Σάββατο, 23 Νοεμβρίου 2013

"The Councellor"- Embassy cinema, Kolonaki (Athens)

I always thought that Ridley Scott knows damn well how to make movies. But I hated Blade Runner, I was bored out of my skull, and I thought that despite his talent he was much of a big mouth.
With the Counselor, my suspicion became a certainty. His actors are doing a hell of a job, but it's all a garrulous film, where a caricature Cameron Diaz, is lecturing in perfect balderdash about good and evil -being on the evil side of corpse.

Her character, "Malkina", drives the film into the dangerous didactic territory, as, except for an unscrupulous drug-dealer and assassin, she is also the "Nemesis" for the greedy Councelor and his entourage. She is more like a black widow, a female Monsieur Verdoux, who travels around the world spying on weak men lost into "bad business" and steals the hell out of them, in a predator-like action, dictated by her primal/primitive instincts.

The film doesn't have a clear identity as to what genre it wants to fall into, and its "pulpish" character mixes things up, as everybody except low-key "Laura", played by Penelope Cruz, delve into philosophical investigations. Dialogues are marvellous, but I hate all those hard core rogues to have such a capacity in explaining existential issues with subtlety and depth as if their day job was teaching Spinoza's Metaphysics to freshmen at some college. Tarantino made this kind of talk fashionable, but The Councelor had different aspirations and pulp with Wittgenstein is a match made in hell.

His characters, between a cruel reality and one-dimensional fiction could not become what they started out to become. The film, with its tough and depressing theme, remains hovering somewhere between headlines, auteur philosophy and pulp fiction and with all the characters messing their lives and the script up. It's an interesting story, with great actors, a good rhythm, and yet, all this charismatic plethora of wonderful elements does not work to its favour. And I guess it must have been a tough decision to make: philosophize is not enough, and action with deep thought is far too much. Plus the didactic side of the story with a morale analogous in its capacity to terrorize the viewer, to the iconographers of the Middle Ages, who painted Death and human corpses on the murals of the parishes, a well-depicted habit, in Bergman's Seventh Seal.



Also, city-wise, the cinema was not at all ready to accomodate a big number of viewers, ending-up in rude behaviour and a somewhat "uneasy" atmosphere between spectators. If it wasn't for the rain, I would have chosen another theatre.



Τετάρτη, 20 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Οδύσσεια-Σκηνή αναγνώρισης


Το κάτωθι ξεκίνησε από μια πλάκα στο FB, και είπα να το μοιραστώ και με την εδώ παρέα. 
(Όσο για τη "Λιλίκα", αυτή συνεχίζει να γράφεται...ιδιωτικά. Και σας μερσώ.) 


Πηνελόπη
Ποιός είνι τούτους δω μαρή,
Βρουμάει, φουράει κουρέλια,

Τι μ’ τουνε κουβαλήσατε,
Να του αλλάξου ρέλια;

Δούλα
Κυρά μ’ είπι είν’ ου Ουδυσσέψ,
Ου σύζυγους ιτούτους,
Αν κι αρχικώς μας φάνηκι
Πους ήτανι τοιούτους...

Οδυσσέας
Πηνελουπίτσα μ’ τσουπουτή,
Ήρθα, αγκάλιασέ μι,
Έλα που σ’ αποθύμησα,
Έλα κι φίλησέ μι...

Πην.
Πρώτουν δεν σ’ αναγνώρισα,
Μι φαίνισι για ξένους,
Κι έπειτα άμα φίλαγα
Όπουτ’ άκουγα ιπαίνους,

Άλλη δουλειά δι θα ‘κανα,
Στα μάτσα κι στα μούτσα,
Θα ήμανι ουλημιρής
Πάρι λοιπόν μια .....

Οδ.
Ιγώ είμι Πίτσα μου, ιγώ
Ιγώ ου Οδυσσέας,

Πην.
Δε πνίγισι σι λέου ιγώ
Κι όλη η παρέα σ’;

Τηλέμαχος
Ρε μάνα, δεν τουν γνώρισες,
Είνι ο πατερούλης...

Πην.
Λυπάμαι που ου γιόκας μου
Είνι κι μαλακούλης...

Οδ.
Για κοίτα μοι, για κοίτα μι,
Τι σου θυμίζου αγάπη;

Πην.
Έναν παπάρα που ‘ξιρα...
Κι μάπας στου κρεβάτι...

Οδ.
Τι λες μαρή; Δε μου ‘λιγις
«ουσάν ισέ δε’ ν’ άλλους;»

Πην.
Ε ναι...μπουρεί να το ‘χου πει...
Ιψεύσθην...τώρα να στου ιπού,
Δεν ήσαν κάν «μιγάλους»...

Οδ.
Ρεζίλι μ’ έκανις μαρή,
Ακούνι κι οι δουλάρες,
Κι κουτσουμπόλις είν’ αυτές,
Γαϊδάρες κι μουλάρις...

