The 8th Athens Open Air Film Festival has a date with the classics

Screenings dedicated to literature and cinema with the support of the British Council.

The 8th Athens Open Air Film Festival continues its solid collaboration with the British Council by suggesting classic masterpieces of the British cinema, among which some of the top adaptations of literary works within the framework of the “Classics Illustrated: Reading on the big screen” tribute which runs through this year’s program (the tribute’s screenings appear below marked with an L = Literature).

Legendary book adaptations in the big screen, films well-loved by the audience, multiple awarded creations and great directors await the viewers of the Athens Open Air Film Festival’s 8th edition in the following screens:

FRIDAY, JUNE 15th / Plato’s Academy
Goldfinger, 1964 (*L) by Guy Hamilton

The glittering Aston Martin. The woman named Pussy Galore. A naked female body dipped into gold. Gert Fröbe as a fatally cool rival. The first-class combination of cosmopolitan adventure, spy action and witty screenplay. Sean Connery as more irresistible a James Bond as ever. Shirley Bassey and her prominent voice in the theme song. Humour which becomes a necessary addition to an on-screen cocktail that is always served «shaken, not stirred»…

There are several reasons to mention this film and numerous remarkable scenes upon which «Goldfinger» based his timeless charm. Like the brilliant engine on the spinning Aston Martin’s steel viscus that the leading actor drives, so the film’s frame is based on an infallible entertainment mechanism. With all its ingredients in the right place and in the most appropriate proportions, «Goldfinger» inserts in the popular spy mythology a factor of quick and intense emotions, offers one of the two or three best Ian Fleming’s book adaptations in cinema and stands until today as the ultimate archetype on which the subsequent James Bond films saga was built and cultivated. For many it is regarded as the British agent’s top film adventure.

Starring: Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe, Honor Blackman, Shirley Eaton, Bernard Lee
Duration: 110’ / Starting Time: 21h30

FRIDAY, JULY 13th / Petralona Park
The Haunting, 1963 (*L) by Robert Wise

A lonely and sentimentally fragile woman accepts to become the fourth member of a research team which undertakes the task of investigating whether a gothic residence, which is burdened by supernatural stories from the past and morbid rumors, is indeed inhabited by ghosts. What follows is not only the most beautiful film on the particular tale, but also a role model which had it been taken into account as such by the horror films that succeeded it, the entire genre would be much better off today.

By applying the insinuating methods of the emblematic producer Val Lewton («Cat People» and «I Walked with a Zombie») and by making the most out of sets, ambiance and rhythms into a perfectly imposing sum, Wise exhausts all the phobic and psychological aspects of Shirley Jackson's great novel upon which he was based («The Haunting of Hill House»), masterfully directing his film between two levels: a metaphysical one (the house is indeed haunted) and a realistic one (the demons basically exist in the heroine's mind). Whichever of the two explanations is chosen by the audience, the experience of watching the film remains equally riveting. Not at all undeservingly, the «Haunting» keeps steadily decorating the lists with the ten best horror creations in the history of film.

The screening celebrates the 55 years from its first release in the movie theaters.

Starring: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn, Fay Compton
Duration: 112’ / Starting Time: 23h00

WEDNESDAY, JULY 18th / National Archaeological Museum
The Remains of the Day, 1993 (*L) by James Ivory

By masterfully transfering on to the big screen the awarded novel of the Japanese origin (and holder of a Nobel Prize in Literature) Kazuo Ishiguro, the director of the films «A Room with a View» and «Howards End» managed to be nominated for 8 Oscar awards while receiving great artistic and blockbuster recognition.

Ivory's film is a masterpiece of screenplay adaptation, classical filmmaking, outstanding performances and exceptional aesthetic quality which converts into a unique drama the story of a disciplined and exemplary butler who backtracks his life, at an advanced age, when he realises that he has sacrificed any personal desire and happiness of his in the name of duty.

