- LULU / PANDORA'S BOX
- DAPHNIS AND CHLOE
- FEDRA
- THE FUGITIVE KIND
- THE TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS
- PHAEDRA
- HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS
- YOUNG APHRODITES
- CONTEMPT
- PROMETHEUS FROM THE VISEVICE ISLAND
- SANDRA OF A THOUSAND DELIGHTS
- THE GOLDEN THING
- THE TRAVELLING PLAYERS
- EURIDICE BA 2037
- IPHIGENIA
- A DREAM OF PASSION
- CLASH OF THE TITANS
- THE YEARS OF THE BIG HEAT
- ENIOCHUS - THE CHARIOTEER
- ANTIGONE
- EDIPO ALCADE
- THAT'S LIFE
- BLADE RUNNER
- VERTIGO
- MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA
- ORPHEUS
- PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
- ULYSSES
- HERACLES AND THE QUEEN OF LYDIA
- BLACK ORPHEUS
- ANTIGONE
- ELECTRA
- JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
- ‘«Ň GORGON
- OEDIPUS REX
- ‘«Ň ILLIAC PASSION
- THE CANNIBALS
- ŐEDEA
- NOTES FOR AN AFRICAN ORESTEIA
- FOR ELECTRA
- PROMETHEUS IN THE SECOND PERSON
- VOYAGE TO CYTHERA
- ULYSSES' GAZE
- ‘«Ň MATRIX
- O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

THE YEARS OF THE BIG HEAT
Greece, 1991


Directed by: Frieda Liappa. Screenplay: Frieda Liappa, Maritina Passari. Director of Photography: Nikos Smaragdis. Production and Costume designer: Maro Seirli. Music: Thanos Mikroutsikos. Film editor: Takis Giannopoulos. Cast: Electra Alexandropoulou (Electra), Pericles Moustakis (Pavlos), Sophia Seirli, Giorgos Konstas, Thanos Grammenos, Mania Papadimitriou, Eleni Demertzi, Maritina Passari. Production: Greek Film Centre, Ň‘1, Frieda Liappa, Kyriakos Angelakos. Duration: 104 minutes. Colour.

End of the summer. The heat is scorching. A group of holiday-makers continues its holidays at the beach where Electra was born; she lives there alone, without a family, not knowing of anything about herself. One afternoon Pavlos arrives. Everything looks familiar to him and strange, at the same time. An unknown virus, as a result of the heat, has destroyed his memory. The heat becomes more and more intense. The holidaymakers’ life becomes increasingly difficult and the tension among them usually causes outbursts. Love between Electra and Pavlos seems inevitable. Then the sirocco wind blows. The sky takes on an azure tone. The world comes to a standstill. On the last night, the night of the big heat, the place remembers its past and Pavlos and Electra dive into memory. They repeat the forgotten society’s ceremonial rites, the primeval ritual, the secret sin and introduce themselves to the mystery of blood uniting them. The world changes utterly. Pavlos and Electra have obtained harmony. They have escaped time.

Electra Among the Taurians
by Achilleas Kyriakidis

[…] It is almost impossible to talk about the third – and tragically last – Frieda Liappa film, without referring to the two previous ones. These three films form a dramatic trilogy bonded together by the persistent blood motif – that both contaminates and cleanses from hubris.
In a brief, but very important and masterly scene, Martha, the main heroine of the second film (It Was a Quiet Death), leaves her bathroom, enters her bedroom, quickly picks up her things and stands in front of the window curtain. She pulls it back violently, sees her own reflection in the window pane and escapes into the rain. In other words we stand before perhaps the most enchanting example of ‘visual ambiguity’, so typical of Liappa. Here, the strength and charm of the signifier do not stifle; on the contrary, they demonstrate the signified in a display of a complete lack of directorial vanity. Liappa does not compel one to interpret the scene, instead, she allows him/ her to read it like this: Martha leaves the cold, sterilised blue environment of rationality (that others possess) surrounding her (in the bathroom) and comes into the warmth and solace of red (in the bedroom). She is reborn through an instant of self-awareness, as if she plucks up the courage from her own idol (reflection in the window pane) and goes out into the freedom of a rainy night. […]
In this film, the sketching of the psyche again follows the norms of a geometric discipline but, here, two more shapes have been added. The first one is the infinite straight line: Martha’s quest for herself becomes the purifying getaway starting from a known point to go to an unknown (which could be anywhere). The second shape is the helix: Martha’s getaway evolves into a wandering: where the route is random and the wanderer may return to the starting point. However, the plot’s circular development itself (struggling to resemble to the swinging function of a weak memory) reveals Liappa’s anxiety to sound the depths of the human soul, to look on the human condition with a clear and tender gaze.
If we could say that nocturnal landscapes are the element par excellence connecting the first to the second film, in The Years of the Big Heat the world is reversed, it turns inside out, like a glove. The end of a hot summer. Electra lives alone on the beach where she was born without knowing anything about her past. One afternoon Pavlos arrives. Everything seems familiar and strange to him. An unknown virus, resulting from the heat, has destroyed his memory. The heat becomes increasingly intense. Love among Electra and Pavlos seems inevitable, equally inevitable are passion – and murder.
After Liappa’s study on twilight and night, this film is a exposé on natural light; the infinite, shadowless, ruthless natural light. It is a light that burns, blinds and, according to the scenario, confuses people and mechanisms of memory and orientation. Nikos Smaragdis (Liappa’s associate from the first to the last film) uses this light to undress the characters, to reveal their shocking internal tremors. And he gives us the impression that he does it when he finds them alone and, therefore, more vulnerable. In the scenes where all the characters are gathered together, he sits aside, lurking like a prudent "enemy". Here, the movements of the camera are very few – as if it has given in the heat’s indolence…
We again find ourselves before individuals being examined in vitro, but under conditions that do not remind us those of a laboratory. Here, Liappa’s heroes suffocate again under conditions of absolute geometrical freedom: the horizon is open, the sea is flat (and, thus, navigable) but no one leaves. The element of heat - which wipes out memory and works as a catalyst for the final outburst - reminds us of the similar technique of the never-darkening screen at the open-air cinema. In Roads of Love this screen follows (if not triggers) the division of the two siblings. Regarding amnesiac Pavlos, all evidence show that he is Martha, who sacrificed herself in the second film in order to emerge at the Tauris of oblivion and myth…

Extract from the text "Two Women" (Pseudomartyries, Ypsilon editions, Athens 1998).