Sunday, October 18, 2015

Melina Merkouri Forever

Today, 95 years from Melina Merkouri's birth, pays tribute to the acclaimed Greek actress, singer and politician with a Google doodle. And we rejoice. 

Greeks remember Melina very much as an independent woman: she became the perfect embodiment of the emancipated Stella (1955) the protagonist of the film by the same name directed by Michael Cacogiannis.

It was a bit later that Melina won the Best Actress Award at Cannes Film Festival for her role as Ilya in Never on Sunday (1961) by Jules Dassin. Throughout her career she garnered nominations at the Academy Award's BAFTA's for her screen appearances, as well as a Tony nomination for her performance at the Broadway musical Ilya, Darling (1968).

Melina was an avid campaigner against the Greek military junta and its fall marked her career in politics. The EU initiative of European Capitals of Culture was established following her proposal and was inaugurated in Athens and I'm sure hundreds or millions of culture lovers thank her for that. Mons in Belgium, the current cultural capital even decided to name a central avenue after her, thank you Mons!

You can watch a film she stars in her memory tonight, or just listen to couple of her most sadness-struck songs ever. They are irresistible. Like Paper Moon written by Manos Hatzidakis for the staging of A Streetcar Named Desire by director Karolos Koun. If you fancy autobiographies, I'm sure hers will delight you: I was born Greek (1971) is a vivid tell-tale of her adventurous and ever-passionate life which seems contemporary even forty+ years later.

1 comment:

deeps said...

beautifully described...