Executive Producer for the ERT:
Part of this episode had been previously shot in Hania, by another director, who did not get along well with Tabucchi.
Adaios was very stressed over this episode. On one hand, because he was on his own, since Mikela could not be there due to other work commitments, and on the other, because his relation with Tabucchi was stronger than with any other author in the series.
Adaios had studied in Italy and was Tabucchi’s exclusive translator in Greece.
He had received an award for those translations and had developed a very close friendship with Tabucchi.
After the altercation in Hania, Adaios was very frustrated and asked me to undertake the film’s main part, which was going to be shot in Italy.
Dimitris Kordelas and Adaios flew there and I took the ferry from Patras to Brindisi.
It was the time between Christmas and New Year’s day and in order for me not to be alone, I was joined by my cousin Anna and her two daughters, my nieces, Katerina and Chrysoula.
The trip was fun, although the ferry was rocking from side to side across the Adriatic.
We finally arrived in Tuscany.
Tabucchi lived in a beautiful house outside Pisa.
We got on very well.
From the very first moment, the atmosphere was very good and he became increasingly open.
Tabucchi did not like to take film directions. As for me, I also had no intention of directing him, but merely wanted him to let us film freely everything he did. Apart from two somewhat more prepared interviews he had with Adaios, everything else was the result of entirely unpremeditated episodes, which were very lively and not in the least staged for the camera.
That was very much appreciated by everyone.
On the last day, he had us for dinner at his house; I asked him something about James Joyce. He did not say anything, at the time, and I thought I had said something wrong and that perhaps he was snubbing me.
Tabucchi did not want to speak in english. He was uncomfortable with it even though he knew the language. Half an hour (!!!) later, he looked straight at me and started speaking at length about Joyce, giving my question, a marvelous answer.
That made me feel really privileged.