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Nikos Nikolaidis - Euridice BA 2037 (1975)

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Starogrčko ludilo prevedeno na novogrčki nadrealizam.

Euridice BA 2037
Euridice in Hades, code number ΒΑ 2037, is waiting for Orpheus to free her and lead her to the Upper World. She’s waiting for orders that will allow her to move out of her prison/home. Her destination is not mentioned.A voice from a computer orders her to move out.The man leaves her bed every morning. Their relationship is vague… There are is an aura of familiarity. People in the skylight, living around the prison/home, trying to get inside.A man on the phone claims to have been her lover many years ago and to have evidence surrounding Vera’s death.Vera never appears. She was killed in an amusement park. An undercover policeman questions her.Orpheus is a hit man, free to roam the city...

The Wretches Are Still Singing
Five friends in their forties today, representative of the fifties generation, meet up again after many years of silence. One has just been released from prison for the umpteenth time; the other has just committed a series of blind murders; the third has left his wife and child; the fourth one has been living the life of a drifter, and the fifth friend – the only girl in the group – has broken out of the loony bin where she’s been hiding for years… All of them are up in the air; tormented by barren love; marked by the deaths of beloved peers; betrayed by the politics of their times, they are trying – in vain – to put together the old gang of their teenage years.The revolution has been lost. Each one will now head towards his own death, thus opening a new chapter in the history of his generation.

Singapore Sling
Singapore Sing is one of those guys with no money, no home and no friends, who chases after lost causes with women’s names and gets mixed up in affairs that lead nowhere. His lost cause goes by the name of Laura and he hasn’t seen her for some years. Even though he has a hunch that the girl he’s looking for has been dead for years and that he’s in love with a corpse, he goes on searching for her and one rainy, stormy night, wounded and with nothing more to lose, Singapore Sling arrives at a house because he believes that Laura might be there. In the darkness of the night and around an open hole in the garden, two women are trying to bury a dead man but Singapore Sling, with hot lead in his shoulder, can’t do much right now. Engulfed by the shadows and his memories, he waits for daybreak before going into the house...

Sweet Bunch
The film is the diary of the life and death of a group of “amoral” young people, who have reached the point of no return and seek something to believe in and to die for.Their behavior draws the attention of the State; they are placed under discreet surveillance.A vigilante group encircles their house, headed by a nameless blond man... and waits.The film is a study of the new face of world fascism. It is a story of joy and tender love; a music of death, an evocation of colors, sweet violence and laughter.The story of four people who might be your neighbors, who choose to die senselessly behind their stolen shotguns, flinging their harsh, mocking laughter in your face.

Loser Takes All
The story of a group of misfits living on the fringes of society.A rebel in his forties, with his luggage full of memories from the “years of cholera,” an alcoholic, a stripper from Senegal, another one buried behind the bar of the “Decadence” and a young one hiding behind his guitar.All of them share a common dream, a journey of no return from “Here no more!” to an island off the coast of Peru.Armed only with their unorthodox behavior, their sense of humor and two stolen handguns, they will plunge into a nighttime world of stool pigeons and parastate media and proceed to prove, in the most marvelous way, that which common sense abhors, i.e. that, in the end, Loser Takes All.

Morning Patrol
A woman is walking alone through an abandoned city. She approaches the forbidden zone and tries to cross it to get to the sea.There are traps everywhere and the Morning is watching her.The city itself is functioning but uncontrolled. Computerized voices warn the non-existing inhabitants to leave the city. The communication system works, the cinemas are showing films, familiar faces of a bygone era flash across TV screens.The woman is confronted by one of the few survivors guarding the city.They will come close; they will try to recall the past.Together they will unravel their tangled memory and decide to cross the forbidden zone together.
- tiff.filmfestival.gr/default.aspx?lang=en-US&page=638&SectionID=26

