In co-production with: Filmblades (Cyprus), Yiannis Chalkiadakis (Greece), Restart Productions (Slovenia)
With the support of Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture (Cyprus Cinema Advisory Committee)
and the Southeastern European Cinema Network.
- Cyprus / Greece / Slovenia
- 82 minutes
- DCP 5.1
- In Greek
Totally disconnected from his past and memory, the Passenger tries to define himself, confronted by his pre-determined fate, a fate that he has to re-live upon every anniversary of his death.
The concept of the film is summed up by an incident that happened to me: I visited Marisha's house (the actress in the film) and there was a mirror on the wall with a carved frame. After a while I passed in front of the mirror but was surprised that I couldn't see myself. What was actually happening was that there was no mirror inside the frame, but just a glass surface, like a window glass. The mirroring was quite faint, and it felt like my self had disappeared.
The plot is minimal but the condition of the story is complex. It refers to a reality that we don't usually think of. The story might become more familiar only if we suppose that all our social identities are false, and that we are not who we really can be. Since this is a matter that most of us are not accustomed with as a theme in films, let me just mention this: based on our social roles that we easily undertake, our actions are pre-determined. Therefore the political and social stage stays the same, or becomes even worse. Moreover, we are entrapped in a too-much technological way of life, where we consider everything as a tool for us in order to exploit nature and other people, instead of seeing them poetically as non-instrumental. And as some of us take the road of defining themselves, they find out – in the middle or in the end – that the notion of the self is a vanity. Nevertheless, the story that derives from the above statements is not a moral one at all. It is a story that just takes into consideration these conditions.
The film slides through different layers of reality and constantly migrates between the logical and the illogical. It is not a result of mere surrealism, but of a very structured one. Dialogue and logic appear only when necessary for the spectator to follow the film's narration. This technique hopefully frees up the spectator's ability for imagination, the ability to make his/her own associations and interpretations. Regarding the narration, image and sound have quite equal importance as does dialogue and logic. It is as if image and sound take part in the film like the protagonists do. The audience is tempted to follow the image-and-sound's narration. Meanwhile, from the very start, the film invites the audience itself to take part in it. It invites it to recite the dialogue through its own voice. It invites it to take the seat of the lost identity of the character. The narrative becomes a pretext, perhaps a pretence or an excuse for the audience to negate its ego. The film attempts to become a mirror for the audience to look at and see no one.
In life, it is necessary for our egos to understand everything. What the egos don't understand, they push aside, neglect, attack. In film, this is not necessary. Not even in life.
The film took a different form and style during editing. We were devising ways of narrating without any compromise, and with the willingness to use any cinematic element. We were interpreting every stage we found ourselves at, and every step that we had taken. We were refraining from knowing where we would end up – we wanted to know that only at the end of the whole process. We were not taking any step or any interpretation of it for granted, nor any way of thought as truthful. I was so glad when, at the end of editing I asked Yiannis Chalkiadakis – who has worked on many films – how he felt during the whole process and he replied: "It's the first time I didn't know what I was doing!" I was glad because that was true for me as well.
An elegiac film of lynchian atmosphere, Impressions of a Drowned Man has been undoubtedly one of the most beautiful discoveries of this Festival. A highly philosophical poetic ode, this first feature film directed by Kyros Papavassiliou, displays an impressive retinal obstinacy for everything eager to be carried away by the waves of the imaginary while remaining attentive to the reverberations of Thought. Made at the image of a minimalistic poem, the intrigue fits in a few lines but its development is nevertheless not less complex. A man finds himself stranded on a beach. Disconnected from his past, his spirit wiped of all memories, he does not know who or where he is. Guided by a man claiming to be an actor, the survivor begins his quest to discover his identity. His