart.” In the drama, which is now playing at theaters, the Greek filmmaker tells the story of a young Albanian man who commits a crime, atones for it and turns himself in to the authorities.

“Angeliki Antoniou gave me different parts of the script for rehearsals. The second time we met, I read a monologue and she gave me the part,” he said. “I had only just graduated from a drama school in Pristina when the film was cast. We worked extensively on rehearsals with Angeliki because it was my first feature film, as well as a large and complex role. I told her that I needed her help and we didn’t stop rehearsing for quite some time. It was a wonderful experience because I got to work with people like Angeliki, cinematographer Jurgen Jurges and actor Andre Hennicke.”

Have you ever met the real Eduart? > No, never. I wanted to see him before we started shooting but I reconsidered it and discussed it with Angeliki and we decided it wasn’t a very good idea. I created my own Eduart in my mind and in my heart, and I was afraid that if I met him and he was very different it would confuse me tremendously. When I got the script, Angeliki told me just to read it and not do anything else. I respected her wishes and what came out was from the work we did together.

When you play a thief and a murderer, do you have to like him in order to put him across? > You have to love every character you play, otherwise it won’t come out as it should. I came to love the story and the character. You have to believe in the character first, otherwise no one else will. The first thing I liked about Eduart was that he came back to Greece to surrender and pay for his mistakes. I also liked the scenes with his father and his sister, when she tells him that she doesn’t want to visit him in prison again.

What do you think of his change of heart? > Maybe he didn’t want to be free when his conscience was imprisoned by guilt. Maybe he wanted to be liberated through his imprisonment. When we were shooting the prison scenes, I really felt like a prisoner because the set and the atmosphere were very real.

Would you say that you are a method actor? Did the character of Eduart stick to you? > That was not my intention, but I noticed that it did happen. During a break in filming, I went on holiday to Italy with my family when what I really wanted was to be alone. When I was preparing for the role, however, I didn’t read any books or watch any movies. I wanted the character I had created to be as authentic as possible.

How do you think the audience will respond to the film? A film on a similar theme, “Hostage,” was a box-office failure. > I hope it does as well as it did at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. As far as the other film is concerned, I have heard about it. Maybe its timing was off, because the story it told was very recent and the public had already had its fill from the media frenzy it created. Eduart’s story is less known and is also quite different.

Is there any potential for a career in film in Kosovo? > Very little. As we all know, after the war we had to start with less than nothing. There are very few films being made today, but the good thing is that many producers are interested in making films either using Kosovo as a location or about the war. Things are improving.


A ripping exhibition on fashion March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Fashion & Style.
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Paper dress display at the Benaki shows 60s classics, new creations

There’s Robert Kennedy, Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg, but also the stars of Universal Studios, Campbell Soup and bright prints. If fashion is a reflection of the kind of world we live in, the 1960s craze for disposable paper dresses captured history in the making.

No fewer than 100 original, 1960s paper dresses welcome visitors to the Benaki Museum’s Pireos Annex, where «RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion» is on display until April 7. This is where fashion, art, history, design and architecture join forces in a three-tiered show.

Behind the exciting display lies a great team: Atopos, an Athens-based culture think tank and owner of the world’s leading paper dress collection. A non-profit organization presided over by Stamos J. Fafalios and counting on the endless energy of its artistic director Vassilis Zidianakis, who also curated the current exhibition, Atopos is turning into a major player in cultural affairs, both on a local and international level.

For the Atopos team, research on fabric innovation, technology and apparel manufacturing led to a specific interest in the use of paper, whether woven or non-woven. At the same time, the group was already building a collection of paper dresses straight from the 1960s, the organization today owns about 300 original pieces. As their paper dress collection grew, the team’s appetite for more led them to travel the extra research mile and look into how paper was used in garment making in the past, its intriguing use in today’s fashion and just how it might look in the future.

It all comes together at the Athens Museum, where a pile of newspapers lies next to a John Galliano gown featuring printed-fabric press cuttings, while a page from an open book points to the designer’s inspiration, a creation by Elsa Schiaparelli.

Juxtaposing the raw with the refined, the old and the new, the exhibition showcases more than 200 items stemming from various international institutions, including the Miyake Issey Foundation in Tokyo, the Brooklyn Museum in New York, Antwerp’s Fashion Museum and the Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation in Nafplion.