The marriage of fantasy with reality in the works of Nikos Nikolaidis resulted in one of the most comprehensive and homogenous oeuvres in Greek cinema. The director, who died in 2007 at the age of 68, had previously told Kathimerini in an interview: ?Ever since I was a kid I knew that if my imagination and reality never clicked I would be unhappy. So I did the only thing I could do: I made my fantasies reality.?
Comfortable with being an outsider and also with the five awards he received over the course of his career at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Nikolaidis liked to be on the outside looking in as it gave him a better view of the world and kept him out of a ?system? of which he was critical.
Nikolaidis?s world is the subject of a full retrospective of his work, organized by his friends and family, at the Greek Film Archive from May 26 to June 1, and coordinated by Marie-Louise Bartholomew, his companion since 1970, mother of his two children and producer of his eight feature-length films and some 200 television commercials. One can even say that Bartholomew was his creative partner, as she served not only as producer, but also as costume designer, editor or any other discipline that was necessary. She spoke to Kathimerini recently about her relationship with Nikolaidis, the contradictions of his character and her admiration for him, which never waned during their 40 years of living and working together.
Would he have liked the idea of a tribute to him?
I don?t think he would. Initially he had turned down a tribute proposed by the Thessaloniki Festival. Despina Mouzaki, then the director of the event, insisted and Nikos agreed but only after writing down 10 conditions on a piece of paper. He never got a chance to see it though, and in the end, when we saw that his terms were being respected, we agreed for it to go ahead. The tribute at the Greek Film Archive is different. It is being put together by friends and by his son. The purpose is to introduce young people to his work. I realize now that over 30 years have gone by [since he started making films] and he made reference to things that are happening right now or have yet to happen. I think his films are timeless; they haven?t aged and I don?t believe they will.
Nikolaidis has an image of being both very hard and cynical, but also very tender and beloved. How did these traits blend?
Nikos was very hard when he worked. He was perfectionist and would conduct rehearsals for a year, teaching and talking, and he demanded that there were no questions afterward or that he be made to repeat things he?d already explained. He could be very hard; there were times when he was hard with me as well. But with friends, over dinner, at parties, he was a wonderful friend; he was romantic and sensitive. At work he was a different person: tough, but also fair.
To what do you attribute the love expressed for him by friends and by fans?
A lot of young people love him very much, because he represents a free spirit and camaraderie. They look at him as a mentor and continue to watch his works because they agree with his opinions, his lines, his obsession with revolt, his fearlessness. He did exactly as he wanted. Of course only as far as the establishment allowed, because he took a lot of beatings. I believe that if he had lived he would have made another film. He had a lot left to say, but he seemed to know that he didn?t have much time left.
What disappointed him?
Mostly his audience, which began to leave him after ?Sweet Gang,? when he started making the films he wanted to make. But, the people who had grown to love him through his work also felt that he was abandoning them. The critics had a hand in this. He was disappointed too by the state of Greek cinema because there was a time when filmmakers were a gang and they fought together.
How did he react to negative criticism?
He would laugh and use it to his advantage. He did it with ?Sweet Gang? and with ?The Thrushes Are Still Singing.? He didn?t need the critics or the confirmation. He knew exactly who he was, even if this could be construed as snobbery. What he wanted most was to connect with his audience, and especially with young people. He loved his audience, but when he saw them starting to leave, he turned his back on them as well.
Did commercial success irk him? He once said that the success of ?Sweet Gang? made him sick.
He felt exposed. He wanted to woo his own kind, those who loved his work and wanted it. ?Sweet Gang? was a film that had an impact on the 40-somethings of the time [1983] and the fact is that we were not hurt by its commercial success. We had had to borrow to make it so getting some money helped. What bugged him most, I think, is that it was on the brink of becoming mainstream and that he was expected to continue in this direction afterward.
He once said that you belong ?to a different world? and that you?re a very positive person. Were you so different from him?
Not at all. We were both equally romantic, otherwise I wouldn?t have been with him. I was just more grounded. His mind was like a nuclear bomb set to go off. And his work a film, a book, an ad expended just a fraction of the energy he had. That?s why he could have done so much more if he had been given more time and if it hadn?t been made so difficult for him. - Panagiotis Panagopoulos  http://www.ekathimerini.com/133582/article/ekathimerini/life/nikos-nikolaidis-in-retrospect

Greek director of extreme movies that are part art-house, part filth. His characters are often inexplicably immoral and murderous, and his character arcs shift with unpredictable changes of motivation, making even his more conventional crime movies feel somewhat surreal. These movies involving groups of criminal acquaintances include 'Sweet Bunch', 'The Loser Takes All', and 'Wretches Are Still Singing' where a group of insane friends from the 50s get together for a reunion, except one has adopted a habit of raping and murdering women. He also made twisted and bizarre films with perverse and imaginative titillation, the most famous one being 'Singapore Sling', as well as a post-apocalyptic trilogy involving both bizarrely insane people and governments. The only one of these not reviewed here is the more relatively conventional 'Morning Patrol', a mood piece with amnesiac survivors randomly killing other survivors in a world where the powers-that-be try to track and control murders. His movies are so uniquely odd, they always leave you wondering what the movie was really about. Died in 2007. 

Euridice BA 2O37  
Nikolaidis first film is like a much more surreal Repulsion with underlying allusions to mythology. Euridice is stuck in a hell waiting for her Orpheus, except that, in this movie, she is unaware of her situation. The hell is an apartment surrounded by ominous dangers including gunfire sounds, mysterious visitors, and various shadows and people that taunt her through the windows and cracks under the door. Via dream-logic, there may or may not be another person in the apartment who may be her alter-ego, or simply a time-loop shadow of herself. There is an ambiguous lover (Orpheus), and a lover on the phone looking for the previous tenant, with stories that haunt her vague memories and that intrigue her. While she waits for a transfer from a hopelessly bureaucratic hell, she passes the time with strange games involving doll-sex, suicide and self-molestation by her own hand. A mysterious movie full of dream-logic and puzzling images of goat-heads and evisceration. Leaves you with questions and dreams even though it doesn't really gel together or reward the audience.