Kafkaesque quest follows at first the maze of the absurd, before the "coincidence" of a meeting reveals his identity as well as the reason for his resurrection: he is none other than the Greek poet Kostas Karyotakis, condemned to confront his tragic destiny each year on the anniversary of his death. Exhuming the work and life of one of the most important Greek poets of the 1920’s, Kyros Papavassiliou, without any doubt, pays a wonderful tribute to this castaway of existence who attempted to end his life by drowning before shooting himself in the heart in 1928, at the age of 32 (« Perhaps some day, given the opportunity, I shall describe the impressions of a drowned man », he had written in a letter before his death), though by equally making a reference to Sylvia Plath, Vladimir Mayakovski and Paul Celan, this talented director also reminds us that the creative genius does not necessarily bestow the life-giving breath of healing to the hypersensitive souls and to those longing for a better otherworldliness. Although the question of identity and predetermination constitutes the cornerstone of this unusual film, it goes far beyond the limited frame of an existential quest motivated by a hypertrophic ego or an ego perverted by an obsessive existentialism in their psychoanalytic sense. « Existentialism is the death of the philosophy of existence », wrote Karl Jaspers in 1937 and very fortunately, the young director does not give in to this suicidal temptation. Closer to Kierkegaard’s anti-philosophy, Kyros Papavassiliou opens up the path to meditation and free interpretation, never imposing the arrogance of intellectualism on the spectator. Moreover, whether it is a pure coincidence or a clear intention, the complex notion of Repetition such as Kierkegaard expressed it in 1843 seems to be here cinematographically revised: by making his hero a « revenant » deprived of all memory, by making him replay the part of his life through frequent infinite regresses, and by confronting him to a game of doubles, the Cypriot director makes his main character remember again and again. Certainly, Impressions of a Drowned Man induces the common questioning of existential freedom: are we the scriptwriters of our own lives? Or perhaps on the contrary are we condemned to live as actors whose destinies have already been written? And what about our relations with others? What about those who know or claim to know better than us who we are and what we have to do? Nevertheless, in the end, the quest is more ontological than existential, since by opening the horizon of metaphysics through a hero having come straight out of the void of oblivion, emerging from a unique no mans’ land, Impressions of a Drowned Man makes us catch a glimpse of the lethal purgatory in which all errant souls, dead or alive, evolve within the very maze of Being. And how can one escape this eternal surrealism that is to repeat again and again the same mistakes or deadly acts? Will we be offered a different temporality so that one day, we will remain in peace? « I feel that all beings (living or dead) are constantly between life and death. By not being present in the world, how many times are we not being absent from existence? And vice versa, why should it be any different for the dead? Don't those who passed away haunt our lives? », Kyros Papavassiliou has told us. The intellectual depth and poetic approach of Impressions of a Drowned Man are not the only greatly seductive elements of the film: the narrative inventiveness, the cinematographic innovation and the aesthetic mastery of the director are equally remarkable. The form and content commensurate the extraordinary natural scenery where the film was shot, such as the immense completely dried salt lake that extends as far as one can see and in the middle of which the most strange shed stands out. Winner of the Best Director Award in the international competition section of Cyprus Film Days, Kyros Papavassiliou won also the Best National Movie Award. (Impressions of a Drowned Man was part of the Tiger Hivos Awards Competition at the 44th Rotterdam Festival. The director’s second short film In the Name of the Sparrow was included in the official selection of short movies at the Cannes Festival in 2007.)ORIGINAL TEXT:
Film élégiaque à l’atmosphère lynchienne, Impressions of A Drowned Man fut sans doute l’une des plus belles découvertes du Festival. Ode poétique à haute densité philosophique, ce premier long métrage réalisé par le très prometteur Kyros Papavassiliou, dispense une impressionnante persistance rétinienne pour tout qui accepte de se laisser porter par les vagues de l’imaginaire, et demeure à l’écoute des ressacs de la Pensée. À l’image d’un poème minimaliste, l’intrigue tient en quelques lignes mais son développement n’en demeure pas moins complexe. Un homme se retrouve échoué sur une plage. Déconnecté de son passé, l’esprit lavé de tout souvenir, il ne sait plus qui il est, et ignore où il se trouve. Guidé par un homme qui prétend être un acteur, ce rescapé des flots part à la recherche de son identité. Sa quête aux accents kafkaïens emprunte, dans un premier temps, les dédales de l’absurde avant que le « hasard » d’une rencontre ne lui dévoile son identité et la raison de sa résurrection: il n’est autre que le poète grec Kostas Karyotakis, condamné à chaque anniversaire de sa mort à être confronté à sa tragique destinée. En exhumant l’œuvre et la vie d’un des plus grands poètes grecs des années 20, Kyros Papavassiliou rend sans nul doute un très bel hommage à ce naufragé de l’existence, qui tenta de suicider par noyade avant de se tirer une balle dans le cœur en 1928 à l’âge de 32 ans. (« Un jour, si j’en ai l’occasion, je pourrai décrire les impressions d’un noyé », écrivit-il dans une lettre précédant sa mort.) Mais en faisant également référence à Sylvia Plath, Vladimir Mayakovsky et Paul Celan, ce talentueux réalisateur nous rappelle aussi que le génie créateur ne dispense pas nécessairement le souffle vivifiant de la guérison aux âmes hypersensibles et aux nostalgiques d’un ailleurs meilleur. Même si la question de l’identité et de la prédétermination constitue le point d’ancrage de ce film insolite, celle-ci dépasse largement le cadre restreint d’une quête existentielle motivée par un égo psychanalytiquement hypertrophié ou perverti par un existentialisme forcené. « L’existentialisme est la mort de la philosophie de l’existence », écrivait Karl Jaspers en 1937 et fort heureusement, le jeune cinéaste ne succombe pas à cette tentation suicidaire. Plus proche de l’antiphilosophie d’un Kierkegaard, Kyros Papavassiliou ouvre la voie à la méditation et à la libre interprétation sans jamais imposer au spectateur l’arrogance de l’intellectualisme. Qu’il s’agisse d’ailleurs d’une pure coïncidence ou d’une intention claire, le concept complexe de la Répétition tel que Kierkegaard le formula en 1843 semble être ici revisité cinématographiquement: en faisant de son héros un « revenant » dépouillé de toute mémoire, en lui faisant rejouer le rôle de sa vie au travers de fréquentes mises en abyme et en le confrontant à un jeu de doubles, le réalisateur chypriote amène son personnage principal à se ressouvenir encore et encore. Certes, Impressions of A Drowned Man induit le commun questionnement de la liberté existentielle : sommes-nous les propres scénaristes de notre vie ? Ou sommes-nous au contraire condamnés à vivre comme des acteurs dont le destin est déjà pré-écrit ? Et qu’en est-il de nos rapports aux autres ? Que faire avec ceux qui savent ou croient savoir mieux que nous-mêmes qui nous sommes et ce que nous devons faire ? Cependant, au final, la quête est bien plus ontologique qu’existentielle. Car en ouvrant le ciel de la métaphysique à travers un héros tout droit sorti du néant de l’oubli, émergeant d’un singulier no mans’ land, Impressions of A Drowned Man nous fait entrevoir le purgatoire létal dans lequel toutes les âmes errantes, mortes et vivantes, évoluent au sein même du labyrinthe de l’Être. Et comment échapper à cette éternelle surréalité qui consiste à répéter encore et encore les mêmes erreurs ou les mêmes actes mortifères ? Une autre temporalité nous sera-t-elle offerte pour, un jour, demeurer en paix ? « J’ai le sentiment que tous les êtres (vivants ou défunts) sont constamment entre la vie et la mort. En manquant de présence au monde, combien de fois ne nous absentons pas de l’existence ? Et vice versa, pourquoi n’en serait-il pas de même pour les morts ? Les disparus ne continuent-ils pas à hanter nos vies ? », nous confiait Kyros Papavassiliou. Si Impressions of A Drowned Man a donc largement de quoi séduire par sa profondeur intellectuelle et son approche poétique, l’inventivité narrative, l’innovation cinématographique et la maîtrise esthétique dont son metteur en scène fait preuve, sont tout aussi remarquables. La forme et le fond sont d’ailleurs à la mesure des extraordinaires décors naturels où a été tourné le film, tel cet immense lac salé complètement asséché qui s’étend à perte de vue et au milieu duquel émerge un abri des plus étranges. Lauréat du Prix du Meilleur Réalisateur dans le cadre de la compétition internationale des Cyprus Film Days, Kyros Papavassiliou a également remporté le Prix du Meilleur Film Chypriote. (Impressions of A Drowned Man était en compétition pour les Tiger Hivos du 44ème Festival de Rotterdam. Le deuxième court-métrage du réalisateur, Au nom d’un moineau, était dans la sélection officielle des courts-métrages du Festival de Cannes en 2007.)