Making a special appearance at the Benaki is Andy Warhol’s Fragile dress, originally conceived as a promotion for the Mars Manufacturing Company and eventually worn by the Velvet Underground’s Nico. Also on display is Christian Dior’s quintessential definition of the New Look, the Bar Suit, recreated on paper by Isabelle de Borchgrave, conceptual Turkish-Cypriot designer Hussein Chalayan’s Airmail dress, as well as a late 18th century Japanese Kamiko coat and paper vests worn by French and Belgian POWs during World War II.

Special commissions also play an integral part. Theater man, and Vassilis Zidianakis’s mentor, Bob Wilson, fashion designers Rick Owens, Sophia Kokosalaki, as well as local designers and artists, among them Deux Hommes, Yiorgos Eleftheriades, Angelos Bratis and MI-RO, were asked by Atopos to produce works for the show, to add a creative twist, some were asked to rework original pieces.

What is intriguing at the Museum is not only what you see, but how you see it being showcased. Marking a fresh approach to scenography, the show’s mise-en-scene was conceived by Paris-based Normal Studio. Jean-Francois Dingjian and Eloi Chafai were invited by Zidianakis to come to Athens and find novel ways to display, store and conserve the exhibits.

For the French design duo, known for their work in industrial design as well as Museum shows such as «L’Homme pare» at the Musee de la Mode et du Textile in Paris in 2005, the project became fertile ground for breaking some rigid rules for museums.

In the end, they came up with an open-space atmosphere, an interactive area promoting free movement, as if it were Atopos’s own workshop, where exhibits go on display on rotation. Meanwhile, Greek architect Grigoris Kotsiyiannis has designed two labyrinths leading to two commissioned works by video artist Marcus Tomlinson.

The journey ends at the Museum’s store, where visitors can browse through a large selection of accessories made of paper, ranging from lamps to jewelry as well as the exhibition’s free-spirited catalog.

Following its debut staging in Greece, «RRRIPP!! Paper Fashion» will travel to London’s Hellenic Center during London Fashion Week in September, while possible destinations also include Luxembourg’s Museum of Modern Art and the Olympic city of Beijing next year.

At the Benaki Museum Pireos Annex, 138 Pireos Street, Athens, tel 210 3453111.

Parliament in Nicosia approves adoption of euro March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Business & Economy, Cyprus News.
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The Cyprus Parliament yesterday voted in favor of adopting the euro as planned on January 1, 2008, despite opposition from a senior partner in the island’s ruling coalition.

The 56-seat house in Cyprus passed the legislation by 36 votes to 15 against after a three-hour debate. Five deputies were absent.

Safe passage was only assured after the right-wing opposition Democratic Rally of Cyprus Party (DISY) agreed to back the euro bill although it indicated last week that it could scupper the vote. The nominally communist AKEL could not vote down the bill with its 18 seats alone, but a “no” vote by DISY, which also has 18 deputies, would have killed it. DISY deputies voted in favor following government assurances that official policy was to enter the eurozone next year with minimal negative impact on Cypriot society.

AKEL MP Stavros Evagorou urged a delay to give a “transitional economy” more time to harmonize with Europe and allow extra funding for social programs.

Nicolas Papadopoulos, son of President Tassos Papadopoulos, said his DIKO party in the coalition wanted to “adopt the euro as soon as possible,” warning that Cyprus could lose out on foreign investments if it failed to do so.

Cyprus had to approve EU-mandated legislation in order to adopt the euro as planned as the European Central Bank deadline for the vote was yesterday.

Legislation covers the conversion process, yea-long dual pricing after the pound is locked against the euro, dual circulation for one month, and 100,000 fines for profiteers under a “naming and shaming” policy.

AKEL’s “no” vote caused an embarrassing rift among the three-party alliance of Papadopoulos. It argued it wanted to delay entry by one year because of concerns over the effect it could have on low-income groups. It fears a government austerity drive to meet euro convergence criteria will hinder social welfare programs. But Papadopoulos said his strongly pro-euro government could not pick and choose when to enter the eurozone. Employers and industrialists also warned that a no vote would be “catastrophic for the economy.”

The next step on the path toward adopting the euro is due to come in May, with the European Commission and the European central bank assessing whether Cyprus meets strict macroeconomic targets on public finance, inflation, interest rates and exchange rates.

Museum is inching ahead March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Museums.
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The construction of the long-awaited New Acropolis Museum is likely to be completed this summer but visitors will probably not be allowed into the building until next year, Culture Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis told a group of MPs yesterday.

