This is my very last work for “Paraskinio”. It was scheduled to air shortly before the abominable shutdown of ERT, in June 2013.
As fate had it, my last documentary for “Paraskinio” was meant to be one of my finest ones.
I was lucky in that respect and I owe part of it to Lydia Photopoulou who was the subject of the picture.
I had decided not to make a biographical portrait of Lydia, but rather to focus on the one side, on her performance as Desdemona in Othello, staged by Yannis Houvardas at the Amore theatre, in 1991-2, and on the other, on the play she had been rehearsing for at the time of the shooting. That happened to be a first-time staging of Golfo at the National theatre, directed by Nikos Karathanos. The performance was taking place at the Rex theatre on Panepistimiou street.
Some great archival footage from an old “Paraskinio” made by Katerina Evangelakou in 1992 existed, and I was able to take some very useful and touching scenes from Othello, as well as parts of a period interview by Lydia, twenty years younger.
The original idea was to have Lydia watch her younger self and comment on those images and through a series of long interviews, to eventually move on to the rehearsals and get the feeling of Golfo. As I filmed Golfo’s rehearsals it was obvious, right from the start, that something great was was being born before my eyes. There is a short appearance by Nikos Karathanos who talks on camera about Lydia.
As the shooting of the rehearsals progressed, the footage became unexpectedly powerful as the camera captured something great, as it was being created, and featured Lydia in the best performance in her career. That was a true blessing.
Lydia’s entire history unfolds between the 1992 Desdemona and the 2013 Golfo. The documentary found an unexpected co-star in Lydia’s cherished dog, Rahat, who almost evolved into a protagonist in his own right.
The picture was marvelous, full of emotion, meaningful and delightfully lighthearted. It is a great live document of the staging of Golfo.
I have to say that Lydia apart from being a superb actress is also a wonderful person. I am very happy that my last picture for “Paraskinio” was the reason we became friends.
The picture has only been broadcast once...a year later, on NERIT, at 1:45 in the morning…
It’s as if it was never screened.
My last picture for “Paraskinio”, one of my best portraits, is nothing but a ghost...