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New Greek Cinema

Wednesday, March 7, 1979
7:30 p.m. The Engagement of Anna (To Proxenio Tis Annas) & Days Of '36 (Meres Tou 36)
Pantelis Boulgaris
Theodor Angelopoulos (Greece,1972)

The Engagement of Anna (To Proxenio Tis Annas)
“The sunny garden of a middleclass Greek household is the main setting for this cutting social satire which succeeds mainly because it never raises its voice unduly. The relatives, friends and hangers-on gather in the garden eventually to celebrate the engagement of Anna the maid, a quiet, repressed girl from the country confronted with a situation she does not fully comprehend. The director, Pantelis, manages to suggest all kinds of deprivations and social and religious pressures as he contrasts the noisy bustle of the family life around her with the girl’s first, almost silent encounter with her ‘bridegroom’ and the events which lead to her departure from the house. The atmosphere of heat, lethargy and sudden outbursts of passion is brilliantly conveyed in rich color photography, the ensemble playing is excellent, and the glancing, yet probing, tone of the direction is somewhat reminiscent of Torre Nilsson’s early studies of bourgeois society in his own country.”

—John Gillett

• Directed by Pantelis Voulgaris. Produced by Dino Katsourides. Written by Voulgaris and Menis Koumantareas. With Anna Vaguena, Smaro Veaki, Costas Regopoulos, Stavros Kafaroglou. (1972, 82 mins, color, In Greek with English subtitles, Print Courtesy of the Greek Cinematheque)

Days of '36 (Meres Tou 36)
“That Jancso’s method can be usefully influential was demonstrated by the Greek Days Of ’36... But this film stands squarely on its own feet, as a precise and compelling account of an episode preceding the establishment of the Metaxas dictatorship in 1936. A prisoner seizes as hostage a politician who comes to visit him, and presents his jailers with a problem both insoluble and mountingly absurd. Military officials, doughy in their British-style uniforms, devise laboriously ineffectual stratagems to release the hostage... doors are flung open, creating empty perspectives of corridors. The sense is of a suspension of time and reason, finally ended by a gunshot.”

Penelope Houston, Sight and Sound.

“Angelopoulos handles this simple story with excellent directorial know-how and his own special style, giving it a larger scope and recreating the atmosphere perfectly of a troubled year in Greek history."--Variety

Written and Directed by Theodor Angelopoulos. Produced by George Papalios. With Thanos Grammenos, George Kyritsis, Vagellis Kazan. (1972, 100 mins, color, In Greek with English subtitles, Print Courtesy of the Greek Cinematheque)