MELBOURNE | The Delphi Bank 23rd Greek Film Festival (GFF) is opening in Melbourne on Wednesday 12 October at the Astor Theatre with Christopher Papakaliatis’ “Worlds Apart”. This year the Festival proudly spotlights cult filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, screening his entire body of work to date in a series of double-bills at The Astor.
As a key component of the Greek ‘Weird Wave’, Lanthimos is part of a contemporary movement united by a particular – and peculiar – voice that challenges traditional Greek filmmaking styles. The program includes the Australian premiere screening of Lanthimos’ first feature Kinetta (2005), which follows an inscrutable trio in a Greek resort town who pass the time by staging outlandish re-enactments of local murders, as well as past favourites Dogtooth (GFF ‘09), Alps (GFF ’12), and his latest work The Lobster(2015), starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz.
Other special events include a screening of Randal Kleiser’s (Grease, The Blue Lagoon) Summer Lovers (1982), which follows a free-spirited American couple’s (Daryl Hannah, Peter Gallagher) erotic escapades with a young Parisian archeologist (Valerie Quennessen) in the Greek Islands. Described by Roger Ebert as “a beach party movie for the 1980s” the bikini-clad classic will indeed kick on with an ‘80s-themed party following the film.
Other feature highlights include the comedy Highway to Hellas by German director Aron Lehmann, an inspired look at the way Greeks and Germans – two intrinsically clashing cultures – do business together; while Yorgos Gkikapeppas’ follow-up to his award-winning debut City of Children (GFF ‘12), Silent, has him re-team with luminous leading lady Kika Georgiou to create this revelatory allegory on the modern desire to be truly heard.
Direct from the 2016 Melbourne International Film Festival the GFF presents Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ “Suntan”, an enthralling and unsettling exercise in voyeurism that “feels at times like your pervy uncle has somehow wandered into 1982’s Summer Lovers,” as film-blog Film School Rejects serendipitously notes. The GFF will also co-present a pre-festival season (from 6 Oct) of Chevalier, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s wry feminist examination of modern manhood and masculinity. Winner of Best Film at the 2015 Thessaloniki Film Festival and 2015 London Film Festival, and Best Screenplay at the 2016 Hellenic Film Academy Awards, Chevalier is co-presented by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
Alongside the feature and documentary program the 7th Greek-Australian Short Film Festival will screen a selection of local and international shorts. Co-curators Jim Koutsoukos and Katerina Kotsonis have included two Melbourne-made shorts in the program, including: Olympic Nick: A Donutumentary (dir. by Ian Tran and Rachel Morssink) that profiles Nick Tsiligiris and his business, Olympic Doughnuts, which has been an iconic fixture at Melbourne’s Footscray train station since 1979; and Mrs.Metro (dir. by Aggelos Papantoniou) an animated chronicle of a train ride with a twist. Both films recently screened at MIFF ‘16, with Papantoniou taking home the City of Melbourne Grand Prix for Best Short Film at the Festival.
“The Greek Australian Short Film Festival supports filmmakers from around the world who are Greek or of Greek descent. We’re excited to be partnering with the Greek Film Festival for the third year running and to be able to offer cash prizes for the Best Australian Short and Best International Short films in this year’s program,” said Kotsonis.
The Delphi Bank 23rd Greek Film Festival runs 12-23 October 2016 at Palace Cinema Como and The Astor, and also travels to Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Brisbane.
For tickets and the festival program visit www.greekfilmfestival.com.au