WELCOME

Η επιστροφή στην Αρκαδία, στην αγκαλιά της φύσης που γαληνεύει και ισορροπεί, δεν είναι μια νεφελώδης αποστροφή των ουτοπιστών, αλλά μια αναγκαία στροφή, ένα καταφύγιο ελεύθερης ανάσας.

Κώστας Γαβράς - Costas Gavras Print

Ο Κώστας Γαβράς , σκηνοθέτης και παραγωγός, γεννήθηκε στα Λουτρά Ηραίας στις 12 Φεβρουαρίου 1933. O πατέρας του, του οποίου η στράτευση και οι αγώνες, έμελλαν να τον εμπνεύσουν στη μετέπειτα καριέρα του, συμμετείχε ενεργά στην Εθνική Αντίσταση κατα των κατακτητών στη διάρκεια της ιταλογερμανικής κατοχής. Στην πολιτικά ταραγμένη περίοδο που ακολούθησε την απελευθέρωση, ο πατέρας και η οικογένειά του διώχτηκαν από την παράταξη που επικράτησε. Ο νεαρός Γαβράς, αφού τελείωσε το Γυμνάσιο στην Αθήνα, επεδίωξε να φύγει στις ΗΠΑ αλλά δεν έγινε δεκτός. Έτσι έφυγε για την Γαλλία, και γράφτηκε φοιτητής στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Σορβόννης στο Παρίσι.

Λίγο αργότερα όμως διέκοψε τις σπουδές του για να στραφεί στον κινηματογράφο και να παρακολουθήσει το Institut de Ηautes Etudes Cinematographiques. Συνεργάστηκε σαν βοηθός σκηνοθέτης με τους Ρενέ Κλαίρ, Ιβ Αλεγκρέ, Ρενέ Κλεμάν, Χενρί Βερνέϊγ, Μαρσέλ Οπιλς και άλλους.Το 1965 έκανε την πρώτη του ταινία, "The Sleeping Car Murder", της οποίας έγραψε επίσης και το σενάριο. Η ταινία ήταν ένα πολύ πετυχημένο θρίλλερ με πρωταγωνιστές τους Υβ Μοντάν, Σιμόν Σινιορέ, Ζακ Περέβ και Ζαν Λουϊ Τρεντινιάν, κέρδισε το βραβείο Edgar Allen Poe και αναγνωρίστηκε σαν ένα πό τα δέκα καλύτερα φιλμς της χρονιάς.

Το 1969 ο Γαβράς σκηνοθέτησε την πολυσυζητημένη ταινία "Ζ", που ήταν σταθμός στην καριέρα του. Πρωταγωνιστούσαν ο Υβ Μοντάν, ο Ζαν Λουί Τρεντινιάν, με τους οποίους θα συνεργαζόταν μετέπειτα σε πολλές ταινίες, και η Ειρήνη Παππά. Η ταινία ήταν ένα πολιτικό και αντιφασιστικό φιλμ στο οποίο ο Γαβράς χρησιμοποίησε τεχνικές θρίλερ για να αποδώσει ένα σκοτεινό πολιτικό σκηνικό απευθύνοντας συγχρόνως ένα δριμύ κατηγορώ στο δικτατορικό καθεστώς της Ελλάδας. Με την ταινία του αυτή, στην οποία ήταν παραγωγός και συν-συγγραφέας, ο Γαβράς σημάδεψε με ένα προσωπικό στυλ τη διεθνή κινηματογραφία. Η ταινία έλαβε το Όσκαρ της καλύτερης ξενόγλωσσης ταινίας και ο Γαβράς πήρε το βραβείο σκηνοθεσίας και σεναρίου.