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, James Fox, Hugh Grant, Christopher Reeve
Duration: 134’ / Starting Time: 21h30

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22nd / Rematia Theater, Chalandri
The Collector, 1965 (*L) by William Wyler

In a house, somewhere in the British countryside, the quiet that prevails on the outside cannot warn anyone about what is happening in the inside. The owner, a young and lonely man (Terence Stamp) has kidnapped a student of Fine Arts (Samantha Eggar) but treats her most of the time in ways that would make even the best hotels envious. His purpose is to win her love, even through violence if necessary, functioning as a behavioral observer, just as he did for years with butterflies, by collecting rare species, until he realized it is more interesting to collect women.

The veteran William Wyler, left aside the social concerns found in John Fowles’ book, upon which was built a pessimistic prediction on human behavior and focused on the coexistence of the two main characters forming an unusual (and unique in its kind) erotic film, through the conflict of different worldviews. The nihilist kidnapper, who does not see the difference between humans and insects, across the vigorous and full of life victim of his, compose a daring dipole, enlightened with bright colors in scenes that oppose the hard rivalry to the awkward tenderness, making the viewer forget he is watching the telling of a horror story and surrender himself in the observation of a complex, potential, relationship.

Starring: Terence Stamp, Samantha Eggar
Duration: 119' / Starting Time: 21h00

FRIDAY, AUGUST 24th / Dionysiou Areopagitou Precinct
The Long Day Closes, 1992 by Terence Davies

In his first feature film «Distant Voices, Still Lives» (1988), one of the best filmmakers in contemporary British cinema managed to draw upon his painful pre-teen experience something truly precious, a beautiful and bittersweet reflection on the function and the persistence of memory. Four years after the artistic triumph of that film, Davies wanted through the «Long Day Closes» to return again in the past and his hometown: in Liverpool – 1956, in the home he grew up, in the arms of his beloved mother, in the days where the whole world seemed to begin at his family home’s doorstep and finish at the end of the road.

Davies structures through his film a compilation of nostalgia, associations and scattered memories, an audiovisual mosaic consisted of images and sounds, adored music and songs which operates illustratively for the heroes or is used as a bridge in between of scenes. All that is tenderly laid down in a masterpiece film, which transmits to the audience successive feelings and moods, making the viewer, for a while, a participant in the details of another life. In stills that do not exist anymore and that seem to have been vanished forever in time, like that haunted sunset which two children indolently watch from a rooftop in the finale of the film.

Starring: Leigh McCormack, Marjorie Yates, Anthony Watson, Nicholas Lamont
Duration: 85’ / Starting Time: 21h00

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29th / Numismatic Museum Garden
Lord of the Flies, 1963 (*L) by Peter Brook

One day, out of the blue, war breaks out and a bunch of British schoolchildren find refuge in an exotic island in the middle of nowhere. All alone and unable to contact the outside world, the boys try to organize a society from scratch, despite the constant disputes that threaten the already fragile new circumstance.

If hope for a better world effectively lies within the children, this same hope sinks in the most dramatic way in the sea of the Cold-War pessimism which surrounds the island of the «Lord of the Flies». The film of course is no other but the classic allegory novel issued by William Golding in 1954, which was successfully adapted on the big screen by Peter Brook. Even more, the fact that the British director shot the film with an unripe cast of kids in Puerto Rico at the time when the neighboring Cuba was under invasion at the Bay of Pigs, adds to the film a semantic dynamic which follows it until today.

Starring: James Aubrey, Tom Chapin, Hugh Edwards
Duration: 92’ / Starting Time: 21h00

The 8th Athens Open Air Film Festival is carried out in collaboration with the City of Athens Cultural, Sport and Youth Organization including screenings, throughout the whole summer, in the city's special corners, archaeological sites, parks, squares and some of the most beautiful museums and spots in Athens, with free entrance to the public.

Athens 2018 World Book Capital
The screenings of the 8th Athens International Film Festival that express literary interest are integrated in the «Athens 2018 World Book Capital» framework, an international distinction received by the Athens municipality and our town from UNESCO which lasts for a year, from April the 23rd 2018 until April the 22nd 2019.

The 8th Athens International Film Festival is member of the cultural network Athens Culture Net - Athens Municipality, which has as founding donor the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

For more information and the detailed program of the 8th Athens Open Air Film Festival, stay tuned at and our pages on facebook / twitter / instagram.

    Hμερομηνία δημοσίευσης: 2018-05-25 19:28:59