Singapore Sling  
Brings to mind the demented and perverse sex from Thundercrack blended with film-noir, and twisted comedy that only the insane would find funny mixed with some John Waters trash. The plot concerns an insane girl and a demented person whom she calls her mother who may be a hermaphrodite or just a mad woman with a strap-on that speaks half her sentences in French. Together they kill and eviscerate maids, play kinky S&M sexual games and role-plays with each other, often involving the mother sexually abusing this insane girl with a decisively kinky sense of pleasure, and re-enacting their murderous triumphs, some of which may have involved their deceased father. One day, an obsessed detective comes looking for a missing girl and falls into their hands. Normally I would just categorize this as pointlessly bizarre and twisted, seeing as it involves insane people having vomit sex, food sex, a golden shower while being electrocuted, hermaphrodite sex, kink involving intestines, and rape with a knife. But the performances here are so gripping, convincing and amusing in an insane way you could swear the actresses were recruited from a real mental ward. For the twisted only.


See You in Hell, My Darling  
This feels like Nikolaidis's follow-up to Singapore Sling. Although it isn't as extreme, it also features two insane women role-playing acts of murder and sexual depravity. The difference is that this one is surreal in both its imagery and its constant shifting to different story-lines. There's a body in the pool that may or may not be dead, they talk about murders and suicides that may or may not have happened, murders appear to have happened but then the story shifts again to another melodramatic tale, whether it is betrayal between siblings, implied incest, rape, poison, etc. Using dream-logic, a mysterious man may be a stranger, or a lover, or a husband, or their father, and scenes in a pool that turn into an ocean with an ubiquitous dead body, rapidly become very surreal. As opposed to a Robbe-Grillet creation though, this one doesn't really take apart the mechanics of a melodramatic pulp murder-mystery, so much as hop from one implied pulp story to another, as role-played by two women that remove their clothing every chance they get, as well as vomit constantly (which seems to be a Nikolaidis fetish). This is a confusing parade of sleaze and surreal melodrama, but an unrewarding one.

Zero Years, The 
The third in a post-apocalyptic trilogy by Nikolaidis dealing with women surviving under governments that have become so insanely twisted as to be surreal. The first was Euridice, the second was the more conventional and moody Morning Patrol, and this one completes the trilogy named "The Shape of the Coming Nightmare". In this one, he seems to have spliced the 'political sci-fi' with his more perverse outings of random twisted titillation to the point that it's impossible to see this as a political statement. Four young women are chemically controlled by the government, made to become sterile or forced into experimental impregnations, and then forced to perform sexual services that include putting on a show, or severely beating up men for some government sponsored S&M. Nikolaidis injects his usual fetishes of vomit, and adds other twisted touches such as punishment with raw eggs, invisible rapists that are called 'children', 'over-beating', practicing cross-eyed fake orgasms, and weekly fake births involving blood. I don't believe anyone can interpret this one with anything resembling a political reality that we know. Bizarre dystopia filth with unfunny, black, strange humor reminiscent of Singapore Sling.
- thelastexit.net/cinema/nikolaidis.html

Fotiou, Mikela (2015) The cinematic work of Nikos Nikolaidis and female representation. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
This thesis examines the work of Greek postmodern filmmaker Nikos Nikolaidis with a specific focus on female representation. I examine Nikolaidis as an auteur and I trace elements throughout his oeuvre that contribute to the formation of his authorial signature. Nikolaidis’s work is autobiographical and highly political. Nikolaidis’s cinema does not abide by the traditional theories of ‘Greekness’, and his main influences are American cinema, and specifically for film noir, rock ‘n’ roll culture and his antiauthoritarian ideology. All these elements are combined together within his work through the use of pastiche. I examine Nikolaidis’s work according to Richard Dyer’s notion of pastiche. Through pastiche he expresses nostalgia for rock ‘n’ roll culture and film noir, but also he expresses his concern for the future. Nikolaidis pastiches a selection of film genres and specific films in order to appropriate the elements that interest him. His pastiche work shows that the filmmaker addresses cineliterate audiences that would ideally understand his dialogue with the different genres and films he pastiches. With regards to female representation in Nikolaidis’s films, women are given leading roles, exhibit varying degrees of agency, and are presented as stronger and more powerful than men. However, their representations remain paradoxical, complex and misogynistic. While on the one hand, women are portrayed as powerful, independent, and able to subvert patriarchy, on the other hand, they are often used as props, rendering their representation inconsistent and problematic. Nikolaidis differentiates and juxtaposes two types of women throughout his work: the powerful women versus the unimportant women. Those who do not conform to the powerful female characteristics are characterised within the second category. Since Nikolaidis was highly influenced by film noir, his female protagonists pastiche the classic film noir figure of the femme fatale.
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Yorgos Lanthimos, Nikos Nikolaidis and the tradition of Greek shock cinema

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