Cinema of Greece

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In the spring of 1897, the Greeks of Athens had the opportunity and privilege to watch the first cinematic attempts (short movies in 'journal'). The projection of an animated movie resulted in excited reactions and the new-seen spectacle became a usual matter of discussion. 1906 was the birth year of the Greek Cinema when brothers John and Miltiades Manakia started recording in Macedonia, and the French filmmaker Leons, produced the first 'Newscast' from the midi-Olympic games of Athens (the unofficial Olympic games of 1906).

The first theatre of Athens opened about a year later and other special 'projection rooms' begun their activity and gathered a large mass of excited viewers. 1910-11 were the years of the first comic short movies produced by director Spiros Dimitrakopoulos, who also starred in most of his movies. In 1914 the Asty Film company was founded and the production of long films begun. Golfo (Γκόλφω), a well known traditional love story, is the first Greek long movie.

During the First World War, production is limited only in documentaries and newscasts. Directors like George Prokopiou and Dimitris Gaziadis are distinguished for filming scenes from the war lines and the Burning of Smyrna (1922).

The first grand commercial success came in 1920 with "Villar in the women's baths of Faliro" (Ο Βιλλάρ στα γυναικεία λουτρά του Φαλήρου), written, directed and starred by the comedian Villar (Nikolaos Sfakianakis). 1927 was the end of the 'primitive' Greek cinema and the beginning of a serious organisation.

During 1928- 1931 the company Dag-Film sees her more productive days, although being around since 1918. Main concern of the company were historical movies, usually adaptions of novels. Most distinct are Δάφνις και Χλόη (1931 directed by Orestes Laskos), Έρως και κύματα (1928 directed by D. Gaziadis). Dafnis and Chloe contained the first nude scene in the story of European cinema.

In 1932 the first speaking movie is made by Olympic film, Αγαπητικός της Βοσκοπούλας,, directed by D. Tsakiris. Οι Απάχηδες των Αθηνών is one of the most famous early movies, the sound of which is played by a gramophone behind the screen.

Philopemen Finos appeared actively in the production, and was a co-founder of Greek Cinematic Studios (1939). During WWII, Finos founded Finos Films (1942), a company that sealed the fate of commercial Greek cinema. During 1940-41, the most prominent films were: Vioce of Heart (Η φωνή της καρδιάς) (1943, directed by D. Ioannopoulos) and Applause (Χειροκροτήματα) (1944, directed by G. Tzavelas). In 1944 Katina Paxinou was honoured with the Best supporting Actress academy award for For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Golden Age

1950's was a period of augmentation of interest and production for vernacular films which are mirrors of modern life. New directors and actors appear who eventually were recognised as historical figures like Alekos Sakelarios, Nikos Tsiforos, Elli Lampeti, Dinos Iliopoulos, Irene Papa etc. More than 60 films per year are out. The largest part of them were melodramas and commercial spy adventuers. Notable films were Η κάλπικη λύρα (1955 directed by G. Tzavelas), Η κάλπικη λύρα (1951 directed by G. Grigoriou), Δράκος (1956 directed by N. Koundouros), Stella (1955, directed by M. Kakoyannis and written by I. Kampanellis). Finos Film marked also this period with movies such as Λατέρνα, Φτώχεια και Φιλότιμο, Η Θεία από το Σικάγο, Το ξύλο βγήκε από τον Παράδεισο etc.


In 1999, TV series writers Michael Reppas and Thanassis Papathanasiou, cooperating with famous actors, made the sex taboo comedy Safe Sex. It was proved to be the most successful movie of the later ywo decades. of the audiences to

In 2002 the writers returned with To klama vgike apo ton paradeiso (a pun of the title To xylo vgike apo ton paradeiso), which is a parody of the old Finos Films movies, satirizing their cliches and the elements that made them distinct.

In 2004 another "big-budjet for a greek film" named politiki kouzina by director .Boulmetis, or a touch of spice in english, was the success of the year in the greek Box Office, one of the few greek films that made over 7.000.000 euros in greece, and gathered more than 1.300.000 spectators.

2005 was a good year to for greek films with Nyfes gathering more than a million spectators.

Filming companies and Studios

Neither of them exists today.

Renowned figures



See also

External links