The Travelling Players

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87%

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Total Count: 15

83%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 499
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Movie Info

This expansive Greek drama follows a troupe of theater actors as they perform around their country during World War II. While the production that they put on is entitled "Golfo the Shepherdess," the thespians end up echoing scenes from classic Greek tales in their own lives, as Elektra (Eva Kotamanidou) plots revenge on her mother (Aliki Georgouli) for the death of her father, and seeks help from her brother, Orestes (Petros Zarkadis), a young anti-fascist rebel.

Cast & Crew

Aliki Georgouli
Elektra's Mother
Maria Vassiliou
Chrissothemis
Nina Papazaphiropoulou
Old Woman
Kyriakos Katrivanos
Pyladis
Alekos Boubis
Old Man
Loukianos Kilaidonis
Original Music
Giorgos Arvanitis
Cinematographer
Takis Davlopoulos
Film Editor
Mikes Karapiperis
Production Designer
Giorgos Patsas
Costume Designer
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Critic Reviews for The Travelling Players (O thiasos)

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (2)

There are no critic reviews yet for The Travelling Players (O thiasos). Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for The Travelling Players (O thiasos)

  • Nov 06, 2009
    <i>"I came cross the sea, from Ionia. Where did you come from?"</i> <CENTER><u>O THIASOS (1975)</u></CENTER> <b>Director:</b> Theodoros Angelopoulos <b>Country:</b> Greece <b>Genre:</b> Drama / War <b>Length:</b> 230 minutes <CENTER><a href="http://s712.photobucket.com/albums/ww125/ElCochran90/?action=view¤t=OThiasos.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i712.photobucket.com/albums/ww125/ElCochran90/OThiasos.jpg" border="0" alt="Theodoros Angelopoulos,Greece,O Thiasos,Travelling Players"></a></CENTER> Never before had cinema presented such an effective, original and cinematically influential perspective concerning the Second World War. Extensive Greek master Theodoros Angelopoulos achieves international attention thanks to his second and best chapter in A Trilogy of History, one of the most ambitious films in the entire history of moviemaking, and undeniably one of the best and most powerful war films of all time. The mysticism is overabundant, the technical perfection that was intentionally added to the film is masterly orchestrated through a wonderful cast and a perfectly poetical balance, and its noticeably audacity in the process of defying the regimes, the abuse of power and the definitive turning point in Greek history forms part of possibly the most ambitious direction ever committed to celluloid. Angelopoulos was a political genius and could be described as the expressionistic successor of Sergei M. Eisenstein (<i>Bronenosets Potyomkin</i> [1925], <i>Oktyabr</i> [1927]) with the exact opposite of what would be his filmmaking style. Sentimentalism is avoided and gritty realism is mercilessly displayed, yet the multi-talented layers of poetry, wisdom and directorial brilliance maximize the power and glory of such masterful work of art. <i>O Thiasos</i> follows the adventures and difficult tragedies of a group of travelling players peregrinating throughout the jeopardized country of Greece, performing the erotic drama "Golfo, the Shepherdess" by Spyridon Peresiades, and witnessing the several stages of history that Greece was going through. Covering a period of time that goes from 1939 to 1952, the film depicts the last days of the Metaxas dictatorship, the beginning of World War II and the opposition of the Italians, the Nazi occupation, the Liberation, the British and American interventionism in Greek politics, and the Civil War held between the Left and the right-wingers. Director Theodoros Angelopoulos won the FIPRESCI Prize at the Cannes Film Festival of 1975 under the category of Parallel Sections. He also won an Interfilm Award at the Berlin International Film Festival of 1975 under the category of Forum of New Cinema. Also, the film won 6 Greek Competition Awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Film and Best Director at the Thessaloniki Film Festival. Demanding political and historical knowledge once more, Angelopoulos' primary source of originality and brilliance comes from the fact that he masterly referenced ancient Greek literature so we as an audience were capable of understanding and having a notion of the possible personalities of the depicted characters. The characters themselves are based on Aeschylus' Oresteia Trilogy ("Agamemnon", "The Libation Bearers" and "The Eumenides"), a fact that will help to obtain a foreshadowing of their respective natures. Consequently, it was decided not to identify the characters by their respective names, emphasizing the literary connotation of the film, with the exception of the revolutionary son Orestes. Each and every single frame, when put together, form a groundbreaking testament in which all of the elements that determine and represent a society that is forced to experience a chaotic existence because of a war that is out of the control of the country are contrasted