There is something from Lanthimos in Oi entyposeis enos pnigmenou (Cyprus / Greece / Slovenia, 2015, 82'), but above all there is something from Luton (Greece, 2013, 92') by Michalis Konstantatos. Indeed, the film of Kyros Papavassiliou, while close to the new Greek wave, (about which there is now maybe too much to talk about,) is disguised and is revealed to those who can notice it in the inner dimension of the protagonist, which is not carried out in a grotesque manner, as often happens in Greek films. The approach of the Cypriot to Cinema rather evokes the concept of a culture and a society that are, yes, infectious, when they are inevitably injected into the soul, into the life of the man who lives within this culture and this society -and indeed gives them life. There are other ones, however, that are injected into the body -extrinsic elements that intersect with human life only partially, as elements or shades. In this sense, the central idea follows the story of the poet Kostas Karyotakis and particularly penetrates the dimension where his life blended with poetry, thus revealing on screen, in the form of an image, the lyrical "I," on which Karyotakis's poetic is based. It is undoubtedly a risky operation, but Papavassiliou succeeds in transferring the minimalism that runs through the film, which is nothing but the externalisation of this lyrical "I", the focal lens through which Karyotakis lives and sees reality; hence, the reality of Karyotakis is what the viewer experiences. And so it is for the hero. He, in fact, is not or does not seem to be Karyotakis, the poet who committed suicide, but every fact confirms the opposite and actually proves that he is indeed Karyotakis and his life is fatally determined, which hereinafter is nothing but his inescapable approaching to the dimension of suicide. This is the emotional charge of Oi entyposeis enos pnigmenou, namely how it succeeds in making the viewer adhere to the hero and vice versa, supporting the fact that the film presents a reality that is known and predetermined and the viewer must necessarily experience it as it is, as the life of the man who is or is not Karyotakis. This proposal of Papavassiliou is, therefore, a criticism on Cinema or, better, a certain kind of cinema. He appeals to this maybe too narrative kind of cinema, in a torturing and despotic manner towards the viewer. In this Cinema declination, Papavassiliou opposes the aesthetics of the ecstatic, of the contemplative as it is given by cinema and life itself –what unifies and constitutes the meeting point between cinematic image and life, the daily experience of the viewer. And he drowns –he surely drowns– but it is no longer a forced drowning, as the one required by narrative, by the excess of literariness, but it is more like a drowning you cannot do without, a drowning that resembles the way we were born, in a sea of coming to the world. Finally, in any case, there remains the assurance, explicitly stated in an eminent meta-cinematic manner, that there is a choice, that there is a difference between film and reality which is clear and substantial, but it is precisely this difference, the display of the finale on screen, which gives the impression that, yes, what is potential, is actually unlimited.ORIGINAL TEXT
C'è qualcosa di lanthimosiano, in Oi entyposeis enos pnigmenou (Cipro/Grecia/Slovenia, 2015, 82'), ma soprattutto c'è qualcosa del Luton (Grecia, 2013, 92') di Michalis Konstantatos, e in effetti la pellicola di Kyros Papavassiliou, pur vicina a quella new wave greca di cui si sente ormai tanto (troppo?) parlare, se ne discosta per un'attenzione certa verso la dimensione interiore del protagonista, che di per sé non è espletata in maniera grottesca come spesso accade nei lavori greci; piuttosto, l'approccio del cipriota al cinema rievoca l'idea di una cultura e una società che sono, sì, ammorbanti poiché ineluttabilmente iniettate nell'animo, nella vita dell'essere umano che le abita e in effetti le vive, ma sono anche, proprio in quanto iniettate nel corpo, elementi estrinseci che s'intersecano con la vita umana solo parzialmente, come fattori o gradazioni. In questo senso, centrale è l'idea di seguire la vicenda del poeta Kostas Karyotakis, e di penetrare soprattutto la dimensione che in cui la sua vita si congiunge colla poesia, palesando così sullo schermo, sotto forma d'immagine, l'io lirico che fonda la sua poetica. È un'operazione indubbiamente rischiosa, ma che a Papavassiliou riesce e riesce anche molto bene, specie nel momento in cui c'accorgiamo che il minimalismo che vena il film altro non è se non l'esteriorizzazione di questo io lirico, la lente focale attraverso cui Karyotakis vive e vede la realtà, quindi ciò che lo spettatore esperisce è la realtà di Karyotakis. E così è anche per il protagonista. Costui, infatti, non è o non sembra essere Karyotakis, il poeta suicida, ma ogni evento gli conferma il contrario e ciò che lui è effettivamente Karyotakis e che, dunque, la sua è una vita fatalmente determinata, il cui prosieguo altro non è che un appropinquarsi ineluttabilmente verso la dimensione del suicidio. È questa la carica espressiva di Oi entyposeis enos pnigmenou, nel fatto cioè di riuscire