A year ago, Voulgarakis said that work on the Museum would be finished by this month and visitors would be allowed in by the end of 2007 but the project, initially scheduled for completion before the Athens 2004 Olympics, is slightly behind.

Archaeologist Dimitris Pantermalis suggested that Athenians could be allowed in for two hours each day to see the exhibits being positioned before the Museum opens to visitors.

Voulgarakis told the group of visiting MPs that there are plans to tidy up the area around the Museum after deputies complained that the ugliness of surrounding apartment blocks spoiled the view from the second-floor restaurant.

Voulgarakis said there are plans to flank the Museum with trees that will block any unseemly sights and allow visitors to enjoy the view of the Acropolis.

High-speed trains on track March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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Railway companies in Greece are having a very important year with many projects under way, while a new high-speed line, similar to those in Western Europe, will start operating across Greece within a few years, said Transport Minister Michalis Liapis.

“There is a real cosmogony taking place in the railways. We are having the greatest interventions in more than 100 years, which is why I am personally observing the projects’ progress. Their realization is a major personal challenge for me,” said Liapis, in Patras to monitor work on the new railway line to link the city in the northwestern Peloponnese with Athens.

“This year, we are completing the contracts, rapidly absorbing European funds and finishing with the realization of major projects,” said Liapis.

Later on in the day, he announced that high-speed trains running on a twin electricity-powered line will link Patras, Athens, Thessaloniki and the northern border post of Evzoni in a “railway network similar to the European ones.” He also announced the decision for 5 kilometers of the railway line in Patras to go underground. “Already the relevant studies are ready and the project is expected to start within the next year. We are cooperating with the local authorities to utilize these spaces for the benefit of local society, as the line goes through the city’s densely populated district,” he said.

On the creation of a tramline in Patras, Liapis said he proposed that the project be undertaken by a public-private partnership, adding that the Ministry has already ordered the funding of the relevant study for 1 million euro.

Finally, he stated that the Ministry’s interventions over the last three years on issues concerning the private regional coach network (KTEL), including the construction of a new terminal and the arrangement of KTEL’s huge debts, “are changing the transport landscape with more quality services by KTEL, new coaches and modern infrastructure.” Eight new coaches were presented yesterday within the context of the local KTEL fleet’s renewal.

Swimming for medals March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Aquatics.
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World Championship a major test for Greek aquatics, water polo

greek_water_polo.jpg  Coach Sandro Campagna (left) hopes to steer the National Water Polo Team to more glory, after finishing third in the previous worlds.

The 12th FINA World Championships are to begin in Melbourne tomorrow with strong Greek participation in all events, except for women’s swimming.

First to take the dive into the pool is the National Synchronized Swimming Team, which has been fully renewed since it earned two Bronze Medals last year at the European Championships in Budapest.

On Sunday, the swimming events in open water start, at sea, with Greek long-distance Champion Spyros Yianniotis taking the plunge for the first time in the 5 and 10 kilometer races, on Sunday and Wednesday respectively.

Divers follow from Monday on, with Olympic Gold medalist Thomas Bimis also present. “This is more like a test ahead of the World Cup next year in Beijing, which will determine qualification for the Olympic Games,” said coach Petros Fyrigos.

Swimming begins later, on March 25 through April 1, with Greece’s representation being 12 men. “There is optimism for medals and good placements in the finals. If all goes well, we may get more than one medal, as happened two years ago,” said technical assistant Christodoulos Choumas. Aris Grigoriadis, Yianniotis, in the 1,500 meters, and the 4×200 National Team carry Greece’s hopes for a medal.

Yet the focus as usual is on the men’s National Water Polo Team, which begins its group games on March 20 against Russia. Then, on March 22, Greece plays China and completes the first stage with its game against Spain on March 24. The women’s team starts on Monday morning against Kazakhstan, with the Netherlands and USA to follow.

Easy home win keeps PAO on top March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Panathinaikos basketball team ensured it captured the top spot in the Euroleague’s Group F with its 95-68 win over Polish team Prokom Trefl in Athens last night, combined with Barcelona’s defeat on Wednesday in Turkey by Efes Pilsen (82-78).

This means the Greens will have home advantage for the rest of the competition, starting from the best-of-three quarterfinal to decide one of the four tickets to the Final Four in Athens in May.

Late on Wednesday night, Aris suffered its fifth defeat in as many games in Group G. The Thessaloniki team lost in Treviso to Benetton 83-79. Panionios also lost in its FIBA Eurocup quarterfinal in Girona to local Akasvayu 83-49 and crashed out of the competition.