EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|THE DUST OF TIME (I SKONI TOU HRONOU) (director/writer: Theo Angelopoulos; screenwriters: Tonina Guerra/Petros Markaris; cinematographer: Andreas Sinanos; editors: Yorgos Helidonidis/Yannis Tsitsopoulos; music: Eleni Karaindrou; cast: Willem Dafoe (A), Michel Piccoli (Spyros), Bruno Ganz (Jacob), Irene Jacob (Eleni), Christiane Paul (Helga), Tiziana Pfiffner (Young Eleni); Runtime: 122; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Phoebe Economopoulos; Artificial Eye-Region 2 PAL format; 2008-Greece/Russia/Italy/Germany-dubbed in English)|
incoherent dream-like story that lyrically
traces the last half-century in the life of a
stressed-out Greek-American filmmaker telling
his family's story in his latest movie."
by Dennis Schwartz
An incoherent dream-like story that lyrically traces the last half-century in the life of a stressed-out Greek-American filmmaker telling his family's story in his latest movie. Greek director Theo Angelopoulos ("Reconstruction"/"The Travelling Players"/"Landscape in the Mist") never gets it clear what he's shooting for, in a film about making a film that results in how not to make a movie.
Dafoe plays a nameless film director of Greek-American
descent, called A, who stopped shooting for an unknown
reason a film about his family but after a long pause
has returned to Rome's Cinecitta studio to continue
the film. The film explores how his mother Eleni (Irene
Jacob) loved two men, his biological father
Spyros (Michel Piccoli) and Jacob (Bruno
Ganz), for most of her adult life, even though
the characters separate and lose each other over the
course of time. Their adventures take them to such
varied places during the last fifty years of the 20th
century as in 1953 to a Greek colony in Siberia,
where Spryros treks to meet and marry Eleni. After
the birth of A, Spyros is
arrested and Eleni deported to Siberia. In the
camps at Siberia, Eleni meets and falls in love
with the arrested German Jew Jacob. Angelopoulos
brings up historical events such as the death
of the tyrant Stalin, the Vietnam War protests, the
Watergate Scandal and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Included
in the confusing travel itinerary are visits to North
Kazakhstan, Italy, Germany, Toronto, and America. In
the climax, the main characters concerned convene
for one last time in a seemingly deserted Berlin to
celebrate in a light falling snow the new century
and experience the deaths of two
of the three lovers.
poorly crafted film, the dreadful acting by the major
stars and limp screenplay by the director, Tonina
Guerra and Petros Markaris leaves
this as a misfire. The film points out how memories
get distorted and that everything goes on, as a
voice-over in the beginning tells us "nothing ever
ends." My fear was this heavy slog would never
end--the pretentious arty film seemed a worst watch
than your typical neighbor's dull home movie.
REVIEWED ON 1/22/2013 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