mirabilmente a far aderire lo spettatore con il protagonista e viceversa, sostenendo un discorso sul cinema secondo cui il cinema presenta una realtà che è data e predeterminata e che lo spettatore deve per forza esperire così com'è, com'è per la vita di quell'uomo che è/non è Karyotakis; è dunque una critica al cinema o, meglio, a certo cinema non da poco, quella proposta da Papavassiliou, che si rivolge verso quel cinema eccessivamente narrativo per non formularsi in maniera tirannica e dispotica nei confronti dello spettatore. A questa declinazione cinematografica, Papavassiliou contrappone un'estetica dell'estatico, del contemplativo come dato immanente al cinema e alla vita stessi - unità e punto d'incontro tra l'immagine cinematografica e la vita, l'esperienza quotidiana dello spettatore. E si annega - sicuro che si annega - ma non è più un annegamento forzato, come quello richiesto dalla narrazione, dall'eccesso di letterarietà, ma è più che altro un annegamento di cui non si può fare a meno e che è lo stesso che abbiamo compiuto nascendo, nel mare dell'essere del mondo. Infine, a ogni modo, resta aperta la garanzia, esplicitata in maniera eminentemente meta-cinematografica, che una scelta ci sia, che una differenza tra cinema e realtà sia evidente e sostanziale, ma è appunto questa differenza, lo schermo nello schermo del finale, a dare come l'impressione che, sì, le potenzialità siano davvero illimitate.
The definition of life as the eternal recurrence of the same events, thereby annulling the causation and the individual will. In his first feature film, the Cypriot film director has chosen to work on issues both strongly engaging and complicated in their realisation –a work that goes beyond the challenge with himself and shows excellent directing and writing skills, managing to make the most, or almost, of an extremely delicate subject. The hero is a man whom we initially see wandering without knowing anything neither of himself nor of his past. However, in the contacts with various people close to him we understand that he ‘copies’ the personality of a famous Greek poet who committed suicide, Kostas Karyotakis. After trying in vain to commit suicide by drowning, Karyotakis put an end to his life with a gun, but in the film he finds himself forced to relive, again and again, every anniversary of his death, the last moments before committing suicide, and now, after almost the ninetieth time, he is going to try to change his own destiny. The work of Papavassiliou is undoubtedly extraordinary, not only because of the fact that it is, as mentioned above, the first feature film he has produced, but above all because of the artistic maturity that emerges in general. The "Impressions of a Drowned Man" is a film about a poet who really existed but it is far from being a biopic. In fact, the true elements about Karyotakis's life are exploited as the pretence that makes it possible to reflect a human condition –above all an existential condition– in which a man is seen before his own destiny without any possibility to change it. But what is the man without the possibility? What does the life we live become if we do not have any opportunity to change our fate? The aim of the creator of the film is less to give answers and more to reflect on the ontological status of man. What emerges from this analysis, so profound and purely philosophical, is the terrifying truth, cold and disillusioned. Even when the hero finally finds the strength and decides to attempt the impossible, he becomes annihilated, he dissolves into nothingness, in a finale between the coldest and most beautiful originality ever, which, despite a solid cryptic background, gives the impression that it wants to convey a certain point of view: an epilogue that leaves no room for interpretation. On the contrary, we find several other elements and characters in the film, as the actor whom the hero meets at the beginning, but even more the figure of the hero himself; they are in fact covered by a highly enigmatic aura up to the end –an aura which renders the hero a shadowy figure, almost impenetrable and yet, at the same time, an invaluable source of ideas and suggestions, anything but superficial. The rhythmic progress is mostly slow and meditative, yet perfectly functional for the purpose of the film. It beautifully manages to create an atmosphere of mystery around what is really happening; unarmed, we watch the course of events without really figuring out what drives the hero to constantly having to relive the anniversary of his death. But the point is really this: there is no response. Papavassiliou deliberately evades being placed in a real and true dimension and seeks to generate the reflection of something absurd, incomprehensible, which serves effectively, however, from a meditative point of view. And, in effect, it surely does. It has nothing to do with the fact that the hero must relive, potentially ad infinitum, the last moments of his life, but with the fact that he never wants to change his own destiny, and even more that, even if he wanted, he would be unable to do so. This is a perception of a man, who after all is completely hopeless and devoid of any sort of hopeful light, as suggested by the finale, which consists of shots of empty spaces and static and endless deserted distances: a cosmic nothing emerges essentially, a nothing that penetrates the audience filling them with a sense of hollowness and leaving a bitter taste behind. Despite the extremely high expectations, the director succeeds in making his point, thanks to an unusual and unprecedented screenplay. He builds a parable that transcends man as well as time, a work of art perhaps unclear in some of its narrative passages, while the rest is deliberately made in this way: an extraordinary journey, suggested to those who find it difficult to remain indifferent.ORIGINAL TEXT
