Michael Marmarinos and I, have known each other for many years. We worked together briefly, firstly in the “Paraskinio” documentary “The 'sanctity' of the Epidaurus Ancient Theatre”, in 2009, and later, in May 2013, in Apostolia’s film “A trip to Delphi”, in which I had done the camera work.
That was when he first mentioned that he was thinking of staging Faust and I suggested a movie be made to document the progress of rehearsals and attempt to examine in depth his work process as a whole.
He embraced the idea and in October 2013 we commenced.
Originally, the film was meant as an episode of “Paraskinio”. But ERT had closed down and so Cinetic, the production house behind “Paraskinio” had suspended its business. Permanently.
As a consequence, the picture was homeless. And then (with Michael’s intervention) I submitted it to the Onassis Cultural Foundation, which was backing the production of “Faust”. Afroditi Panagiotakou enthusiastically accepted and in addition she asked for three more films for similar projects they were producing; “Hamlet”, “The Cherry orchard” and “Faith, Hope and Charity”. That was how my film on “Faust” found a home.
In the case of the Faust documentary, I had decided that Michael would be the only one interviewed. I believe that his mark is so strong and defining, that the addition of more interviews from his team would be disorienting rather than enlightening.
Michael has a unique work method. He develops a spiritual field, a space defined by his own energy, and after that, he significantly revises the text, as well as the lines and their delivery. As for the rest, he leaves the actors to their own devices, so that the result has a truth similar to that of a documentary. He then takes this source material and starts building on it, using, most creatively, pauses, light and darkness, movement and colors.
Over and above everything is the unique pace that all of Michael’s works have and which gave tempo to Faust as well.
Marmarinos’ pace is not what we usually see in other performances or films. He takes the audience into account, but he does not cater to their comfort zone.
And I consider his rhythm to be a shared secret, common ground between Michael and all those, who have been passionately following his work all these years.
In this film, Michael and I worked in the best possible way. He was always available and fully prepared to do anything he could to ensure that the best possible result would be achieved.
He was not afraid that he was going to embarrass himself. He did not hide, but he did not pose for the camera either.
I think that this movie fully captured Michael’s approach to his work. And that is because, time was sufficient and he was open, both mentally and emotionally, to the camera.
I am very pleased with the resulting film on “Faust”, but above all by the fact that
it has documented the work process of a truly great artist.