When I went to Munich in 1962, to enroll at the Academy of Fine Arts, I first took a walk round the University campus and on the Law Faculty notice board there was an announcement, inviting those interested to attend the meeting of the members of the "Studiobühne", the student theatre of the University, where I went the same evening. The "Studiobühne" playhouse was in the basement of a large building with the horrible name Haus des Rechts -House of the Justice- but I liked the place because it had a concrete column in the middle that reminded me of the Karolos Kuhn's "Art Theatre" in Athens, where I used to go faithfully since I was sixteen. The assembly met for elections and after the director, the dramaturge and the cashier were chosen by acclamation there was no candidate for technical director, so I raised my hand. The assembly looked at me pitifully and the newly-elected board asked me where I was from and what I had studied. In the absence of other nominations they elected me unanimously. When I saw the condition of the backstage area, which was used for dressing room, wardrobe, lighting console and storage of sets and props I understood the reason for their mockery...

The play approved by the assembly was "In the Jungle of Cities" by Berthold Brecht, and Charlie Tauss, director and actor, entrusted me with the execution of sets and costumes... Things were that simple back in 1962. I worked two years -manually- in the Studiobühne. Among the many people, who became known actors and directors of the "New German Cinema" were Otto Sander, Peter Stein, Alf Brustellin, Bernhard Sinkel and Roland Gall between others.

In 1964 a group from "Studiobühne" started mounting plays in the Schwabing theatre district, first in the little Theater 44 and later in the larger "Theater in der Leopoldstrasse", which also ensured us a small wage.

The following plays, for which I did the designs give a little idea of the decade's repertoire:

  • 1963 Im Dickicht der Städte, Berthold Brecht
         La Giara, Luigi Pirandello
         Le sacrifice du bourreau, René de Obaldia
         Le Défunt, René de Obaldia
         Le Grand Visir , René de Obaldia
  • 1964 Le bel indifférent, Jean Cocteau
         Poivre de Cayenne, René de Obaldia
         Nacht mit Gästen, Peter Weiss
         Die Kurve, Tankred Dorst
         The Knack and How to Get It, Ann Jellicoe
         Arden of Feversham in Kent, Anonymous
  • 1965 La Nouvelle Mandragore, Jean Vauthier
         Endgame, Samuel Beckett
         Delitto all'isola delle capre, Ugo Betti
         Les Maxibules, Marcel Aymé
  • 1966 Look Back in Anger, John Osborne
         Filumena Marturano, Eduardo De Filippo
  • 1970 Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams
         La Foire d’Empoigne, Jean Anouilh
         Α Taste of Honey, Shelagh Delaney
  • 1971 Les Justes, Albert Camus
         Uncle Vanya, Anton Chekhov


When I returned to Greece in 1978 to prepare MILO MILO, all my good friends and colleagues were shooting commercials. In the 80s I didn't have to give in, because I was shooting my own movies and also designing sets in Germany. After the disappointing box office returns of LIVING DANGEROUSLY, I decided to leave for a while and practise the skill I knew best, but I left my flat temporarily to Panoussopoulos and Tsemberopoulos who had just founded the FILMIKI production company and were looking for offices.

When after some years I returned to Athens for very personal reasons, FILMIKI had moved to the Ferron Street building, and they offered me a commercial for TACHYDROMOS magazine. Then began my irrepressible career in commercials, which neither POLIS nor PATERFAMILIAS were able to stop. Of course this happened during two decades when those who didn't advertise did not survive and there were several products that existed only in commercials, like election rallies and state campaigns for social programs and "cultural capitals".

Now that the party's over I could easily paraphrase a former minister and say "We advertised them together!"* if I hadn't bled every time I made films like THE BUBBLE and COOL to atone for my sins.

* He said: 'We spent it (the money) together!"