2016

FILMS ON PINBOARDS

When my website was uploaded to the internet some visitors I knew, and a few I didn't, asked if I had ever thought of presenting the site materials in their "analog" form, which means on paper. But the idea that I would have to take down and empty about a hundred ring binders as well as a chest of drawers packed with drafts, caused me to panic. On the other hand, before delivering my entire archives to the Greek Literary and Historical Archive (E.L.I.A.), I wanted to tidy it up, perhaps discard some things, but it never occurred to me to show them in an art gallery.

The Athens Film Festival's "Opening Nights" in 2014, which started with a multimedia event at TECHNOPOLIS, seemed to me the right venue and festival director Orestis Andreadakis encouraged me, but the sudden parliamentary elections in 2015 shifted the time frame of the festival and forced me to postpone the project until 2016.

By then the "new" artistic director of the festival (A.I.F.F.), Loukas Katsikas, and Goethe Institut's cultural programs’ "seasoned" Sofia Michailidou and the "seasoned" Sofia Michailidou, provided me with the ideal space. My multi-talented friend Dinos Avgoustidis and I installed my 40-year "work diary" (1971-2011) on a surface surpassing 38 meters total length - which might very well have been a Guinness World Record, if we had informed them. But I forgot to count the pins.

Here, instead of a longer introduction, I attach a copy of the note we pinned at the starting point of the installation.

There are items that no one knows where to hang or put so as to find them again: roof terrace keys, unpaid utility bills that must not be forgotten, or such things as baptism photos of friends or important celebrities, not necessarily to be framed.

In my first profession the pinboard became an indispensable tool for the simple reason that I never had enough space or money for blueprint drawers. Apart from this I wanted to flaunt the first film poster with my name on it. Indeed, it was a work by Psychopedis, a regular painter. The second one I would print myself.

When I started writing scripts, I even pinned index cards - later Post-it notes - with my movie scenes on the soft board, next to photos of the ideal cast.

Finally, I chose the term "installation" because it was chic and spacious. Besides, an "exhibition" without works of art would have a hard time competing with an exhibition of Italian bathroom tiles.

Thanks to my web disigner Danae and digital technology, visitors can surf and zoom in on any of the four nine-meter pinboards.

2016

ANTIPIRACY SPOT

In September 2015 I heard that ODEON was planning to close down all 12 theatres of the Kosmopolis Cineplex Maroussi. I decided to take advantage of the dismantling and asked help from Manos Krezias and of some friends and volunteers to shoot a realistic "commercial" against the illegal film downloading for the Greek Film Academy, which, due to governmental indifference, has forced the whole film economy and those who lived from it on its knees.

Besides the workers and technicians who simply continued their job, I had the cooperation of Claudio Bolivar (Photography), Yannis Nelson Eskioglou (Camera), Konstantinos Adraktas (Editing), Yorgos Pirpassopoulos (Naration), Aris Louziotis, (Sound Design) and Kostas Varibombiotis (Sound Mix).

2012

DRASSI

"DRASSI (Action) with questions"

Two weeks before the crucial parliamentary elections of 6 May 2012, my colleague, Apostolos Doxiadis, called and asked if I would help to shoot for DRASSI, liberal politician Stefanos Manos's party, a 45-minute film, to be broadcast on the ERT state channel in the time slot allotted free to the parties. Because, unlike that of other politicians and party leaders, I held Stefanos Manos's insight in high esteem, I accepted, also perhaps because of doubts about my deliberate abstinence from party organizations and other political activity.

After some harrowing and fruitless meetings concerning the format of the film, and because of the intense time pressure, I asked for some minimal arrangements such as a quiet place outdoors around the Acropolis, some folding chairs, tables and two large umbrellas, three cameras, a sound engineer and my assistant, all for a nominal fee. The shoot, to which all active members of DRASSI were invited, was in Thiseio, below the statue of Theseus, the city's founder, on May Day, the Tuesday before the election Sunday. Apostolos had organized the "interviews" in thematic sections and I set rudimentary camera positions around the speakers. The video had to be mounted in two days and nights from five hours of material. And while I had lost the overview of the material, Apostolos, as the exact scientist he is, managed to mount the piece with two editors and send it in time to the channel by his personal assistant, who carried it by motorcycle the distance from Monastiraki to Agia Paraskevi (about 9 km in city traffic) in 9 minutes and 40 seconds.

The epilogue:
We never learned how many voters saw the movie, but we know that DRASSI and the "Liberal Alliance" got 114,000 or 1.8% of the votes. By comparison the neo-Nazis of "Golden Dawn" got 440.890 or 6.97%.
The film has no subtitles. They wouldn't help anyhow.

1978

AMANDA

"AMANDA to be an exciting movie"

In the 70s among many state and local programmes for the promotion and funding of feature films, there existed in the Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany a Committee that, on fixed dates, accepted and read and awarded selected scripts or their drafts with large amounts that flowed into the production if and when the shooting of the movie ever started. Anxiously awaiting the funding for MILO MILO, my friend and co-producer von Vietinghoff, to support me psychologically, urged me, if I had a good idea, to write it down and submit it as a treatment.

I had an idea, but I didn't know if it was a good one and the deadline was in four days. I wrote and sketched for four days and nights to the point of exhaustion, I photocopied the manuscript without re-reading it, and luckily the post office was in the neighbourhood and was open before the submission deadline. A month later the Committee announced the short-listed scripts without mentioning AMANDA, but after a few days I got a call from Monika Nüchtern, Committee member and owner of a small publishing house specialising in cinema subjects.

Of the seven members she was the only one who had voted for my treatment and wanted to publish it as "AMANDA to be an exciting movie" in her series called Film Stories. I agreed because it was the best way to protect the formidable idea and because my friend and writer Chris Doherty insisted that we start writing the script*.

"AMANDA" is the title of a manuscript found sewn into a mattress in the "Amanda Manzola Memorial County Asylum", a mental hospital. Its author was probably Leroy Cracker, a former astronaut who never recovered after an interplanetary mission and, before disappearing under the alias Apostel Earthling, recorded the tragic story of the last US president Amanda Manzola and the events that led to her assassination. In short, Amanda, an androgyne with superhuman powers and abilities, from the Amazon asterism, is biogrammically beamed to earth to Sicily on the planet Earth and there she suffers many indignities as an alien feminist, but also enjoys tremendous popularity as a sex symbol. The mentally disturbed Leroy explains to her and to the reader – sketching if necessary – objects, persons, events, arts, feelings, religions, economic and political systems, and he even illustrates the term "hole" by piercing a page of the manuscript. I am afraid that I had been drinking or sniffing something, but I don't remember what.

* The script was finished before the shooting of MILO MILO and was read by many agents, even Grace Jones's, but we never found the money.