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A Tribute to Das Kleine Fernsehspiel/ZDF: Alternative Filmmaking in Television

A Tribute to Das Kleine Fernsehspiel/ZDF: Alternative Filmmaking in Television

Wednesday, January 23, 1980
7:30 p.m. The Huntsmen (Die Jager/I Kinigui)
Theo Angelopoulos (West Germany,1977)

New Greek Cinema


In Wheeler Auditorium

Admission: $2.50

The most recent film by one of the major international talents to emerge in the 1970s - Theo Angelopoulos (born 1935) - The Huntsmen is the last part of a trilogy which started with Days of 36 (1972) and The Travelling Players (1975). The Huntsmen was featured at the 1977 Cannes and London Film Festivals, and premiered in this country at the 1978 Los Angeles FILMEX. According to critic Mari Kuttna:
“The new film by Angelopoulos is not so much a sequel to The Travelling Players as a similarly formal dramatisation of the years 1949 to 1976 in Greece. Once again Angelopoulos breaks away from chronological order and from generalisations; as in The Travelling Players, a poetic dimension is added to drama and history by structuring the film along the lines of a myth. On New Year’s Eve, 1976, a shooting party in northern Greece finds a young man’s body in the snow. It is perfectly preserved, the wound over the heart is still fresh, though by his uniform he seems to be a partisan, one of the thousands killed in the Civil War from 1947 to 1949. The inquest begins. Angelopoulos’s unique technique of merging poetic metaphor and historic reconstruction, as the hunters make their statements to the police, begins. Each of the party views the body on the makeshift bier: the colonel, the businessman, the politician, the editor, the building contractor with leftist sympathies, and the wives all recall whichever twist of Greek history was the most decisive in shaping their lives. Each actor holds the camera for his or her turn, not by monologues, but by acting out each crucial confrontation, election or coup d’état. Then after a natural break for coffee or drinks, the recollections of the next person are dramatised. It is far more difficult to rivet attention on a group of people in a film than on one or two protagonists. Angelopoulos surmounts the difficulty by each member of the group becoming the centre of a complete story, with the others taking parts of subsidiary figures in turn.”
Angelopoulos himself has stated: “This trilogy is a reflection on the history of Greece from 1936 until today. More precisely, it is how a man of my generation sees Greek history, a history whose continuation blends with the years of my own life. The Huntsmen is a study of the historical conscience of the Greek bourgeoisie. In Greece, the ruling class is afraid of history and, for this reason, hides it. The subject of The Huntsmen starts from this ascertainment.”

• Directed by Theo Angelopoulos. Produced by Theo Angelopoulos with ZDF and INA (France). ZDF Production Executive, Maya Faber-Jansen. Screenplay by Angelopoulos and Stratis Karras. Photographed by George Arvantis. With Elias Stamatiou, Aliki Giogouli, G. Danis. (1977, 165 mins, 35mm, color, English titles, Print Courtesy of Theo Angelopoulos Productions and The Goethe Institute)