Definire la vita come un eterno riproporsi degli stessi eventi, annullando così la causalità e l’arbitrio individuale. Al suo primo lungometraggio il regista cipriota sceglie di operare su temi profondamente impegnati quanto complicati nella propria attualizzazione, ma con quest’opera supera la sfida con se stesso e dimostra grandissime abilità direttive e di scrittura riuscendo a rendere al meglio, o quasi, un soggetto estremamente delicato. Il protagonista è un uomo che, inizialmente, vediamo vagare senza sapere nulla di se stesso nè del proprio passato. Attraverso gli incontri con varie persone a lui vicine però capiamo questi impersonare l’identità di un noto poeta morto suicida, Kostas Karyotakis; egli, dopo aver tentato invano il suicidio per annegamento, mise fine alla propria vita con un colpo di pistola, ma ecco che ora si ritrova come forzato a rivivere durante ogni anniversario della propria morte gli ultimi attimi prima di suicidarsi di nuovo, e adesso, dopo quasi la novantesima volta, proverà a cambiare il proprio destino. Risulta senza dubbio straordinario qui il lavoro di Papavassiliou, e ciò non solo per il fatto che quello in questione, come accennato, sia il primo lungometraggio da lui realizzato, ma soprattutto per la maturità artistica che nel complesso ne emerge. “Impressions of a Drowned Man” parla di un poeta realmente esistito ma è ben lungi dall’avvicinarsi ad un biopic; la componente veritiera infatti è qui sfruttata sostanzialmente come pretesto per poter riflettere una condizione umana, ma soprattutto esistenziale, che vede l’uomo di fronte al proprio destino senza alcuna possibilità di poter mutare quest’ultimo. Ma cos’è l’uomo senza la possibilità? Cosa diventa la vita che si vive se non si ha nessuna occasione di cambiare la propria sorte? Nel film l’autore non punta tanto a dare risposte quanto più a (far)riflettere sullo stato ontologico dell’uomo, e ciò che ne emerge da quest’analisi tanto profonda e puramente filosofica è una spaventosa quanto fredda e disillusa verità. Anche quando il protagonista finalmente trova le forze e decide di tentare l’intentabile, viene come eliminato, si dissolve nel nulla, in un finale tra i più freddi e splendidamente originali di sempre che, nonostante una solida cripticità di fondo, dà comunque impressione di voler trasmettere un proprio punto di vista: un epilogo dunque che non lascia spazio a molteplici interpretazioni. Al contrario vi troviamo diversi altri elementi e personaggi del film, come quello dell’attore in cui si imbatte inizialmente il protagonista, ma ancor di più la figura del protagonista stesso; questi infatti è fino alla fine ricoperto di un’aurea fortemente enigmatica che ne fa di lui una figura oscura, quasi impenetrabile ma allo stesso tempo fonte inestimabile di spunti suggestivi e tutt’altro che superficiali. L’andamento ritmico per lo più lento e meditativo è poi perfettamente funzionale allo scopo del film e riesce splendidamente a ricreare un’atmosfera di mistero attorno alla vicenda esposta; e così assistiamo inermi durante tutto il corso degli eventi senza mai capire davvero cosa spinga il protagonista a dover rivivere continuamente l’anniversario della propria morte. Ma il punto è proprio questo: non esiste una risposta. Papavassiliou evita volutamente di collocarsi in una dimensione reale e veritiera, e cerca di far nascere la riflessione da un qualcosa di assurdo, di incomprensibile, che però funga effettivamente da spunto meditativo. E così in effetti è. Non è rilevante il fatto che il protagonista debba rivivere potenzialmente all’infinito gli ultimi momenti della propria vita, ma lo è il fatto che non voglia mai cambiare il proprio destino, e ancor di più che, anche quando voglia, sia come impossibilitato a farlo. Una visione questa dell’uomo che in definitiva risulta del tutto sfiduciata e priva di ogni sorta di luce speranzosa, come del resto il finale lascia intuire attraverso riprese di spazi vuoti, statici ed infinite distese desertiche: ne emerge in sostanza un nulla cosmico, un nulla che penetra lo spettatore e che lo pervade di un senso di vuoto, lasciandogli l’amaro in bocca. Grazie ad una sceneggiatura insolita e senza precedenti l’autore riesce quindi nella propria impresa, nonostante le ambizioni decisamente alte. Egli costruisce qui una parabola umana che trascende l’uomo così come il tempo, un’opera forse poco chiara in alcuni suoi passaggi narrativi quanto del resto volutamente realizzata in tal modo: uno straordinario viaggio suggestivo di fronte al quale difficilmente si rimane indifferenti.
