The World of Michalis Kakogiannis unfolds in a large exhibition

The World of Michalis Kakogiannis unfolds in a large exhibition

The World of Michalis Kakogiannis, the director, translator, screenwriter, painter, intellectual, is presented in the exhibition “Mihalis Kakogiannis: His World – Our World”, which was inaugurated yesterday by the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni at the “Michals Kakogiannis Foundation” . The exhibition, held on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great creator, spans all areas of the Foundation and was implemented with the support of the Ministry of the Interior.

In her greeting, the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni said the following:

“Today we remember and honor the work of a great creator, an important person whose main characteristics are commitment to values, quality, social contribution, militancy for what he believed in, for what he envisioned. The long, wonderful course of Michalis Kakogiannis in the theater, in the cinema, in the opera, has a basic, very important feature.

The camera of Michalis Kakogiannis

Kakogiannis was an international Greek, a Cypriot by nature, and a Greek by choice. He stamped the image of the country with his continuous artistic ambassadorship and mediation around the world.

All his work bears the stamp of Greek culture and, cinematically, sums up the image of Greekness. A very large part of his work, especially his filmography, is an anthem to Greece. From the hills of Neapolis in “Sunday Awakening”, the Exarchia of “Stella”, the Hydra of “Girl in Black”, the Crete of “Zorba”, Kakogiannis filmed his heroes, completely connected to space, rooted in the Greek landscape.

And later, when he became the main adaptor of the ancient Greek drama in the cinema with his trilogy, “Electra”, “Troades” and “Iphigenia” – although Giorgos Tzavelas had preceded him with “Antigone” – he broke the boundaries of the orchestra of the ancient theater. He turned it into a cinema screen, touching countless viewers around the world, with a different medium, but with absolute respect for the original source, the spirit of the poet, the ethos of the drama.

o kosmos tou mixali kakogianni ksediplonetai se mia megali ekthesi

Objects from “Iphigenia”

Michalis Kakogiannis achieved this because he himself was a man with a broad, multifaceted and extremely high level of education. He studied law in London and attempted to follow the family tradition of his lawyer father. But he was interested in different things. He studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama and directing at the Old Vic School, and during the Second World War he worked for the BBC as a newscaster and producer of cultural programmes.

That is why he achieved something very important in his career: He disproved in the most definitive and absolute way those who think that quality and commerciality are concepts that are absolutely incompatible with each other. Because he himself was gifted with unique talents, but also because he did not hesitate to invest in them, equating work and art with his life. A citizen of the world, with excellent studies, with a unique narrative ease, but also with an innate Platonic ability to “divine”.

Michalis Kakogiannis had an explosive temperament, an exuberant dynamism, a restless and restless mind, an unprecedented social, political and cultural sensitivity.

o kosmos tou mixali kakogianni ksediplonetai se mia megali ekthesi


Lola Daifa, Xenia Kaldara, Lina Mendoni, Dimitris Papadimitriou, Fotis Papathanasiou

He was a personality with a perception and understanding of the world, beyond his art. Something that helped him communicate even better his ideas, the proposal he brought to each of his projects, whether it was his own, original script, or an adaptation from another source. Thus, Kakogiannis made Campanelli’s “Stella”, Kazantzakis’ “Zorba”, Politis’ “Eroica”, Politis’ “Electra”, “Troades” and his “Iphigenia” simultaneously a work of art and accessible to all. Euripides, “The Cherry Orchard” by Chekhov.

He was a top creator, a top director, a pioneer, a trailblazer. The first and unique ambassador of Greece abroad. Because Kakogiannis, came out of the Greek borders, collaborated like no other with famous names of world theater and cinema, and emerged as a multi-winner in awards and distinctions.

From “Stella” to “Cherry Orchard” he essentially defined and defined Greek Art within and outside the borders. “Alexis Zorbas”, in addition to its unsurpassed success as a film project, opened wide the gates for the Tourism of the country, in all geographical longitudes and latitudes and made Greece an elite tourist destination.

And in each of his works, although the stamp of his personality was indelible, he did not just leave space for his protagonists, but highlighted them, projecting their special charisma.

We cannot imagine “Stella” without Melina, “Zorba” without Anthony Quinn, “Girl in Black” without Lampeti, “Elektra” without the unforgettable Irini Papa. Heroes all with a strong, free spirit, who come into conflict with conservatism, with the ordinary, with morality. Characters who fight for life, but are struck by tragic circumstances.

For this reason, the only documentary he shot, “Attila ’74”, in which he narrates, combining personal experience and the poetry of fiction, a different, real tragedy, of the invasion of Cyprus, the homeland, is not out of place in his filmography. of and documenting displacement, death, loss.

Kakogiannis’ film work is the most accessible to the general public, and therefore the most well-known and recognizable. But at the same time he directed theater performances all over the world, in Spoleto, Paris, Broadway, as well as opera in major opera houses, bringing his knowledge, his point of view, his culture to the stage.

o kosmos tou mixali kakogianni ksediplonetai se mia megali ekthesi


Lina Mendoni, Dionysis Fotopoulos

Michalis Kakogiannis has left us a great legacy with his rich work. But he also left us the legacy of his Foundation, which since 2004 supports the arts of theater and cinema and is a welcoming home for creators. Xenia Kaldara continues this vision of life with true love and inexhaustible strength. Kakogiannis himself called her the soul of the Foundation and knew better than anyone how much personal effort Xenia has invested in honoring the name and legacy of Michalis’ work.

The Ministry of Culture and Sports could not be absent from the exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Michalis Kakogiannis, in which, edited by Konstantinos Zamanis and with the “contribution-advice” of Dionysis Fotopoulos, personal items and memorabilia are presented of a great life of a great man. Through his eyes and through his camera located here, we will be able to understand the world of Kakogiannis even better. A tender, relevant and penetrating look at our own world.

Michalis Kakogiannis was a dear friend of mine. All of whom Michalis honored with his friendship become richer every time we talked with him. I remember the long discussions about the lighting of the monuments in Athens. The love and passion he devoted to the lighting of the Acropolis rock. The love, the passion, the vision with which he implemented the creation of the Foundation, but also the despair, the sadness, the anger for the sterile administrative procedures. His interventions are important, simple, critical, pricey. He was not given to anyone, he did not give in anywhere and for nothing. I am grateful that he entrusted me with his thoughts, that he shared his visions with me.”

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