Saturday, December 5, 1998

Brecht and Cinema

Angelopoulos' The Traveling Players

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

The 5th in our 5-part series of films influenced by Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

Winner of the 1998 Cannes Festival, Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos has been making films which are both exquisitely beautiful and profoundly political since 1970. The Travelling Players (1975, 3 1/2 hours), a non-linear tale of a small acting troupe travelling through Greece, is his masterpiece. Angelopoulos uses the adventures of the acting troupe as a framework for a critical meditation on recent Greek history in which the Metaxas dictatorship, the Nazi regime, the British occupation and NATO colonization are presented as a vicious cycle of oppression, resistance, and betrayal. Using complex cinematography, performances and soliloquies, Angelopoulos rearranges time and blends historical periods within a single shot. This aesthetically dazzling and politically gripping epic will be screened in 35mm!