Theo Angelopoulos was a Greek filmmaker who was born on April 27, 1935, in Athens, Greece.

He is best known for his long, narrative films that deal with political and social issues, often in relation to Greek history.

Who Was Theo Angelopoulos?

Angelopoulos was known for his distinctive visual style, which featured long, elaborate tracking shots and a focus on landscape and architecture.

He was a highly respected and influential filmmaker, and his work has won numerous awards and accolades. He passed away on January 24, 2012, at the age of 76.

Best Theo Angelopoulos Films

Theo Angelopoulos was a Greek filmmaker known for his distinct visual style and long, narrative films.

Some of his most critically acclaimed and widely recognized films include:

1. Ulysses’ Gaze (1995)

Ulysses’ Gaze is a 1995 Greek film directed by Theodoros Angelopoulos. It is a meditative and poetic exploration of the Balkans, film history, and the search for meaning in a world marked by conflict and destruction.

The film follows a Greek filmmaker, A, who travels to the Balkans in search of three reels of film shot by the Manaki brothers.

Along the way, he encounters a series of characters who represent different facets of the region’s troubled history, including a blind Serbian monk, a group of Albanian refugees, and a Bosnian soldier.

One of the key strengths of Ulysses’ Gaze is its ambitious and epic scale. At nearly three hours in length, the film is a sweeping and immersive exploration of the Balkans and its history.

The film’s epic scope is further enhanced by its stunning cinematography, which captures the beauty and complexity of the region in all its glory.

Another reason why Ulysses’ Gaze is a great film is its deeply philosophical and introspective nature.

The film is a meditation on the nature of film, memory, and identity, and it raises important questions about the role of art in a world marked by violence and suffering.

The film’s central character, A, is a filmmaker searching for the Man with the Movie Camera, and his journey becomes a metaphor for the search for meaning in a world that seems to offer little.

In conclusion, Ulysses’ Gaze is a great film due to its epic scale, stunning cinematography, and deeply philosophical themes.

It is a powerful and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on the Balkans and their troubled history.

Ulysses' Gaze [DVD]
  • Harvey Keitel, Maia Morgenstern, Erland Josephson (Actors)
  • Theodoros Angelopoulos (Director) - Giorgio Silvagni (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

2. Eternity and a Day (1998)

Eternity and a Day tells the story of Alexandre, an aging poet who is facing his own mortality, and his journey of self-discovery through the streets of Thessaloniki.

One reason why Eternity and a Day is considered a great film is its use of dreamlike imagery and symbolism to convey its themes.

The film’s cinematography is striking and evocative, and it uses long takes and fluid camera movements to create a sense of time passing and the mundanity of everyday life.

The film’s use of music and sound is also noteworthy, with the use of a haunting score and diegetic sounds enhancing the film’s atmosphere and mood.

Another reason why Eternity and a Day is a great film is its portrayal of the human condition and the theme of mortality.

Alexandre, the film’s protagonist, is a man facing the end of his life and grappling with his own mortality.

Through his journey, we see him confront the past and come to terms with his own mortality.

The film’s portrayal of the human condition is complex and nuanced, and it avoids easy answers or resolutions.

Eternity and a Day is also notable for its portrayal of the city of Thessaloniki and its history. The film uses the city as a backdrop to Alexandre’s journey, and it captures the city’s beauty and complexity through its cinematography and use of locations.

The film also incorporates elements of Thessaloniki’s history into its story, such as the city’s role as a refugee hub during World War II.

In conclusion, Eternity and a Day is a great film due to its dreamlike imagery, the portrayal of the human condition, and its portrayal of Thessaloniki and its history. It is a poignant and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on the human experience.

Eternity and a Day
  • Isabelle Renauld, Bruno Ganz (Actors)
  • Theo Angelopoulos (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

3. Landscape in the Mist (1988)

Landscape in the Mist tells the story of two young siblings, Voula and Alexandros, who undertake a journey from their home in Greece to Germany in search of their estranged father.

Along the way, they encounter a series of characters who represent different facets of Europe’s troubled history, including a group of Albanian refugees, a German intellectual, and a Czech truck driver.