Πην.
Τα ξέρουνι, τους τα ‘χου πει,
Μι λυπηθήκαν γέρου,
Γι’ αυτό κι μου γνωρίσανι,
Τικνά, μην υπουφέρου.

Οδ.
Ιμένα άλλα μου ‘πανει,
Κι σκίστηκα να φτάσου,
Ότι συ μι πιρίμινις,
Πιστή, να σι προυφτάσου,

Να μη μου στινουχουρηθείς,
Που είσι μοναχή σου,
Κι βάλεις τους Μνηστήρες δα,
Κι μέσα στου βρακί σου...

Πηνελ.
Ουδυσσιβάκου να σι που...
Ποιούς σου 'πι τέτοιου ψέμα;
Τσ’ Μνηστήρες τσι ξεπέταξα,
Τους έφαγι του ρέμα...

Δεν ήταν άλλουστε πουλλοί,
Σαρανταριά κι σκάρτοι,
Αλλά ευτυχώς να λες που ως νιοί,
Τουν είχανι κατάρτι.

Μιτά βιβαίους τέλειουσι
Του αίσθημα, κι τζάσαν...
Ζηλεύανι, λυσσάξανι,
Κι φασαρίες φκιάσαν...

 
Οδ.
Κι τ’ ήταν τότις το προικιό,
που ύφίνις γυναίκα,

Πην.
Αχ τα προικιά μου ύφαινα,
Ακούγοντας τουν Πρέκα...

Κι ιπειδή θυμήθηκες
Μιτά απού δέκα χρόνια,
Να επιστρέψεις σπίτι σου
Θα σ’ είχα στα σαλόνια;

Να πάς πίσου στις γκόμινες
Που είχις, τα ‘χου μάθει,
Κι σαν του φύλλου της συκιάς,
Μια πτώση να την πάθει,

Του όργανου σ’ πανάθλιε,
Που νόμιζις σα βλάκας
Ιγώ θα σι πιρίμινα,
Σαν να ‘μουνα μαλάκας...

Πάρι ένα πλοίου, όποιου θες,
πάρι κι πέντι ναύτις,
Κι φύγι, σήκουσι πανιά,
Κι να χαθείς ουσαύτης.

Κι να σου ειπού τα νέα μου,
Παντρεύουμι σι λέου,
Αν θες ισύ κουμπάρους μας
Να είσι, δε θα κλαίου.

Την προυσιχή την Κυριακή,
Άνω Ραχούλα Ιθάκης,
Θα παντρευτούμι μι τιμή,
Εγώ, μαζί κι ου Τάκης.

Δι θέλου δώρου σίδηρου,
Σμαρτφόουν να μι φέρεις,
Κάναμι κι wedding list
Στου λέου να του ξέρεις.

Οδ.
Αλίμονο, ου δύστυχους,
τι πάθημα μιγάλου,

Αθηνά
Σήκου τώρα να φύγουμε,
Ριζίλ’ πριν έρθει κι άλλου. 





Το μανιφέστο της βροχής-Ατενίστας

Εκτιμώ το διάβασμα που έριξε η ομάδα Ατενίστας πριν αφιερώσει έναν τοίχο στον Σοφοκλή, στον Κολωνό, αλλά η αισθητική μου αγωγή μου επιβάλλει να ανακράξω: "στη γκαλερί! στη γκαλερί!" 
Ο ακραίος ναρκισσισμός του γκράφιτι-καλλιτέχνη, χρειάζεται τον ανάλογο χώρο πλέον, και όχι αυτοσχέδιa υφαρπαγή (απαλλοτρίωση...) δημόσιου χώρου ωσάν να είναι ο τοίχος της Santa Maria della Grazie.

Παρασκευή, 15 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Το Πολυτεχνείο ζει - Επετειακόν

Ωχ...αρχίζουνε από σήμερα τα εδώ Πολυτεχνεία, εκεί Πολυτεχνεία, σουβλάκια, τζατζίκια, στεφάνια, λαμπόγυαλο, κολυμπηθρόξυλο, ταμπούρωμα, σύσσωμος η ηγεσία, τα ραμολί της εξέγερσης, οι πάτρωνες του σοσιαλισμού, τα παππούδια της αντίστασης, απολυμένοι, ξαμολυμένοι, μετακινημένοι, αυτοπροσ-διορισμένοι, όλη η κρεατομηχανή της γιορτής, άντε η δημοκρατία ζει, φιλμ 40ετίας με το τότενες μοδάτο μαλλί φαβορίτα σαν του Γλάδστωνος, μεσόφρυδο και παντελόνι καμπάνα σαν της Νοτρ Νταμ με τα gargoyles μαζί, κιτσαριό και γαρούφαλο. Καρυωτακικά πράματα, ανατριχιαστικά, η Αθήνα που την προμοτάρουνε τα free press (το φλάρο τους) ως "πόλη" χωρίς συναίσθηση που έχει η δύναμη της μιζέριας πώς να υπάρξει ως αστικό τοπίο...μια ατέλειωτη προπολεμική Πρέβεζα με τα πάθη και τα κουσούρια του καθενός διάφανα. Προς Θεού μην έρθει κανάς κύριος Νομάρχης (το επάγγελμα ως ιδεότυπος και όχι κυριολεξία...)

