Monday, February 27, 2012

The Fruit Trees of Athens (2010)

"Τhis is a journey in life, in literature and in Athens." Greek director Nikos Panayotopoulos -known for choosing and treating his subject matter depending on his mood, being realistic at times like in Delivery and being utterly romantic/cheesy some others i.e. Dying in Athens  gives us one more of his unique films: in the feel-good Fruit Trees of Athens he "crafts an eccentric love letter to Athens" adapting the novel by Sotiris Dimitriou. "An oddball “walkaholic” who wanders the streets of the city searching out its various wild fruit trees — fig, olive, mulberry, hackberry, jujube" (what is jujube, damn it? Does it  really grow in Athens, cause I never bumped onto it!).

Once more, like every end of the month, the Greek  Cine-Club in Luxembourg gives every cinephile the chance to discover contemporary Greek Cinema. Music written once more by  wonderfully uplifting Stamatis Kraounakis.

Join me tomorrow and don't forget to come back and read more on the film!

RECAP: This turned out to be more than I expected. A film so literary and language-based, that it gave me a certain urge to grab the book and read it to the end. A pity I cannot do that instantly, cause I don't own the book and I'm not in Greece, either. It's in my to-do list for sure. A friend who read it mentioned that the adaptation was extremely faithful; the only visible change was the addition of an extra character, so that the writer's long monologues had a better reception, and not his four walls.

Full of puns, colloquial language, rimes told in the streets, jokes and singing, The Fruit Trees of Athens is highly entertaining for Greek audience, but a real puzzle for all the rest. The subtitles were not efficient and pertaining enough to decodify the meanings and the funniness/siliness of the situations; the one foreigner who accompanied me was a bit perplexed, true story. What a pity. Why can't a translation be fair to the content or can it be? Who is a good translator? Maybe only a bilingual person? This film is a special case -it needed a literary translation, indeed.

The whole issue raised more questions. Who is the target group for the Greek Cine-Club in Luxembourg? Is it mainly Greek-speaking people or there's no exclusion intended? The film choice is very much related to this, and as far as I'm concerned we have to be more careful with chosing accessible subjects and formes for the courageous ones that would like to discover our cultural -here filmic- riches.

AGENDA:  Tuesday, 28/2, 19:30 and Wednesday, 29/2, 21:30, Utopia Cinema.

Watch the trailer (In Greek):

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