One reason why Landscape in the Mist is considered a great film is its depiction of the human experience and the theme of identity. The film’s central characters, Voula and Alexandros, are children who are searching for their place in the world and their own identities.

Through their journey, we see them confront the harsh realities of the world and come to terms with their own identities. The film’s portrayal of the human experience is complex and nuanced, and it avoids easy answers or resolutions.

Another reason why Landscape in the Mist is a great film is its use of symbolism and imagery to convey its themes.

The film’s cinematography is striking and evocative, and it uses long takes and fluid camera movements to create a sense of time passing and the mundanity of everyday life.

The film’s use of music and sound is also noteworthy, with the use of a haunting score and diegetic sounds enhancing the film’s atmosphere and mood.

Landscape in the Mist is also notable for its portrayal of Europe and its history. The film uses the continent as a backdrop to the siblings’ journey, and it captures the beauty and complexity of Europe through its cinematography and use of locations.

The film also incorporates elements of Europe’s troubled history into its stories, such as the plight of Albanian refugees and the legacy of the Cold War.

In conclusion, Landscape in the Mist is a great film due to its depiction of the human experience, use of symbolism and imagery, and portrayal of Europe and its history. It is a poignant and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on the human experience.

Landscape in the Mist
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

4. The Travelling Players (1975)

The Travelling Players is a 1975 Greek film directed by Theo Angelopoulos. It is a sweeping and epic portrayal of Greece during the tumultuous years leading up to and during World War II.

The film follows a traveling theater troupe as they journey through the country, performing for various audiences and encountering a series of characters who represent different facets of Greece’s troubled history.

One reason why The Travelling Players is considered a great film is its ambitious and epic scale. At nearly five hours in length, the film is a sweeping and immersive exploration of Greece and its history.

The film’s epic scope is further enhanced by its stunning cinematography, which captures the beauty and complexity of the country in all its glory.

Another reason why The Travelling Players is a great film is its portrayal of the human experience and the theme of identity. The film’s central characters are a group of actors who are searching for their place in the world and their own identities.

Through their journey, we see them confront the harsh realities of the world and come to terms with their own identities. The film’s portrayal of the human experience is complex and nuanced, and it avoids easy answers or resolutions.

   

In conclusion, The Travelling Players is a great film due to its epic scale, stunning cinematography, and portrayal of the human experience. It is a powerful and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on Greece and its troubled history.

The Travelling Players (O Thiasos) [Uk Region]
  • Eva Kotamanidou, Aliki Georgouli, Vangelis Kazan (Actors)
  • Theodoros Angelopoulos (Director)
  • English, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)

5. Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow (2004)

Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow is the first part of a trilogy that explores the history of Greece in the 20th century.

The Weeping Meadow tells the story of a group of musicians who are forced to flee their home in Odessa during the Russian Revolution. They eventually settle in a small village in Greece, where they encounter a series of characters who represent different facets of the country’s history.

One reason why The Weeping Meadow is considered a great film is its ambitious and epic scale. At nearly three hours in length, the film is a sweeping and immersive exploration of Greece and its history.

The film’s epic scope is further enhanced by its stunning cinematography, which captures the beauty and complexity of the country in all its glory.

The film’s central characters are a group of musicians who are searching for their place in the world and their own identities. Through their journey, we see them confront the harsh realities of the world and come to terms with their own identities.

The film’s portrayal of the human experience is complex and nuanced, and it avoids easy answers or resolutions.

In conclusion, The Weeping Meadow is a great film due to its epic scale, stunning cinematography, and portrayal of the human experience. It is a powerful and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on Greece and its troubled history.

Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow [DVD]
  • Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow ( Trilogia: To livadi pou dakryzei ) ( La sorgente del fiume (La terre q
  • Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow
  • Trilogia: To livadi pou dakryzei
  • La sorgente del fiume (La terre qui pleure)
  • Alexandra Aidini, Nikos Poursanidis, Giorgos Armenis (Actors)

6. Voyage to Cythera (1984)

Voyage to Cythera is about a political activist who has been in exile for decades, as he returns to Greece after the fall of the military dictatorship.

The film follows Alexandre as he travels to the island of Cythera and encounters a series of characters who represent different facets of Greece’s troubled history.