Παρασκευή, 1 Νοεμβρίου 2013

CABARET the musical-Athens Megaron, Greece

'And quiet flows the Don"...was the title of the book by Mikhail Sholokhov. I paraphrase to say that "quiet flows the Greek contemporary dance".  With its major exponents of the shortly lived enthousiasm of the '90s turning to other activities and genres (such as the popular musical), the crisis and its side-effects added to the already existing problem of identity, education and vision, we are talking serious stagnation in this country.

Why am I saying all that? Because, last night I attended the performance of "Cabaret" the well-known musical, which immortalized Miss Liza as Sally Bowles, the central female character of the play, in the cinematic version, perfectly arranged by Bob Fosse -the magician of movement. And I was perplexed: why on the one hand this work (because despite its serious subject-matter the musical is entertainment first and foremost), why at the Megaron (aka Concert Hall -of epic dimensions), and then again on the other hand, so much hard work and so many good artists, and obviously musical is the genre that the director/choreographer Konstantinos Rigos has always wanted to do; so he respects it and -obviously- has decided to not repeat his Bausch-esque self  but try something new, after what felt like a long time.

His work -in the past decade or so- with the big names of greek bouzoukia entertainment, seems to have given him a relative freedom to break free from heterosexual duets and innuendos that crowded his contemporary dance years with his own dance group; he has now the potential to promote his choices through his affiliation with a powerful "scene" (the night-life/bouzoukia one) with money and an audience made of a pele-mele of entrepreneurs, politicians, philanthropists and lay people alike. Cabaret, with its libertine mixture and subversion of gender roles seems to have been quite an incentive for the director, who finally put everyone on stage in leather, skirts, lace and make-up. He missed the opportunity though to cross-dress the girls in men's suits...In between the wars Berlin cabaret and avant-garde relied on that a lot, so why not on the stage of "Cabaret?" Sexism? Hmmm...

Hard facts now: the show had good rhythm, an EmCee who understood his role and did not over-dramatize to the point of becoming phony and didactic: Dimitris Lignadis as EmCee did a great job. Tania Tsanaklidou as Frau Schneider was stunning: a singer who also showed exceptional acting talent. I think she was the best along with Mr. D. Lignadis. Mihalis Mitrousis, overcame his mannerisms and became the naif fruit-seller Schultz of Jewish descent, who falls in love with Frau Schneider. Nadia Boule was an absolutely convincing -although a little too hysterical at times- Miss Kost. She is strong and ambitious and she cannot be ignored when on stage.
Cliff Bradshaw was a big disappointment. Giorgos Nanouris is too inexperienced and dare I say (dare! dare!) not fit for the role: boring, waning, not desirable to the almighty the eye of the spectator. Au contraire, Panayiotis Bouyiouris as Ernst Ludwig was fantastic: super good-looking and talented (all this and brains too), he was a joy to watch. It was obvious that Mr. Bouyiouris should have taken the leading role, how come the director did not see that? Let's hope his good looks will not limit his choice of roles.
Last and least "Miss Sally Boooowles!", aka Maria Nafpliotou. An artist who started off her career as a dancer but went on to becoming a successful actress as well. Unfortunately Ms Nafpliotou was the other disappointment, and here it is not just her fault, it is her director's as well. He made a hysterical puppet who on top of all else, delivered her lines in a phony -if not embarrassing- manner. Pity that she did not move at all in the "Elsie from Chelsie" song. Up to a point, Ms Nafpliotou singing while executing jerking movements centre-stage worked well in terms of dramatic effect, but then it lost its impetus and the act became repetitive and poor. We felt that she should have danced her arse off in that particular song. Pity for the acting guidelines and for her partnering with Mr, Nanouris, with whom there was no chemistry whatsoever, to at least help the situation.Nonetheless, it should be noted that when she sang mistakes were less evident, it was in the prose segments that problems arose.
Now for the paraphernalia: the trashy high-heels were annoying; the costumes were very good. The jerking movement of the female characters, trademark of the latest period of Mr. Rigos, namely bent knees with body leaning forward, thighs tightly together and calves apart, looks more like penis concealing than a "dramatic moment of a woman." Representing the "female" is not easy, but it's worth the effort, no?

And one shouldn't forget the wonderful orchestra and the lyrics which were awesome, the translator did a great job.

Well, that's all, it was a good performance with some serious mistakes, good fun, steady beat, dedication, in the wrong venue (totally), and it managed to give the atmosphere of the play -sometimes though just about as Mr. Rigos not having entirely lost his "contemporary choreographer identity" put a greater emphasis in the gender play than to include or use it to enhance the atmosphere of decline and violence; however he somehow managed to control his material and, with all matters taken into consideration, be a winner.