CAVAFY

Format: 35mm, color, 85min
Director: Iannis Smaragdis
Producer: Helen Smaragdis
Music: Vangelis
Director of Photography: Nikos Smaragdis
Art director: Damianos Zarifis
Editor: Yiannis Tsitsopoulos
Cast: Dimitris Katalifos
Maya Lyberopoulou
Vassilis Diamadopoulos
Year of Production: 1996


SUMMARY
The film retraces Cavafy’s emotional development, as he grew to reach the highest levels of poetic expression.
His life in Alexandria as well as his travels to Greece and Constantinople, brought him closer to the rich sensuality of ancient cultures, and even though leading him to a life of passions and deprivations, his poetry is brimming with wisdom and sensuality.
Cavafy lyrically voiced an unconcealed love for ancient civilizations, despite the prudishness of his times; the latter, however, remained a factor that marked his life with bitterness and deep disappointments.
His innermost desires that he did not manage to experience, became his moving spirit of his sublime poetry.

FILM REVIEWS
Composed of stunningly handsome painterly tableaux, the film tells of Cavafy's childhood in Alexandria,
specifically his complex relationship with his mother. "Cavafy" is dedicated to the great Greek musician Vangelis
("Chariots of Fire", "Missing"), whose moody score contributes immensely to the film's ambiance.
Emmanuel Levy, "Variety"

The film "Cavafy" describes the life of the great poet C.P. Cavafy and Smaragdis offers an impressive vision of his declared sexual preferences, which the director handles with great respect and humanity. The superb images compete with the magnificent music of Vangelis.
The manner in which he uses the leading actor as a sort of mask - he doesn't utter a single word throughout the whole film-speaking only in voice OFF, requires of Dimitris Katalifos, an expressive technique of major competence that is a total triumph.
The successive scenes in the museum where beauty, the classical and the pure are extolled, in contrast with the dancing in the cave, a Dionyssiac and frenzied image, have an admirable plasticity.
Armando Rapallo, "Clarin" Argentina

Smaragdis has made a monumental film that manages to convey the infinite through the everyday, creating violent but sensitively portrayed vibration, in each movement, in each gesture, in each colour, in each sound. The directing, with a masterly handling of the shot, is irreproachable at every moment- one of the film’s most important virtues- and follows the spirit of classical analogy that the filmmaker desired and managed to achieve. Surrounded by Vangelis’ imposing music, it is one of those rare films that perhaps touch the borders of perfection.

Juan Pablo Neyret, "Capital" Argentina

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• State Award - Best Feature Film 1997
• State Award - Best Director
• State Award - Best Cinematography
• State Award - Best Supporting Actress (Maya Liberopoulou)
• State Award - Best Make-up

• Award for Music (Vangelis) at the 1997 Flanders International Film Festival in Belgium
• Award for Music (Vangelis) at the 1997 Valencia International Film Festival in Spain


FESTIVALS
• Official Participation at Toronto Int'l Film Festival - 1996
• Official Participation at Sao Paolo Int'l Film Festival - 1996
• Official Participation at Mar del Plata Int'l Film Festival - 1996
• Official Participation at New Delhi Int'l Film Festival - 1996
• Official Participation at Berlin (Panorama) Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at London Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at Jerusalem Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at Galway Film Fleadh - 1997
• Official Participation at Brisbane Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at Izmir Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at Montpellier: International Festival of Mediterranean Film - 1997
• Official Participation at Stockholm Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at Flanders Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at Valencia Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at Calcutta Int'l Film Festival - 1997
• Official Participation at The Antipodes Int'l Film Festival - 1998
• Official Participation at San Francisco Int'l G & L Film Festival - 1998
• Official Participation at FilmFest Kansas City - 1998
• Official Participation at San Jose Int'l Film Festival - 1998
• Official Participation at Los Angeles Int'l G & L Film Festival - 1998
• Official Participation at Tampa Int'l G & L Film Festival – 1998


INTERNATIONAL SCREENINGS
• Festival of Auteur Films - 1997
• London Film Theatre - 1998
• Greek Cinema Retrospective / Munich - 1998
• Greek Cinema Retrospective / Boston
• Museum of Fine Arts - 1998
• Harvard University - 1998, 2002



Photos