Angelopoulos studied Law in Athens, but after his military service went to Paris to attend the Sorbonne. He soon dropped out to study film at the IDHEC (Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies) before returning to Greece. There, he worked as a journalist and film critic.
Angelopoulos began making films after the 1967 coup that began the Greek military dictatorship known as the Regime of the Colonels. He made his first short film in 1968 and in the 1970s began making a series of political feature films about modern Greece: Days of '36 (Meres Tou 36, 1972), The Travelling Players (O Thiassos, 1975) and The Hunters (I Kynighoi, 1977). He quickly established a characteristic style, marked by slow, episodic and ambiguous narrative structures and long takes (The Travelling Players, for example, consists of only 80 shots in about four hours of film). These takes often included meticulously choreographed and complicated scenes involving many actors.
Angelopoulos died on January 24, 2012 after being hit by a motorcycle while walking across a road close to a movie set near Athens' main port of Piraeus. The driver, also injured and hospitalized, was later identified as an off-duty police officer. The accident occurred while Angelopoulos was working on his upcoming movie "The Other Sea."
Film critic David Thomson had counted Angelopoulos as one of the world's greatest living directors in his book The New Biographical Dictionary of Film.
Metropolitan Avgoustinos of Florina condemned Angelopoulos' film "The Suspended Step of the Stork" as blasphemous. He furthermore pronounced anathema on Angelopoulos and everyone who worked on the film's production.
- THE BROADCAST (1968)
- 1968. Greek Critics' Award, Thessaloniki Film Festival.
- RECONSTRUCTION (1970)
- DAYS OF '36 (1970)
- 1972. Best Director, Best Cinematography Awards, Thessaloniki Film Festival
- International Film Critics Association (FIPRESCI) Award for Best Film, Berlin Film Festival.
- The Travelling Players (1974-75)
- 1975. International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI), Cannes.
- 1975. Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, Greek Critics Association Awards, International Thessaloniki Film Festival
- Interfilm Award, «Forum» 1975 Berlin Festival.
- 1976. Best film of the Year, British Film Institute,
- Italian Film Critics Association: Best Film in the World, 1970-80.
- FIPRESCI: One of the Top Films in the History of Cinema.
- Grand Prix of the Arts, Japan.
- Best Film of the Year, Japan.
- Golden Age Award, Brussels.
- THE HUNTERS (1977)
- 1978. Golden Hugo Award for Best Film, Chicago Film Festival.
- MEGALEXANDROS (1980)
- 1980. Golden Lion and International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI), Venice Film Festival.
- Voyage to Cythera (1983)
- Best Screenplay and International Film Critics Award (FIPRESCI) Best Film Awards, 1984 Cannes Film Festival
- Critics' Award, Rio Film Festival.
- Landscape in the Mist (1988)
- Ulysses' Gaze (1995)
- Grand Jury Prize and International Critics' Prize, 1995 Cannes Film Festival.
- Felix of the Critics (Film of the Year 1995).
- Broadcast (I Ekpombi) (1968)
- Reconstruction (Anaparastasis) (1970)
- Days of 36 (Meres tou 36) (1972)
- The Travelling Players (O Thiassos) (1975)
- The Huntsmen (I Kinighi) (1977)
- Alexander the Great (O Megalexandros) (1980)
- Athens (Athina, epistrofi stin Akropoli) (1983)
- Voyage to Cythera (Taxidi stin Kythera) (1984)
- The Beekeeper (O Melissokomos) (1986)
- Landscape in the Mist (Topio stin Omichli) (1988)
- The Suspended Step of the Stork (To Meteoro Vima tou Pelargou) (1991)
- Ulysses' Gaze (To Vlemma tou Odyssea) (1995)
- Eternity and a Day (Mia aiwniothta kai mia mera) (1998)
- Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow (Trilogia I: To Livadi pou dakryzei) (2004)
- Chacun son cinéma (2007) (Segment of portmanteau film, with contributions from 33 directors)
- The Dust of Time (currently in production according to IMDb, 2008)
- Trilogy: The Third Wing (Projected English title)
- Trilogy: The Eternal Return (Projected English title)
- Article in Phantis.com (in English)
- Thomson, David: The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, Alfred A. Knopf, 2002, ISBN 0-375-41128-3
- Official Site, languages: GR, EN, IT, FR, DE, ES, JP
- Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database