One reason why Voyage to Cythera is considered a great film is its portrayal of the human experience and the theme of identity.

The film’s central character, Alexandre, is a man who has been in exile for decades and is searching for his place in the world and his own identity. Through his journey, we see him confront the past and come to terms with his own identity.

The film’s portrayal of the human experience is complex and nuanced, and it avoids easy answers or resolutions.

Another reason why Voyage to Cythera is a great film is its use of symbolism and imagery to convey its themes.

The film’s cinematography is striking and evocative, and it uses long takes and fluid camera movements to create a sense of time passing and the mundanity of everyday life.

The film’s use of music and sound is also noteworthy, with the use of a haunting score and diegetic sounds enhancing the film’s atmosphere and mood.

Voyage to Cythera is a great film due to its portrayal of the human experience and use of symbolism and imagery. It is a poignant and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on the human experience.

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection Vol. 2 [DVD] [1980]
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 2 - 5-DVD Box Set ( O Megalexandros / Taxidi sta Kythira /
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 2 - 5-DVD Box Set
  • O Megalexandros / Taxidi sta Kythira / O melissokomos / Topio stin omichli (Paesaggio nella nebbia)
  • Alexander the Great / Voyage to Cythera / The Beekeeper / Landscape in the Mist / The Suspended Step
  • Omero Antonutti, Marcello Mastroianni, Serge Reggiani (Actors)

7. The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991)

The Suspended Step of the Stork tells the story of Yannis, a journalist who is covering the civil war in the Balkans, and his journey to find his estranged wife and son.

Along the way, he encounters a series of characters who represent different facets of the region’s troubled history, including a group of Albanian refugees and a Serbian journalist.

One reason why The Suspended Step of the Stork is considered a great film is its depiction of the Balkans and its troubled history.

The film uses the region as a backdrop to Yannis’s journey, and it captures the beauty and complexity of the Balkans through its cinematography and use of locations.

The film also incorporates elements of the region’s troubled history into its stories, such as the plight of Albanian refugees and the legacy of the Cold War.

Another reason why The Suspended Step of the Stork is a great film is its portrayal of the human experience and the theme of identity.

The film’s central character, Yannis, is a man who is searching for his place in the world and his own identity.

Through his journey, we see him confront the past and come to terms with his own identity. The film’s portrayal of the human experience is complex and nuanced, and it avoids easy answers or resolutions.

The Suspended Step of the Stork is a great film due to its depiction of the Balkans and its troubled history, as well as its portrayal of the human experience.

It is a powerful and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on the region and the human experience.

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection Vol. 2 [DVD] [1980]
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 2 - 5-DVD Box Set ( O Megalexandros / Taxidi sta Kythira /
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 2 - 5-DVD Box Set
  • O Megalexandros / Taxidi sta Kythira / O melissokomos / Topio stin omichli (Paesaggio nella nebbia)
  • Alexander the Great / Voyage to Cythera / The Beekeeper / Landscape in the Mist / The Suspended Step
  • Omero Antonutti, Marcello Mastroianni, Serge Reggiani (Actors)

8. The Beekeeper (1986)

The Beekeeper tells the story of Spiros, a beekeeper who is struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife and the changes in the world around him.

The film follows Spiros as he travels through Greece and encounters a series of characters who represent different facets of the country’s troubled history.

One reason why The Beekeeper is considered a great film is its portrayal of the human experience and the theme of loss. The film’s central character, Spiros, is a man who is struggling to cope with the loss of his wife and the changes in the world around him.

Through his journey, we see him confront his grief and come to terms with the loss of his loved one. The film’s portrayal of the human experience is complex and nuanced, and it avoids easy answers or resolutions.

Another reason why The Beekeeper is a great film is its use of symbolism and imagery to convey its themes.

The film’s cinematography is striking and evocative, and it uses long takes and fluid camera movements to create a sense of time passing and the mundanity of everyday life.

The film’s use of music and sound is also noteworthy, with the use of a haunting score and diegetic sounds enhancing the film’s atmosphere and mood.

The Beekeeper is a great film due to its portrayal of the human experience and use of symbolism and imagery. It is a poignant and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on the human experience.

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection Vol. 2 [DVD] [1980]
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 2 - 5-DVD Box Set ( O Megalexandros / Taxidi sta Kythira /
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 2 - 5-DVD Box Set
  • O Megalexandros / Taxidi sta Kythira / O melissokomos / Topio stin omichli (Paesaggio nella nebbia)
  • Alexander the Great / Voyage to Cythera / The Beekeeper / Landscape in the Mist / The Suspended Step
  • Omero Antonutti, Marcello Mastroianni, Serge Reggiani (Actors)

9. Alexander the Great (1980)

Alexander the Great is about a group of young friends who are coming of age during the turbulent years of the Greek military dictatorship.

The film follows the friends as they experience the events of the time and come to terms with the changes in their country and their own lives.

One reason why Alexander the Great is considered a great film is its portrayal of the human experience and the theme of coming of age. The film’s central characters are a group of young friends who are coming of age during a time of political upheaval and social change.

Through their journey, we see them confront the challenges of growing up and coming to terms with the changes in their lives. The film’s portrayal of the human experience is complex and nuanced, and it avoids easy answers or resolutions.

The film’s cinematography is striking and evocative, and it uses long takes and fluid camera movements to create a sense of time passing and the mundanity of everyday life.

The film’s use of music and sound is also noteworthy, with the use of a haunting score and diegetic sounds enhancing the film’s atmosphere and mood.

Alexander the Great is a great film due to its portrayal of the human experience and use of symbolism and imagery. It is a poignant and thought-provoking work that offers a unique and moving perspective on the human experience.

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection Vol. 2 [DVD] [1980]
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 2 - 5-DVD Box Set ( O Megalexandros / Taxidi sta Kythira /
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 2 - 5-DVD Box Set
  • O Megalexandros / Taxidi sta Kythira / O melissokomos / Topio stin omichli (Paesaggio nella nebbia)
  • Alexander the Great / Voyage to Cythera / The Beekeeper / Landscape in the Mist / The Suspended Step
  • Omero Antonutti, Marcello Mastroianni, Serge Reggiani (Actors)

10. The Hunters (1977)

Oi kynigoi, also known as The Hunters, is a Greek film directed by Theo Angelopoulos that was released in 1977.

One reason it is considered a great film is due to its powerful and moving storytelling. The film follows the journey of two young boys who are searching for their father, a soldier who went missing during the Greek Civil War.

As they travel through a country still scarred by the war, they encounter a variety of characters who help and hinder their search.

The film is also notable for its stunning cinematography, which captures the beauty and bleakness of the Greek landscape.

The Hunters is a poignant and thought-provoking film that is definitely worth watching.

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set ( Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres tou '36 / O thiasos (Kumpanya) / Oi kynigoi [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - United Kingdom ]
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set ( Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set
  • Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres tou '36 / O thiasos (Kumpanya) / Oi kynigoi (Les chasseurs)
  • Reconstruction / Days of 36 (Days of Thirty Six) / The Travelling Players / The Hunters
  • Toula Stathopoulou, Yannis Totsikas, Thanos Grammenos (Actors)

11. The Dust of Time (2008)

The Dust of Time is a Greek film released in 2008. One reason it is considered a great film is due to its ambitious and innovative storytelling.

The film follows the journey of a film director who is attempting to make a film about his family’s history, which has been deeply affected by the tumultuous events of the 20th century.

As he travels around the world and interviews his relatives, he begins to uncover long-hidden secrets and come to terms with his own past.

The film is also notable for its beautiful cinematography and its thoughtful exploration of themes such as memory, identity, and the passage of time.

The Dust of Time is a moving and intellectually stimulating film that is definitely worth watching.

The Dust of Time (I Skoni Tou Hronou) [UK import, Region 2 PAL format]
  • Theo Angelopoulos (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

12. Reconstruction (1970)

“The Reconstruction” is a thought-provoking Greek film directed by Theo Angelopoulos that was released in 1970.

It tells the story of a woman who murders her husband with the help of her lover in a remote village in Epirus and the various characters (judge, policemen, journalists) who try to understand the crime.

While based on true events, the film also explores themes of ancient myths and the human desire to understand the world around us.

