Australian film critic David Stratton presented the book “A History of Greek Cinema” by Vrasidas Karalis at the 30th Greek Festival of Sydney. He told the audience about his experience in regards to the Greek cinema.
Obviously, a film critic talking about Greek cinema could not ignore the contribution of Melina Merkouri. “I was 17 years old when I first watched ‘Stella’ by Michael Cacoyannis. My world changed,” says Stratton.
“Twenty years later, I met Melina and [Jules] Dassin. The only Greek word she taught me was ‘freedom,'” adds the renowned film critic.
After “Stella,” he also watched many other Greek films. “Zorbas” by Cacoyannis is one of them, and Stratton comments that a Greek actor should have played Zorbas. “However, Anthony Quinn was amazing,” admitted the Australian.
“Then followed Theodoros Angelopoulos’ movies. I watched ‘The Travelling Players’ at the Western Berlin Film Festival in 1975, having an interpreter translating it into English. But I managed to realize that this film was innovative and of great value”.
He referred to the late director’s death, saying that Angelopoulos’ death is a big loss for the world culture.
David Stratton is a fomer Director of the Sydney Film Festival and has also served as a former President of the International Critics Jury for the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals.