The Weird Wave of Greek Cinema: a Movement or a Moment?

Thursday 16 Sep 2021

‘Is it just coincidence that the world’s most messed-up country is making the world’s most messed-up cinema?’ wonders The Guardian journalist Steve Rose in his article ‘Attenberg, Dogtooth and the Weird Wave of Greek Cinema’, asking whether ‘the brilliantly strange films of Yorgos Lanthimos and Athina Rachel Tsangari [are] a product of Greece’s economic turmoil’ (2011). The correlation between the country’s severe financial crisis and a particular corpus of its cinematic production emerged as an interesting hypothesis back in the early 2010s, generating a number of epistemological and ethical questions with regard to the meanings and interpretations of the crisis, but most significantly with regard to its social, cultural and affective manifestations.


In this talk, Dr Psaras will revisit landmark films that constituted the original ‘weird corpus’, such as Yorgos Lanthimos’s Dogtooth (2009) and Alps (2011), Panos Koutras’s Strella (2009) and Athina-Rachel Tsangaris’s Attenberg (2010), reflecting on reading the “weird” as “queer” and identifying the thematic and formal disenchantment with traditional heteropatriarchal values and the representation that guided the national imaginary and experience. We shall then turn to later works, such as Tonia Mishialis’ Pause (2018), to evaluate the after-effects of the original wave.


Dr Marios Psaras holds a Degree in Education & Philosophy (University of Cyprus), an MA and a PhD in Film Studies (Queen Mary University of London). He is the author of the first book-length study on contemporary Greek cinema, The Queer Greek Weird Wave: Ethics, Politics and the Crisis of Meaning (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). As a film scholar, Dr Psaras has taught film theory at Queen Mary, King’s College London, University of Greenwich, and has lectured across Europe. He has published articles, reviews and book chapters on contemporary Greek, European and global queer cinema. Dr Psaras has previously worked in education, radio and TV production, and has directed for the theatre and cinema. His most recent short film, The Call (2020), has won Special Mention at the 43rd Drama International Short Film Festival and is currently screening at film festivals worldwide. Dr Psaras is a member of the Hellenic Film Academy, artistic director of the annual festival Cyprus Short Film Day, London, and a member of the editorial board of Filmicon: Journal of Greek Film Studies. Since September 2018, he has been the Cultural Counsellor at the Cyprus High Commission in London.

On the assumption that no new public-health restrictions have been imposed, we hope to be able to hold a wine reception after the event. Please keep following the latest Government health advice. At the time of writing, the wearing of masks indoors is optional. Please do not attend the event if (a) you have or suspect you may have coronavirus symptoms or are in contact with others who have or suspect they have such symptoms, (b) you are still under quarantine restrictions from an overseas’ visit.

Organised by The Anglo-Hellenic League


The Hellenic Centre


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