The Travelling Players (O thiasos) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Travelling Players (O thiasos) Reviews

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½ October 7, 2015
This is a VERY big film. It encompasses the various sentiments, turmoils, and livelihoods of the Greek people for more than a decade of one of the most troubled times of the past century. It shows how some people lived and some people simply got by during fascism, invasion, occupation, and civil war. All this by following a small group of actors. It's an ambitious work and not the easiest to watch, but a brilliant film nonetheless.
½ February 7, 2015
There is simply so much going on under the surface of this film that I am tempted to start it back from the beginning right now. I'm right on the verge of considering it a masterpiece but it's just to gargantuan to intake in one viewing. The story is wonderfully layered, organically shot and acted, and just all around bursting with little character details. This is only my second dive into Angelopoulos, but I'm surely going to jump again soon. My only minor complaint is the length can be felt harshly at times, but once the film ends and it all comes into place, you understand why it had to be this long.
May 7, 2013
Theodoros Angelopoulos' The Travelling Players tells the story about a bunch of theater performers during the period from 1939 to 1952 in which such big events as the German invasion, the partisan wars, and the Greek civil war between the US backed royalist forces against the communists. Although the players are in charge of all their plays, they cannot change the course of history, they themselves are just the audience. The Travelling Players is an interesting piece that covers most of the war period pretty well in sense of details delivered to us by both imagery and people talking directly into the camera, with all their stories about a constantly dynamic Greece.

But sadly enough, this film didn't appeal to me at all. It's too long, nearly four hours, and it doesn't actually cover the Civil War at all, which is very disappointing. And there's too many characters that we are suppose to recognize, considering there's few close-ups, thanks to all the long shots. Don't misunderstand me, I love long takes, but Angelopoulos could have made it more dynamic like Miklós Jancsó's war dramas. Overall, I kind of liked it, but it was simply too long and too theatrical. It is an orgy of missed opportunities. But I liked its political and cultural imagery enough to give this movie a marginal thumbs up.
½ August 19, 2012
Doesn't feel nearly as long as it is. Angelopoulos' repeated structure for his shots at times cares less about the troupe of actors in the title, and more about the historical stage they're on. That stage, Greece in the 30s through 50s, is a shifting of dominant political ideologies through which the troupe must travel, seemingly no better off despite the changes.
May 28, 2012
Sometimes a film can be a thing of rare beauty and epic scope .
This film from director Theodoros Angelopoulos is at once a history lesson and at the same turn a wonderous piece of cinema.
The film follows a group of actors as they try to stage a classic Greek Pastoral play ,the only problem being that events in Greek History friom the period of 1939-1952 conspire to prevent them staging the whole production.

The film shows these events from the eyes of the players which include the Invasion by the Nazis and the bitter civil war which followed.

The film has a very staid pace and is nearly four hours in length which may put the average viewer off ,but i found this pace to add to the wonder of the film and gives it a subtance that many films of the modern era seem to lack .
The Greece potrayed here is a long long way from the tourist book image we have of the country .
Here the film traps Greece in a kind of aspic ,where events conspire to sweep along ordinary Men and Women.
A film of power and History and a masterpiece of story telling.
February 13, 2012
The Travelling Players is a miniature of the Greek society, the rat, the conservative, the liberal, the communist, the social class oppression, and the endless and ceaseless wandering of the actors serves as a metaphor for the Greek people sufferings from the Metaxas, the Italian , the German (witch with a different and more modern version is now more relevant than ever), and finally the the Anglo-American dictatorship and also the and endless internal conflicts. It is made from just 80 shots, each of one a meticulous frame with slow and subtle camera movements. The very long duration (I had to take 2 breaks in order to finish it) and the theme of the film, as it can not be fully understood without some knowledge of modern Greek history and Aeschylu's Oresteia, may discourage some. But I believe from a technical point of view, it is close to a masterpiece, especially considering the small budget Angelopoulos had at his disposal, and so it is possible for someone to appreciate it even if he does not fully understand it.
July 11, 2011
After 3h 45min, this Angelopoulos very long epic film is a challenge for fans of Micheal Bay.hehe.
½ November 25, 2010
Wow, this was incredibly boring but incredibly well-done. Due to my lack of knowledge of Greek history a lot of the film was lost on me but the film is also partly at fault for my boredom. I know it was a choice on the director's part, but the lack of characterization of any kind really made it hard for me to care about anything that was happening. I wasn't with these people and couple that with lack of knowledge and the film was completely pointless to me. Worth seeing for its technical aspects but I have a feeling many will feel similar to how I felt.
½ November 16, 2010
This is a hugely ambitious piece of work that packs a cumulative wallop when it's all over.
October 22, 2010
For the foreign viewer (me for instance) The Travelling Players is a challenge - but one that is most worthy of such an effort. The film takes place between 1939-1952 and follows a theatre troupe of actors traveling through Greece bearing witness to a number of political happenings at the time - Nazism, Fascism, Communism. They often attempt to stage a version of Golfo the Shepherdess, but are always interrupted and the plays is never seemingly finished. Every so often a character will speak to directly to the camera discussing a significant event that occurred in their life. The film uses long takes with difficult tracking shots. This is used to great effect, but the viewer will often be forced to think about what is or has just happened. A cinematic masterwork from a great filmmaker.
September 21, 2010
A masterpiece in a dozen different ways, The Traveling Players is so complex that a critic attempting to explain it is in the same quandary as the proverbial blind men discovering an elephant
½ July 25, 2010
Yes it is a classic indeed, however, that does not mean its easy to watch or even enjoyable. You really do have to know the niche of film making to really enjoy this one and one must have a little info about political history of Greece after 1939.

But I will say this that Theo Angelopoulos is a great director of our times who makes movies he belives in.
March 24, 2010
Very interesting, but due to the lack of my knowledge on Greek history and so on, I could not enjoy the details of this film. There are lots to see about camera that made this a classic. I guess those techniques are derived from the tradition of theater tradition in the west.
January 7, 2010
Great movies can be long, and great movies can be slow, but when it's long AND slow, you better have a damn good reason for it. And Angelopolous does not have a good reason. Endless shots of people walking from one place to another. Another big stumbling block is that it requires some knowledge not only about mid-20th century Greece, but ancient Greek mythology. I won't deny that there are some interesting scenes. But the boring stretches in between are too great, and it's not worth the wait.
jimbotender
Super Reviewer
October 4, 2009
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!!!
October 1, 2009
Perhaps protracted. Perhaps inpenetrable in parts. The Travelling Players is simply beautiful. The camera arc is Antonioni-esque. The lack of close-ups deliberate to detach the viewer from the characters, making the troupe the main actor. They are part of the entity that, in what appears a futile exercise, tries to stay aloof from the horrors of war and the country divided, ultimately surviving (without some original members) in this glorious Greek tragedy.
April 2, 2009
maybe the best film by Theo
January 29, 2009
exceptional things. original art!!! simply a m a z i n g.
June 10, 2008
The greatest political film ever made
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