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January 26, 2012 12:00 AM   Subscribe

Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos has passed away. "[He was] possessed of a singular style that has long divided critics... visually evocative, often beautiful, his films contain long sections with little or no dialogue." In 1995, he won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes for Ulysses' Gaze, and three years later, the Palme D'Or for Eternity and a Day. A career in clips.

The 77-year-old Angelopoulos was in Greece working on his upcoming movie The Other Sea - rumored to deal with Greece's major financial crisis - when he was struck crossing the street by an off-duty cop on his motorcycle. Sadly, paramedics arrived a full 45 minutes after they were called - due to personnel shortages and poor maintenance of the fleet - and he died at the hospital.
posted by phaedon (9 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
No way! aagggg!

posted by quazichimp at 12:19 AM on January 26, 2012

We have friends who were there when it happened, and at the hospital when he died... in fact I suppose my husband was one of the first to hear of his passing, since they phoned, pretty much in shock, upon leaving the hospital. Everyone is feeling stunned and numb, and sometimes it feels like tragedy is stacking upon tragedy here.

Kalo Taxidi, Mr. Angelopoulos.
posted by taz at 1:10 AM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

posted by Pendragon at 1:31 AM on January 26, 2012

posted by victory_laser at 1:56 AM on January 26, 2012

How sad.

He was an amazing director. In 89 or 90, he was featured at the LA film festival and I was able to see most of his older films in the theater. They made quite an impression, especially "The Travelling Players" and "Alexander the Great".

I don't think his work, with its emphasis on long takes, lends itself to being served up in clips. But I loved the clip of "Landscape in the Mist", which I have not seen, with the telling of the myth, "First there was chaos, and then the light was made." It doesn't get any more succinct.


My Mother swears there has been a change in Greeks' driving habits since the 70s. I can't say I've noticed. They were riding motorcycles on the sidewalks then and I saw it on my last visit as well. Almost being run down by a motorcycle is a widely shared experience in Greece.
posted by BigSky at 1:57 AM on January 26, 2012

posted by Mister Bijou at 3:37 AM on January 26, 2012

posted by WalkingAround at 7:39 AM on January 26, 2012

When my brother sent me an e-mail with the subject line "Greek director killed in road accident," my immediate thought was "Please don't let it be Angelopoulos." But it was. A terrible loss for world cinema; I haven't seen many of his movies (The Travelling Players is my favorite of those I've seen), but I look forward to seeing others, and I deeply regret there won't be any more.
posted by languagehat at 8:48 AM on January 26, 2012

What a waste. He had a deeply personal style and he still had films in him, which we will never see now. He was widely considered if not the best, one of the best living Greek directors and he was a go-to example of an artistically successful filmmaker who was also recognised abroad. Sad to see him go.

posted by ersatz at 9:36 AM on January 26, 2012

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