Executive Producer for ERT Digital:
It was the summer of 2008. In August, Giorgos Panousopoulos, myself, and Dimitris Bakalbassis, who was the DP that day, set out for the western Peloponnese. During the ride, we were tense and speechless, as we drove along the devastated land of Elis, which had been ravaged by fire, only the previous summer.
Finally, we arrived at the Kaiafas Baths.
That was where Giorgos Panousopoulos, until that time a fine cinematographer, had filmed his first picture.
I think that "Taxeidi tou Melitos” is a true masterpiece.
A very young filmmaker back then, in 1977, on gut instinct, gathers together all the character actors of the old commercial cinema, who had always played second fiddle to the big stars and joins them with four exceptional performers, Aleka Paizi, Stavros Xenidis, Betty Livanou and Lazaros Andreou; and along with them, the incomparable Thanos Velloudios.
And then he places them in the thermal Kaiafas Baths, where life, death and a subtle transcendental feeling are brought together by the music of Manos Hadjidakis in an unsurpassed masterpiece.
In a period when everything was ideology-related, Panousopoulos offers the
ultimate existential experience.
Had Fellini seen that film, he would have wanted to adopt Panousopoulos.
We stayed in Kaiafas for a day and there, Panousopoulos sitting with the baths, that had remained unchanged after thirty years in the background, described the film in the tiniest detail.
The footage from both the baths and the beach, combined with clips from the movie as well as with a valuable archival film from a period “Paraskinio” on the “Taxeidi”, with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, produced a result that made me very happy.
It is one of my favorite works, because through it I had the possibility to express my admiration for a film I had always loved.