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Stavros Tornes (Balamos, Karkalou)

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Stavros Tornes (Balamos, Karkalou)


Post by Armoreska » March 8th, 2020, 8:28 pm

Is anyone on this forum well-familiar with this director?

Someone asked me to help him find advice:

I am taking on translation of two movies of Stavros Tornes: Balamos (1982) and Karkalou (1984) (from English)
1. I can not understand the philosophy and basic mantra of this director, especially Balamos (1982)
I don't understand what he's going to say (Although the English translation is also incomplete and isn't very good).
I don't understand what does the horse symbolize, why he wants buy a horse and travel to Olympus and etc...
and on the other hand there is no good English critique and review of his works and movies.

2) What is the reason for the director's popularity among the Greeks?
He's known as a great director in Greece, but why is he not as well known as Theo Angelopoulos worldwide?

3. I've read "A History of Greek Cinema" by Vrasidas Karalis but there's only a brief description, are there other available resources to read about Stavros's cinema and movies?
currently working towards a vegan/low waste world + thru such film lists (besides TV): 2010s bests, RW Fassbinder, Luis Bunuel, Yasujiro Ozu, Eric Rohmer, Visual Effects nominees, kid-related stuff, great animes (mini-serie or feature), very 80s movies, 17+ sci-fi lists on watchlist, ENVIRO, remarkable Silent Films and Pre-Code (exploring 1925 atm) and every shorts and docu list I'm aware of and
and "Gordon" Liu Chia-Hui/Liu Chia-Liang and Yuen Woo-ping and "Sammo" Hung Kam-bo

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Post by kingink » March 10th, 2020, 10:40 am

Oh... Stavros Tornes... A cinematic genius according to some cinephilic cirlcles in Greece but I never understood why. We have far better directors that deserve this title more than him.
But the truth is that in Greece he is generally unknown. Only the film critics and the cinephiles know him. I have only seen Karkalou and couldn't really connect with the film. I started watching Balamos once but I stopped because I couldn't connect with it as well and had some other stuff to do. I will come back to it eventually, but not one of my priorities.
I haven't made any serious research on Greek cinema, so I can only state my personal opinions, but I have seen a lot of Greek movies.
After the decline of the wonderful popular cinema for the masses in the 50s and 60s and especially after the rise of video in the 80s, Greek cinema lost it's touch with the general public (with exceptions of course). Especially the 80s feel like a very elitistic period for Greek cinema with a small circle of cinephiles enjoying the arthouse films of that era, while the public turned it's back on them. For me, Tornes is a fine example of that elitistic era.
You can't say to a Greek film critic aged 50-70+ that you don't like Tornes without expecting some minor injuries tehe
I don't feel that his work was something unique or extraordinary that deserves more than a brief mention in a book on Greek cinema. I would love somenone to argue with me on that but I doubt it would change my mind.
I am at work so I will wrap it up for now, but feel free to ask anything else.
Oh and there is a documentary about his life and work and also a whole book published by the Thessaloniki Film Festival. Don't expect to find them in English though...

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