Τα επόμενα χρόνια συνδύασε την έντονη πολιτική του στράτευση με την αδιαμφισβήτητη κινηματογραφική κατάρτιση του για να φτιάξει μια σειρά ταινιών που αποτελούσαν διαμαρτυρίες και καταπέλτη για τα όπου γης καταπιεστικά καθεστώτα αλλά και με και έντονη αμφισβήτηση και κριτική του Αμερικανικού παράγοντα. Έτσι ακολούθησαν οι ταινίες "Κατάσταση Πολιορκίας" (με αναφορά την Ουραγουάη, το 1973), "Ο Αγνοούμενος" (1982), όπου αυτή τη φορά συνεργάστηκε με τους Αμερικανούς ηθοποιούς Jack Lemmon και Sissy Spacek και κέρδισε ένα Όσκαρ σκηνοθεσίας. Την ίδια χρονιά έγινε διευθυντής του Cinematheque Francais. Το 1983 με την ταινία του "Χάνα Κ" (1983) εξόργισε πολλούς με την φιλο-παλαιστινιακή του στάση. Στη συνέχεια δημιούργησε και άλλες ταινίες, όπως τον "Προδομένο" (1988) και το "Music Box" (1990), πολιτικά στρατευμένες και αυτές και σε σχέση με αν και με λιγότερο πάθος σε σύγκριση με τις προγενέστερες. Εν τω μεταξύ έιχε κερδίσει και ένα άλλο Όσκαρ ξένης ταινίας το 1977 με την ταινία του "Madame Rosa" με πρωταγωνίστρια την Σιμόν Σινιορέ, ενώ το 1993 διεύθυνε και έγραψε την "Μικρή Αποκάλυψη".

Συνδέσεις
Costa Gavras Chris Marker
Web - Site - Costa Gavras
Costa Gavras - Film Crew
Το φίλμ "Ζ" σε έκδοση
DVD

English version from Kreta TV

Constantinos Gavras (born February 13, 1933, Loutra Iraias, Greece), better known as (Constantin) Costas Gavras, is a Greek filmmaker, best known for films with overt political themes, most famously the dark, fast-paced thriller, Z (1969). Most of his movies were made in French; starting with Missing (1982), several were made in English.

Costa-Gavras was born to a poor family in the village of Loutra Iraias, Arcadia. His family spent the Second World War in a village in the Peloponnese, and moved to Athens after the war. His father had been a member of the left-wing EAM branch of the Greek Resistance, and was imprisoned after the war as a suspected communist. His father’s record made it impossible for him to attend university or emigrate to the United States, so after high school Costa-Gavras went to France, where he began his studies of law in 1951.

In 1956, he left his university studies to study film at the French national film school, IDHEC. After film school, he apprenticed under Yves Allégret, and became an assistant director for Jean Giono and René Clair. After several further positions as first assistant director, he directed his first feature film, Compartiment Tueurs, in 1965.

Costa-Gavras was president of the Cinémathèque française from 1982 to 1987. He is a first cousin of recording artist Jimmie Spheeris and filmmaker Penelope Spheeris. His daughter Julie Gavras and his son Romain Gavras are both filmmakers.

Selected films
In Z (1969), an investigating judge, played by Jean-Louis Trintignant, tries to uncover the truth about the murder of a prominent leftist politician, played by Yves Montand, while government officials and the military attempt to cover up their roles. The film is a fictionalized account of the events surrounding the assassination of Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963. It had additional resonance because, at the time of its release, Greece had been ruled for two years by the “Regime of the Colonels”. Z won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Costa Gavras and co-writer Jorge Semprún won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Foreign Film Screenplay.

L’Aveu (The Confession, direction, 1970) follows the path of Artur London, a Czechoslovakian communist minister arrested and tried for alleged treason and espionage in a “show trial” during the Stalin period.

State of Siege (1973) takes place in Uruguay under a conservative government in the early 1970s. In a plot loosely based on the case of US police official and alleged torture expert Dan Mitrione, an American embassy official (played by Yves Montand) is kidnapped by the Tupamaros, a radical leftist urban guerilla group, which interrogates him in order to reveal the details of secret US complicity with repressive regimes in Latin America.

Missing (1982), also based on actual events, is about an American journalist, Charles Horman, who disappeared in the bloody coup led by General Augusto Pinochet in Chile in 1973. Horman’s father, played by Jack Lemmon, and wife, played by Sissy Spacek, search in vain to determine his fate. Nathaniel Davis, US ambassador to Chile from 1971-1973, a version of whose character had been portrayed in the movie (under a different name), filed a US$150 million libel suit, Davis v. Costa-Gavras, 619 F. Supp. 1372 (1985), against the studio and the director, that was eventually dismissed. The film won an Oscar for Best Screenplay Adaptation.

In Music Box (1989), a respected naturalized American citizen (played by Armin Mueller-Stahl) is accused of being a Nazi war criminal. The film is loosely based on the case of John Demjanjuk.

