Weird movies and classics like Zorba come together at the first Vancouver Greek Film Festival

One of the most memorable characters in movie history returns to the big screen tonight (June 16) in Vancouver.

Zorba the Greekstarring Anthony Quinn, kicks off the first Vancouver Green Film Festival, which runs through June 19 at the Cinematheque.

The 1964 film, set in Crete, has the hulking Zorba guiding a UK-raised Greek-British writer, played by Alan Bates, around the island.

Written and directed by Michael Cacoyannis, it is based on the 1946 novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. Life and work of Alexis Zorba.

Bates’s character, named Basil, had come to Crete with the intention of reopening a mine where his father owns land.

There are several plot twists along the way as the two men form a friendship, although at first they appear to be diametric opposites.

Video of the Greek Zorba Alexis Zorbas

Video: A memorable scene from Zorba the Greek in which Anthony Quinn’s character teaches Basi (Alan Bates) how to dance.

Greek Weird Wave films to be screened

The festival takes place before the return of Greek Day on Broadway on June 26.

The Vancouver Greek Film Festival is also turning its attention to contemporary Greek cinema and Greek authors, including opera singer Maria Callas.

It is screening three films by Athina-born director Athina Rachel Tsangari, who is part of the “Greek weird wave.”

attenburg, released in 2010, was Greece’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. It is about a young woman caring for her terminally ill father who experiences life through David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. She is attracted to a stranger who comes to her town by the sea.

It will be screened at 6:15 p.m. on Friday (June 17), followed by Tsangari’s 35-minute French-language film “The Capsule,” which was released in 2012. It revolves around seven girls in a mansion in one of the rocks of the Cyclades of Greece. .

Tsangari’s third film, the feature film GentlemanIt will be screened on Friday at 8:50 p.m. It pokes fun at masculinity and male competitiveness through six middle-aged characters who meet on a luxury yacht in the Aegean. VarietyGuy Lodge’s described it as “expertly executed” and “deeply eccentric”.

On Saturday night (June 18) the Vancouver Greek Festival will screen a digitally restored version of Dmitris Gaziadis’ 1930 film. The Apaches of Athens. It is believed to be the first Greek film made with sound and it remained lost for decades until it was discovered seven years ago.

Famed filmmaker Gosta-Gavras helped revive it, giving audiences a glimpse of what the neighborhoods of Athens were like at this time.

Later on Saturday night, the festival will present Georgis Grikorakis’s 2020 Diggerwhich won 10 Hellenic Film Academy Awards for its portrayal of a farmer taking on industrial interests trying to dig up the nearby forest.

Excavator Trailer Video

Video: Watch the trailer for Digger.

Festival closes with Harry Killa memoir film

Digger will be preceded by Vasilis Kekatos’ short film “The Distance Between Us and Heaven”, which won the Palme d’Or for Short Film and the Palm for Queer Short Film at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

On the last day of the festival, at 2:00 p.m. there will be a morning screening of the documentary. Mary of CallasDirected by Tom Wolf. It will be hosted by Vancouver opera singer Lambroula Pappas, whose roots trace back to Greece.

The festival concludes on Sunday (June 19) night with a 7pm screening of Vancouver director Harry Killas’ documentary. greek for me. Appropriately presented on Father’s Day, it focuses on Killas’ playful exploration of his own Greek identity and his father’s efforts to get him to visit the country.

Killas, who curated the festival, will join festival co-founder Christos Dikeakos in a conversation followed by questions from the audience.

Video of the premieres of the Vancouver Greek Film Festival

Video: Watch Harry Killas’ interview with CBC’s Gloria Makarenko about the Greek Film Festival.

The first Greek immigrants settled on the island of Deas

People often think of West Broadway as the heart of Vancouver’s Greek community, and for good reason. That’s where you’ll find the Parthenon grocery and deli, the city’s first Olympia Pizza, and many other businesses run by people whose roots go back to Greece.

But some of the earliest Greek settlers in the Lower Continent settled on Deas Island, near the mouth of the Fraser River. They established a community there in the late 19th century after migrating from the Aegean Islands, especially Skopelos.

According to a 2015 exhibit at the Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library, about 60 Greeks lived in two- and three-bedroom cabins perched on stilts on Deas Island, earning a living in the fishing industry.

The Kitsilano branch of the Vancouver Public Library put up this exhibit in 2015 before Greek Day.
Charlie Smith

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