“A History of Greek Cinema” by Dr. Vrasidas Karalis, launched by the Australian Film Critic David Stratton on the occasion of the Greek Festival in Sydney, is the first full-length book on the topic written in English by an Australian academic.
The book focuses on the attempts to establish a “national” cinema furthering social cohesion and national identity, from the first Greek film in 1912 until the social crisis of 2011. It analyzes the problems and dilemmas that many Greek directors faced in establishing a distinct Greek cinematic language, and presents the development of Greek cinema against the background of Greece’s turbulent political history. The book combines historical analysis with discussion of cinematic form in order to construct a narrative history of Greek cinematic successes and failures.
“The book includes the historical development of the Greek cinema since 1897, when the first movie was shot in Athens, till 2010, when the writing was completed,” explains the author. The university professor expresses the view that “the Greek cinema is one of the most important internationally, and needs to be examined on a regular basis.”
”We, Greeks living abroad,” he said to the Greek radio station of SBS, “can promote the Greek cinema by serving the history of that media in Greece with love and truth to that cause.”
“There is a wide gap in modern Greek studies concerning visual culture in Greece. There are not many who seriously regard the Greek cinema as a form of art in our country. What I realized was that non-Greeks across the world had to be informed regarding Greek cinema works,” mentioned Karalis in his effort to explain why he wrote the history of Greek cinema in English.
The Greek author announced he is preparing the second volume of his book that “will be dedicated to particular directors and their achievements or failures.”