Amen. (2003), was based in part on the highly controversial 1963 play, Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel (The Deputy, a Christian Tragedy), by Rolf Hochhuth. The movie alleges that Pope Pius XII was aware of the plight of the Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, but failed to take public action to publicize or condemn the Holocaust. These issues have continued to be disputed, with the Vatican thus far declining to open to historians all of its archives relating to the extent of the Pope’s knowledge during World War II.

Political-Commercial film
Costa Gavras is known for merging controversial political issues with the entertainment value of commercial cinema. Law and justice, oppression, legal/illegal violence, and torture are common subjects in his work, especially relevant to his earlier films. Costa Gavras is an expert of the “statement” picture.

Gavras has repeatedly explored political terrain. In most cases, the targets of his work have been right-of-center movements and regimes, including Greek conservatives in and out of the military in Z, and perceived authoritarian governments that ruled much of Latin America during the height of the Cold War, as in State of Siege and Missing.

In a broader sense, this emphasis continues with Amen. given its focus on the conservative leadership of the Catholic church during the 1940s. In this political context, L’Aveu (The Confession) provides the exception, dealing as it does with oppression on the part of a Communist regime during the Stalinist period. The fact that L’Aveu appeared two years after the 1968 Soviet bloc invasion of Czechoslovakia may appear relevant to the director’s decision to tackle this issue at that particular time.

Form and style

A dark, threatening, and dramatic tone emerges from the work of Costa Gavras, as he focuses clearly on abuse of power, the dangers of centralized authority, and spies & investigators. His audience generally responds well to this since it makes for a great thriller or mystery, but have at times rejected or been appalled by his work due to its unforgiving content. His style is anything but subtle, although films such as Music Box and Mad City have displayed a significantly more mild approach, in some ways disappointingly so. The former title, however, won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, and the latter, despite re-inventing the work of Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole, still fit the bill of political-commercial cinema, taking on issues of journalism, ethics, and money all at once.

Through popular media, Costa Gavras has brought attention to international issues, some urgent, others merely problematic, and he has done this in the tradition of cinematic story-telling. Z (1969), easily his most famous work, is an account of the undermining in the 1960s of democratic government in Greece, his homeland and place of birth. The format, however, is a mystery-thriller combination that transforms an uncomfortable history into a riveting story. This is a clear example of how he pours politics into plot, bringing epic conflicts into the sort of personal conflicts we are accustomed to seeing on screen. Costa Gavras has attempted several genres, including murder mystery, war film, and straight-up political fiction films. In most cases these are carried through with a dark humor, a comic sense that has helped make issues of politics more bearable to masses of moviegoers and film critics alike.

Throughout his time, Costa Gavras has consistently brought in audiences and given attention to important aspects of the global political climate. This is in part because of his ability to channel a level of cultural awareness and concern, rather than picking plots purely of his own making. Still, if only from the list of his works, it becomes clear that he does in fact have a personal agenda, one which, due to the timing and audience of his films, has been met with much controversy (interestingly, there are very obvious ties between his own life experiences and the topics of choice). His accounts of corruption propagated, in their essence, by European and American powers (Z, State of Siege and Missing) highlight problems buried deep in the structures of these societies, problems which not everyone is comfortable addressing. The approach he adopted in L’Aveu also subtly invited the audience to a critical look focused on structural issues, delving this time into the opposite Communist bloc. The same is true for “Amen”, which threw the Roman Catholic Church back into a fire of speculation and criticism regarding their failure to publicize and condemn the Holocaust at the time it was underway. This sort of direct challenge makes Costa Gavras both disliked and loved, depending on where he chooses to side on an issue. This is a testament to his ability not only as a filmmaker but as an artist fully capable of producing a “statement” piece, even in today’s cinematic climate.

Filmography


Eden Is West
 (2009)
Couperet, Le (2005)
Amen. (2002)
Mad City (1997)
Lumière et compagnie (1995)
À propos de Nice, la suite  (1995)
Petite apocalypse, La (1993)
Contre l’oubli (1991)
Music Box (1989)
Betrayed  (1988)
Conseil de famille (1986)
Hanna K. (1983)
Missing  (1982)
Clair de femme (1979)
Section spéciale (1975)
État de siège  (1972)
Aveu, L’ (1970)
Z  (1969)
Un homme de trop  (1967)
Compartiment tueurs  (1965)
Rates, Les  (1958)


Arcadians
16 January 2009

 
© 2017 Arcadians
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.