with the aesthetic beauty of the highly prolonged shots. The aforementioned characteristics strengthen the statement that <i>O Thiasos</i> is one of the most moving and heartbreaking dramas in Greek history. <i>O Thiasos</i> has the intrinsic ability of creating an epic story in which war is portrayed as a massive and international event of political, economical, social and psychological destruction without the necessity of resorting to racist and melodramatic elements. It also references the totalitarian control and the ambition of power that the Oresteia Trilogy possessed in its tales and transforms them, through a more modern cinematographic adaptation, into a direct social criticism towards an authoritarian nationalism and towards a State which greatly unstable condition forced it to seek for foreign interventionism. Naturally, the topic of the greed present in developed countries because of their political intervention in nations of lacking independence is treated. The British and American influence has a negative connotation, emphasizing the desperate situation of the Greece as a nation of decaying democracy and increasing anarchy, in case Fascism has not taken control over a territory yet. The use of a group of travelling players may be a nostalgic reference towards the tragic events that necessarily had to take place in order to determine and literally change the course of history, but a literary (and even mythological) parallelism enhances their human faults and their respective hardships, causing an increasing weakness of the soul. The extremely elaborate screenplay is divided in three thought-provoking monologues and has a nonlinear structure, constantly constructing a timeline mixture of a cyclic chronology and going back and forth in time. The film begins at the end in order to close a cycle of events, being an allusion of the never-ending horrors of war and the vast variety of life epiphanies. The beloved and multiphacetic collective protagonist faces, in a particular sequence, joy, death and hunger, simulating the hardships of the Greek evolving society. <i>O Thiasos</i> is plagued with remarkable performances and the absence of a clichéd musical score is effectively applied, creating a very atmospheric realism in the process. Extremely prolonged single shots and a gracious exaltation of patient stillness are thoroughly used, culminating in what may be several of the best filmed scenes ever. One of the scenes, which lasts more than 10 minutes and that is my personal favorite, shows Elektra walking into a nightclub where a sign advertising the celebration of January the 1st of 1946 is displayed. Walking across the nightclub and standing next to the orchestra, she witnesses a verbal fight between an all-male group of right-wing government supporters and another group consisting in couples that are supposed to represent the Left. Both groups take their respective turns to perform singings that belong to their particular ideologies, leading to an almost violent conclusion. There is a certain point in the film where the characters stop being active and are transformed into passive beings, silently witnessing the surrounding events rather than willingly participating in them. This is exactly the filmic style that would influence directors like Andrei Tarkovsky (<i>Stalker</i> [1979], <i>Nostalghia</i> [1983]) and Béla Tarr (<i>Sátántangó</i> [1994], <i>Werckmeister Harmóniák</i> [2000]). One of the most memorable, absolute and visual masterpieces has been born, and Angelopoulos is the master behind the lens. From storytelling brilliance to breathtaking technical perfection, <i>O Thiasos</i> dwells into the realm of the horrors of war and the inevitability of death, emphasizing the futility of political overpowerment and glorifying justice and the human condition. Just like Masaki Kobayashi accomplished to do with his epic war movie <i>Ningen no Jôken</i> (1959-1961), Angelopoulos was able of boarding the humanism train... making the collective protagonist to do it in a more literal way! Just like the trilogy forms part of a cycle, <i>O Thiasos</i> is the jam between the sandwich of liberal politics, instantly becoming the tastiest piece of this colossal meal. It has reached a superior category of cinema that few films have reached before, and imposing a complex narrative structure and increasing the attention to detail, the travelling players have found a place inside the people's hearts and the very spirit of quality cinema. 100/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2008
    Part II of A Trilogy of History by Theo Angelopoulos: Pure mysticism but requires a lot of patience.What Angelopoulos divides here is time and present history.Flash-forwards to the General's Regime (or should the Civil War be denominated like that?),the uninvited theatrical troupe merging in the seemingly confusing backdrop of Greece,a masterful touch of a timeline mixture,it's as if tragicomedy of chronology occurs where Golfo,the troupe's play is but the interlude in between the film's chapters. For the love of Artemis,there's even sexual parallelism ala Oresteia tension!!!
    Dimitris S Super Reviewer

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