The film was praised for its artistic merit, with Angelopoulos receiving awards for Best Director and Best Cinematography at the Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema, as well as Best Foreign Film at the Hyères Festival and a Special Mention at the 21st Berlin International Film Festival.

In 1986, the Greek Film Critics Association named it the third-best Greek film in history.

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set ( Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres tou '36 / O thiasos (Kumpanya) / Oi kynigoi [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - United Kingdom ]
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set ( Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set
  • Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres tou '36 / O thiasos (Kumpanya) / Oi kynigoi (Les chasseurs)
  • Reconstruction / Days of 36 (Days of Thirty Six) / The Travelling Players / The Hunters
  • Toula Stathopoulou, Yannis Totsikas, Thanos Grammenos (Actors)

13. Days of ’36 (1972)

Days of ’36 is considered a classic of Greek cinema. One reason it is considered a great film is due to its innovative and thought-provoking storytelling.

The film follows the story of a political prisoner who is brought to trial and eventually escapes, setting off a chain of events that have far-reaching consequences.

The film explores themes of social and political upheaval, personal responsibility, and the consequences of one’s actions.

It is also notable for its striking cinematography and its use of non-linear narrative structure, which helps to convey the complex and interconnected nature of the film’s themes.

Days of ’36 is a poignant and intellectually stimulating film that is definitely worth watching.

The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set ( Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres tou '36 / O thiasos (Kumpanya) / Oi kynigoi [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - United Kingdom ]
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set ( Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres
  • The Theo Angelopoulos Collection - Volume 1 - 4-DVD Box Set
  • Anaparastasi (Yeniden Yaratma) / Meres tou '36 / O thiasos (Kumpanya) / Oi kynigoi (Les chasseurs)
  • Reconstruction / Days of 36 (Days of Thirty Six) / The Travelling Players / The Hunters
  • Toula Stathopoulou, Yannis Totsikas, Thanos Grammenos (Actors)

14. Broadcast (1968)

The team of journalists for a popular radio show embark on a search for the ultimate “ideal man,” as defined by the women they interview on the streets.

The man who embodies all of these qualities will have the opportunity to spend a few hours with a famous movie star.

This lighthearted and humorous concept sets the stage for a fun and entertaining film.

Characteristics of Theo Angelopoulos Films

Theo Angelopoulos was a Greek filmmaker known for his thought-provoking and emotionally powerful films. His films often explored themes of social and political upheaval, personal identity, and the consequences of one’s actions. 

He was known for his use of long takes and wide shots, which allowed him to capture the beauty of the Greek landscape and convey a sense of time passing. 

Angelopoulos was also known for his use of non-linear narrative structure, which helped to convey the complex and interconnected nature of his films’ themes. His films were often praised for their artistic merit and were widely recognized at international film festivals.

This unconventional approach to storytelling set Angelopoulos apart from other filmmakers and helped to establish him as a unique and innovative artist.

Some of the key characteristics of his films include:

Political Themes

Many of Angelopoulos’ films deal with political and social issues, particularly in relation to Greek history.

He often used his films as a way to comment on and critique events and policies in Greece and around the world.

Epic Narrative Structure

Angelopoulos was known for making long, ambitious films that often spanned many years and covered a wide range of characters and events.

These films were often structured as epics, with a grand narrative arc and a large cast of characters.

Visual Style

Angelopoulos was renowned for his distinctive visual style, which featured long, elaborate tracking shots and a focus on landscape and architecture.

His films were known for their sweeping, panoramic shots and immersive, atmospheric visuals.

Best Theo Angelopoulos Films – Wrapping Up

As we’ve covered, Theo Angelopoulos was a Greek filmmaker known for his long, epic films that explored political and social issues, often in relation to Greek history.

His films were characterized by their sweeping, panoramic visuals and immersive, atmospheric style. Some of his most highly regarded films include “The Travelling Players,” “The Beekeeper,” “Ulysses’ Gaze,” “The Weeping Meadow,” and “The Dust of Time.”

These films showcase Angelopoulos’ unique vision and ability to tell complex, multi-layered stories that explore the human experience and the impact of historical events on personal lives.

Angelopoulos was a highly respected and influential filmmaker, and his work continues to be celebrated and studied by film critics and enthusiasts around the world.