- 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
- GORGON
- OEDIPUS REX
- ILLIAC PASSION
- THE CANNIBALS
- EDEA
- NOTES FOR AN AFRICAN ORESTEIA
- FOR ELECTRA
- PROMETHEUS IN THE SECOND PERSON
- VOYAGE TO CYTHERA
- ULYSSES' GAZE
- MATRIX
- O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?

VOYAGE TO CYTHERA
TAXIDI STA KYTHIRA
Greece, 1984


Directed by: Theo Angelopoulos. Screenplay: Theo Angelopoulos, Thanassis Valtinos, Tonino Guerra. Director of Photography: Yiorgos Arvanitis. Art Director: Mikes Karapiperis. Costume Design: Yiorgos Ziakas. Music: Eleni Karaindrou. Film Editor: Yiorgos Triantafyllou. Cast: Manos Katrakis (Old man), Mary Chronopoulou (Voula), Dionyssis Papayiannopoulos (Antonis), Dora Volanaki (Old woman), Giulio Brogi (Alexandros), Yiorgos Nezos (Panayiotis), Athinodoros Proussalis (Police Captain), Michalis Yiannatos (Port Admiral), Akis Kareglis (Spyros), Vassilis Tsanglos (President of the port workers), Despina Geroulanou (Alexandros’ wife). Production: Theo Angelopoulos, Greek Film Centre, ZDF, Channel 4, RAI, ET-1. Length: 137 min. Colour. Award for best screenplay and FIPRESCI Award at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival. State Award for best film, best screenplay, male leading role (Manos Katrakis), female leading role (Dora Volanaki). Critics Award at the Rio de Janeiro Film Festival.

A director wants to make a film about a political refugee. An old man fascinates him and he follows him. The director’s fantasies become reality. A voyage in the realm of the imaginary, of love and death.

 

The Angelopoulos’ version of 8 1/2
Voyage to Cythera could be called Angelopoulos’s version of Fellini’s 8, that is, a director’s self-reflexive meditation on the difficulties and joys of creating a film. Yet if we follow through on this parallel, we must begin with an awareness that Angelopoulos’ film involves a filmmaker as Telemachus in search not only of an Odysseus father figure but of a way in which to narrate such a story on film as it intersects with the history of Greece from 1949 to the present.
As we have observed, all of Angelopoulos’ films are "reconstructions" to one degree or another, but what differs in the means and motive of those doing the reconstructing. The reenactments in Reconstruction were ordered by the police in an effort to discover what actually happened during the murder in an isolated village. The Travelling Players uses the world of provincial theatre to "act out" and interact with Greek history. In Voyage to Cythera the self-reflexivity concerns cinema and the making of a movie as these activities intertwine with the realities of how the return of a communist (the Odysseus figure) influences Greek culture of the 1980s. Alexander, a middle-aged Telemachus, lives through his own version of Fellini’s 8 1/2, as the making of a film not only opens up the world of imagination and cinema, but also becomes Angelopoulos’ reflection on the historical wounds that have not healed since the end of the Greek civil war in 1949.
As the film about a filmmaker with shifts between the film being shot within the film and life itself, Voyage foregrounds how shaky the boundary between "on screen" and "off screen" life can become. The film-within-the-film seems quite "real," and what is clearly real seems quite fictional. Despite such confusion, we do learn, however, that at no time in the film does anyone reach Cythera, an island at the southernmost tip of the Peloponnese in Greece. Cythera is also the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite and thus the subject of poems, paintings, and allusions ever since. [...] Instead of Cythera, we watch the film move to a village in Greek Macedonia, the home of the old communist.
More important than comprehending the line between imagination and reality in this film, however, is the need to grasp that history and fiction (and thus narrative film) necessarily must share territory in order to begin to claim distinguishable identities. Angelopoulos makes us aware of the actual in the imaginary and, in Hayden White’s terms, the imaginary in the actual. Once more myth crosses paths with history, as in Angelopoulos’ previous films.
Here we learn that in this version of the Odyssey by Angelopoulos, Telemachus (Alexander) is middle-aged, not a youth as in Homer’s epic and a filmmaker who must confront his "father" before completing his film and thus before getting on with his life and career. But his name also links him to that familiar history and myth –the story of Alexander the Great– which took center stage in Megalexandros and echoes through so many of Angelopoulos’ films. Instead of attempting to conquer the entire known world, however, this modern Alexander wishes to explore the possibilities of conquering cinema for his own purposes.

Andrew Horton
The Films of Theo Angelopoulos. A Cinema of Contemplation,
Princeton University Press, 1997