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"O DRAKOS" official movie portal, the fiend of athens

REFERENCES

what the world is saying, about the movie


"Franzen's Freedom revives legend of The Dragon"
«...for their very first date, Walter takes Patty to a movie. Somewhat heartsinkingly for the unpretentious and sporty Patty, it's a black-and-white film from the 50s, being screened free of charge at the University's Art Department auditorium, a grim indication that it is not going to be much fun. Its English title is The Fiend of Athens ... (the event is actually recounted by Patty in the therapeutic journal she is writing later)...Later, the couple argue about what the film means. Walter sees it as a political parable for the fightback against right-wing oppression. Patty sees it as a purely personal story about masculinity and taking action. Later in the book, there is a chapter called The Fiend of Washington. Walter, like the film's protagonist, has decided to flex his muscles a little and throw in his lot with some corporate alpha-males... Patty's description doesn't do it justice... And it actually turns out to be interestingly different from the film that Franzen's Patty remembers. The differences provide a telling slant on the action of his novel. Could it be that Franzen intended readers of his book to go out and watch the film, and notice the difference... a time-bomb of added meaning, buried deep in the text?» Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian 12/10/11


«Multiple reviews have now picked up on the placement of Tolstoy's War and Peace in Jonathan Franzen's new novel. The two reviewers I linked to in fact make this allusion into a sort of master-code for the novel, titling their coverage "Peace and War" and "The Tolstoy of the Internet Era." This is absurd not only because comparison of this sort is the laziest and least valuable form of criticism, but also because the allusion on which hangs this invidious comparison is in fact rather slight. Arguably, a reference to a now quite obscure Greek film, O drakos, or The Fiend of Athens, is of much more considerable relevance to the book's plot». Andrew Seal, Blographia Literaria 10/11/10


«O Drakos (The Ogre) ...signaled the start of the short life of Greek film noir that created some excellent films that critically assimilated aspects from the American film noir as well as German expressionism. The Ogre also follows the rules of ancient Greek tragedy, creating in my opinion the best Greek film noir.» A. Tsakiris, Subterranean Passages from
The Ogre to Lola:The Influence of American Film Noir on Greek Cinema.


«The expressionist form and Chiaroscuro techniques together with the subject matter of mobsters, the underdog, femme fatales, heists and nightclubs lead to the unavoidable link of O Drakos to the Film-Noir which was at its height in the 50’s. Urban setting, the underworld, pessimism, cynicism and betrayal can all be found in this film, too. The characters are all trapped in a labyrinthine city and in the dark. They are bitter and alienated. Their morals are not clear – they are unlawful to rise out of their misery, not for the thrill of it or for riches. In the same way, the Clerk chooses to deceive, to accept the mistaken identity of the Monster-Drakos and by doing so to escape his own disheartening, his loneliness and his psyche’s bleeding... It would be unfair though to consider O Drakos principally as a film-noir, as the connotations of ‘thriller’ would do it little justice. There is no surprise and no suspense. The fates are predefined. There are no heroes, only the Lost. Because the film’s main concern is Realism. Expressionism and Film-Noir are employed just to serve a realistic modelling of the life of all these people. In principal it is a neo-realist film. This marriage of styles was rejected by contemporary critics and the audience alike. The film was described as an ‘abomination’ even by inspired critics of the time”. by Greekfilm blog


«Quand j'ai vu le film de Koundouros L'Ogre d'Athènes pour la première fois, c'était en 1956 je crois. Le film venait de sortir. J'étais étudiant à la fac et j'y suis allé entre deux cours. Il y avait peu de monde dans la salle. Les critiques étaient, je me souviens, plutôt réservées, parfois même virulentes. Pour moi, c'était une surprise. J'étais en présence d'un film qui se détournait des sentiers battus du cinéma grec de l'époque, qui tenait compte des leçons du néo-réalisme italien et qui empruntait une direction proche du Dernier des hommes de Murnau. Quelques échappées vers l'expressionnisme, vers ce qu'on appelait, en Grèce, à l'époque, "l'expressionnisme populaire", qui assimilait la peinture et d'autres arts, dans une volonté de créer un style grec. Donc, le film m'a surpris et m'a impressionné. C'était le premier film grec qui, réellement, m'a intéressé. Je l'ai revu bien plus tard. Il gardait toujours cette même fraîcheur et, je dirais, sa singularité. L'Ogre reste aujourd'hui un point de référence, une des conquêtes majeures du cinéma grec.» Theo Angelopoulos


«L'Ogre d'Athènes est considéré comme un des grands films charnières du cinéma grec, pour sa façon révolutionnaire de présenter les classes populaires et les exclus. C'est aussi le film qui offre aux rebetiko et zeimbekiko leurs premières lettres de noblesse grâce à la musique de Mános Hadjidákis... La gauche détesta ce film qui ne présente pas une classe populaire « sainte et martyre», mais au contraire une population fascinée par l'argent facile et le « rêve américain » (comme dans Ville magique où le Magic City est le bar à l'américaine, incarnation du rêve, mais aussi lieu de tous les trafics). Pour la droite, le film n'incarne pas les bonnes valeurs morales grecques, celles que tout Grec doit posséder pour obtenir alors des autorités son «certificat de bonne conduite» lui permettant de trouver un travail ou de réaliser la moindre démarche administrative. Dans Ville magique comme dans l'Ogre d'Athènes, Koúndouros désire montrer que la société grecque s'enfonce dans une aliénation de plus en plus grande. Il prend ici le contre-pied du néoréalisme italien, à la de Sica plutôt optimiste.» Yorgos Bramos, « "Dans le désert terrible de la foule" (La démarche solitaire de Nikos Koundouros) », dans Michel Demopoulos (dir.), Le Cinéma grec, Paris,
Centre Georges Pompidou, coll. « Cinéma/Pluriel », 1995

LINKS

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