- Main Cast
- Thodoris Pentidis (the Passenger)
- Christodoulos Martas (the Actor)
- Marisha Triantafyllidou (Maria)
- Directed by
- Kyros Papavassiliou
- Kyros Papavassiliou in collaboration with
- Yiorgos Zois
- Maria Varnakkidou
- Philippos Yiannikouris
- Edited by
- Yiannis Chalkiadakis
- Konstantinos Othonos
- Nikos Veliotis
- Art Director
- Andy Bargilly
- Costume Design
- Notis Panagiotou
- Konstantina Andreou
- Sound Design
- Persefoni Miliou
- Sound Mixing
- Kostas Fylaktides
- Sound Recording
- Yiorgos Potamitis
- Alexandra Myta
dryTree Films is the production company founded by Kyros Papavassiliou in order to undertake the production of "Impressions of a drowned man".
Filmblades is a film production company based in Cyprus specialised in producing and providing comprehensive services for Feature Films, Short Films, Commercials, Documentaries and TV shows. Filmblades founders, George Pantzis and Monica Nicolaidou have been active professionals in the local film and television industry since 1992. In 2007 they joined forces, founding Filmblades. Since then, Filmblades has produced a large number of feature and short films, among which the multi-awarded feature film "Fish ‘n Chips" (2011), and the short film "Styx", which received six international awards, including two for Best Producer. Moreover, Filmblades have acted as co-producers and executive/line producers for "Impressions of a drowned man" and "Beloved Days" (2015) and as executive/line producers for numerous features, such as "The Joy and Sorrow of the Body" (2012), shot in Cyprus and Bulgaria, "Guilt" (2009) and "The Last Homecoming" (2007).
Restart Production is a production and post-production company, with strong emphasis on high end post-production. Its founders were Art directors, special effects supervisors, digital colorists and post-production producers in the large production companies in Slovenia. They have worked on dozens of feature films and hundreds of commercials. In 2005 they decided to found their own company, based on their skills in production, post-production, compositing, and color grading. The company focuses on international co-productions, with 10 completed projects in the last three years. Restart Production is still a small business, due to their policy to employ only highly skilled staff.
Cast & Crew Bios
Kyros Papavassiliou (Cyprus, 1972)
Kyros Papavassiliou (Cyprus, 1972) is a self-taught director who had previously worked on various positions on the production line, during his 15-year stay in Athens.
“Impressions of a Drowned Man” is his first feature film.
He has written & directed three short films. His most recent short film “In the Name of the Sparrow” was presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007 (Selection Officielle, Court Metrage).
He usually works as a freelance director for TV series and as editor for feature films.
He has published a collection of poems and directed a theatre performance.
He studied Philosophy and Musicology in the United States.
- Impressions of a drowned man, 2015, Cyprus-Greece-Slovenia, feature.
- In the Name of the Sparrow, 2007, Greece-Cyprus, short.
- At Kafka’s Trial Room, 2005, Greece-Cyprus, short.
- Lament, 2002, Greece-Cyprus, short.
Thodoris Pentidis He was born and raised in a village of northern Greece. He ended up in Athens. From 1996 to 2004 he studied acting and made a livelihood from it. Before and after that, he has been a waiter at a tavern. From 2010 to 2014 he relocated to many places of the greek province. Meanwhile, he managed to take part in one film and one theatre performance by Kyros Papavassiliou. He recently returned to Athens where he found a job as a waiter. He likes jogging, reading and watching football games on TV. He has a son with Athina.
Marisha Triantafyllidou Born in Tashkent. She grew up in Thessaloniki. She lives and works in Athens. She took part in films that participated in various film festivals.
Christodoulos Martas He graduated from Satiriko Drama School in Cyprus in 2006. He continued his studies at Actors Centre in London. Since then he has worked with many theatre companies in Cyprus including the National Theatre. He took part in numerous TV series as well as in films both feature and short.
