Return To Aeolus Street (EXCERPT) by Maria Kourkouta

EPFC | November 17th, 2015


guest curator: Mia Ferm

Another excerpt this week (though I wish we could all watch this film over and over together on the big screen), or perhaps we call it a trailer, or maybe a fragment… Under the theme of “Reconstructing Memory” we’re exploring fragments of visual material, archival footage lost and found, that has been recontextualized, reexamined, in an experimental (and this week a quite poetic) mode. “Return to Aeolus Street” is a 14-minute film (the link is for a 45-second trailer) from the young Greek-born, France-based filmmaker Maria Kourkouta. The film transforms, through varying speeds and looping, footage from popular Greek movies of the 1950s and 60s into something both hypnotic and touching. The images are accompanied by Greek poetry and music, including music by Manos Hadjidakis, a Greek composer popular in the 1960s (and actually an Oscar winner), it is described on Light Cone’s (the film’s distributor) website as “insignificant fragments, reworked, reassembled” and as a “found footage movie, a collage which evokes a return journey to contemporary Greece.” Made in 2013, one imagines it is also in some ways a response to the current economic and political upheaval in Greece. But even to an American viewer unfamiliar with popular Greek films of that era, these fragments never feel insignificant, but so full of a feeling of nostalgia, sadness, and hope. LA-based filmmaker Thom Anderson, who also makes films from films, calls his newest work “The Thoughts that Once We Had” a personal of history of cinema’s greatest hits. Maria’s film also feels a bit like a personal history through culturally and historically significant popular images of a nation, but so poetic in its interpretation. If you have the chance to see more than just this fragment, take it. “Return to Aeolus Street” is a moving (emotionally, rhythmically, psychically) short film.