International Cinema in the Greek Islands
By Anastasia Kanli
International cinema in the Greek islands
The unique Greek landscape is in itself the ideal backdrop for cinematic productions with varied content. Greece, of course, is identified abroad with the sun, the sea, the Greek lifestyle, the excitement, the good food and the hospitality of the locals. All the above refer to the Greek islands, which since the 60’s have begun to be used as a space in which important international cinema films have evolved, which owe their authenticity, success, and recognition to the Mediterranean landscapes. These films contributed significantly to the acquaintance of Greek islands by foreign visitors and to the creation of the Greek mythical summer that never ends.
The most important and most famous of these films are the following:
“BOY ON A DOLPHIN”, (1957)
“Boy on a dolphin” was the first film of international production ever shot in Greece specifically in Hydra, starring Sofia Lauren, Alan Ladd and Clifton Webb. The film was a landmark for the island which after the film made it a land of attraction for thousands of tourists and especially a place of holiday and residence of artists and intellectuals of that period. The cinematographic scene where Sofia Lauren sings the song “What is Love” is one of the highlights of the movie.
“BIG BLUE” AMORGOS BY LUC BESSON (1988)
The title conveys all the feel of the film and the sense of the island of Amorgos. Wonderful underwater shots that create a magical image that glorifies the Mediterranean and the importance of true friendship.
Luc Besson with these features created a monumental, mysterious movie for all time. The beach of “Agia Anna” in Amorgos will be for the whole world after this movie the blue summer we will always recover.
Italian film honored with an Oscar-winning film. The entire film is filmed in Kastelorizo, a landscape that is actively involved in the film’s affair and atmosphere. The beauties of the island are masterfully presented and make up a unique setting for the film.
“CAPTAIN CORELLI’S MANDOLIN”, (2001)
In 2001, the island that has been honored by American cinema is Cephalonia. The case takes place during the Great War and finds on the island the most authentic scene that her director could dream of. Major actors in the main roles (Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz), beautiful natural landscapes ensured success and made the island of the Ionian known.
“ZORBA THE GREEK”, (1964)
Zorbas. The already well-known novel by N. Kazantzakis, which translated with great success into many foreign languages, became a well-known American film in 1964. The film unfolds in the village of Stavros, Chania. There, on a beach, we watch Anthony Quinn as Zorba dancing the Syrtaki in music by M. Theodorakis, which will become the most famous Greek music ever since. The Lady Kedrova Oscar also belongs to the parchments of the podium. After the film, the name Zorbas will represent anything Greek and will become the symbol of the completely unaltered spirit. Outstanding and the interpretation of Alan Bates, who is the hero on the opposite side of Zorba.
“SHIRLEY VALENTINE”, (1989)
Mykonos for Shirley Valentine (1989). The name of the housewife of the film that will become synonymous with the joy of life and love thanks to a trip to Mykonos. Thus, the famous nightlife island, the cosmopolitan environment, the exuberance and the absolute summer of Greece will find its most suitable exponent. Tom Conti will now be the best Greek, traditional figure and fantasy of all the housewives of the world. The tavern that stars in the movie on the beach of Ag. John.
“NAVARONE CANNONS”, (1961)
One of the world’s second classical films starring Anthony Quinn. The old town of Rhodes is the perfect scene of the film in which some of the most important monuments of the island are displayed. The film is classical and its success was sealed with an Oscar nomination and an Oscar for the best effects. Later, the international audience will be reminded of Rhodes through Roger Moore, TellySavalas, Claudia Cardinale, Jaqueline Bisset, Ben Kingsley starring in films filmed on the island.
“FOR YOUR EYES ONLY”, (1981)
Corfu with its cultural monuments, its historic mysterious atmosphere, and its golden beaches, was the ideal setting for an adventure by the most famous cosmopolitan cinema agent. Greek beauty is revealed by the beauty that the agent falls in love with and the sights of the island. Roger Moore even disclaims his favorite martini cocktail for the sake of Corfiot wine drinking on a movie scene at the imposing beautiful Theotoki winery.
“SUMMER LOVERS”, (1982)
Darryl Hanah and Peter Gallaher as new gods of love live in the most magical place of summer erotic adventures on the background of the Santorini caldera. The sunset and the view from various parts of the island make the island a well-known place of destination for all lovers.
“LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE”, (2003)
In 2003, Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft is at the peak of her glory, and Santorini takes off with her on some scenes of the film that makes a difference. The magical image of the caldera steals the show and Santorini rises to the top of the most impressive islands in the world.
“MAMMA MIA!”, (2008)
It is really Skopelos! It’s about transferring Broadway’s musical to the big screen. The story is placed in Skiathos and brings the Sporades in the spotlight; viewers discover a different beauty away from the images that are accustomed to the Cyclades. Throughout the film, the exterior dominates by presenting a unique setting of beautiful beaches, chapels, and coves. The case is framed by ABBA’s classic songs that are greatly supported by Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Amanda Seyfried starring. Nothing is like the Greek Kalokeri of the film.
“THE IMMATURE”, (2014)
Italian film was filmed entirely in Paros, which is for the protagonists the place of escape from the tiring everyday life. Together we watch a panorama of Paros with the beaches, the villages that capture the beauty of the island and carry the Cycladic scents and the sense of the holiday.
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