Yorgos Zois Yorgos Zois studied Math and Physics in N.T.U.A. and film direction in Stavrakou Film School, Athens and in U.d.K, Berlin where he was awarded a scholarship. His debut short film “Casus Belli” premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2010 and participated in the official competition of over 50 international film festivals worldwide, winning several awards. His second short film won the European Film Award in Venice 2012 and was nominated for best short film director in the European Film Academy. He is currently on the post production of his first feature film called “Stage Fright”, the script of which was awarded the development prize of CNC (French Film Centre) at the Cinelink Co-Production Market of Sarajevo IFF 2011, the great award in Torino Film Lab 2012 and was selected in the Le Atelier in Cannes Film Festival 2013.
Philippos Yiannikouris Philippos is trained as an architect and has worked on various projects in Cyprus, Greece and the UK. A "negative" spirit by nature, he asserts himself only in negation and cannot hear any assertion without immediately negating it, to such a degree that he is able to contradict himself and attack people who share his own prior opinions. He was involved in the writing process of the "Impressions of a Drowned Man" by ardently expressing his disagreements during conversations on the subject. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in architecture and philosophy that aims to re-imagine the architect's role in the design and building process.
Maria Varnakkidou She was born in London but lived in Cyprus for most of her life. At the age of seventeen she returned to her birth country where she lived for five years, studying theatre directing. She returned to Cyprus and worked in the film "Impressions of a drowned man" as a co-writer, actors' coach and script supervisor. In the next years she taught acting to a wide range of students, and coordinated and directed her first exhibition-performance which was based on the known play 'Vagina Monologues'. She also took part in a theatre performance by Kyros Papavassiliou. She is now preparing a devised theatre performance with Kyros Papavassiliou based on "truth and lies." Today, she's sitting at the bar where she works as a part-time waitress, writing this bio.
Yiannis Chalkiadakis Yiannis Chalkiadakis, was born in Crete. He has an MA in film editing from the National Film & Television School in London. He has been an editor in advertising, short and feature films since 1993, and he has been awarded best editor in the Hellenic Film Academy and the Greek Advertising Awards and the Short Film Awards. Most of the films he has edited, have been nominated and awarded in highly acclaimed Film Festivals. He collaborates on a regular basis and is the editor of Yannis Econimides, Kyros Papavassiliou, Babis Makridis and Yorgos Zois.
Konstantinos Othonos He was born in Cyprus in 1972. He studied cinema in Athens. Since then, he struggles as a cinematographer on an amateur basis, working on short and feature films.
Late 80s - early 90s: founding member of In "Trance 95"
Late 90s - early 00s: turned to the experimental field, exploring sound mainly through the cello (which he destroyed during the "cello powder" performance in 2009)
Late 00s - early 10s: founding member of "Mohammad"
“...euphoric music, no chemistry guaranteed...” [L' Alsace] / “...Having achieved acoustic enlightenment, Veliotis just sits there making the same glorious noise for 20 minutes...” [The Wire] / “Veliotis is the Greek emperor of the restrained cello” [Sound Projector] / “...a cross-pollination of Phill Niblock, Glenn Branca and Iannis Xenakis occurring during the Chernobyl disaster.” [Touching Extremes] www.cellopowder.com www.nikosveliotis.com
Andy Bargilly Born in Famagusta, Cyprus. Here studied Stage and Costume Design at DAMU Prague. He was the Director of the Cyprus Theatre Organisation (State Theatre) for 13 years, co-founder and first Artistic Director of SKALA Theatre in Larnaca, Cyprus, and Artistic Director of the major events for the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus in 2010. He is the Artistic Director of the KYPRIA International Festival since 2013. He has designed the sets and/or the costumes for more than 120 productions in Theatre, Opera, Ballet, Cinema and TV. He worked with distinguished directors and choreographers such as Vladimiros Kafkarides, Valery Akhatov, Evis Gavrielides, Jean-Claude Berutti, Michael Leinert, etc. In 2001 was awarded for best stage design (THOC Theatre Awards) and in 2009 for best art direction (5th Festival of Short Films and Documentaries).
Persefoni Miliou Persefoni Miliou lives and works in Athens. She currently works as a sound designer and documentary director. She was the sound designer on the films "The eternal return of Antonis Paraskevas," "Norway," "Washingtonia" and others.