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‘The Reverse of Worry Is Love’: Christos Passalis on Grief and Therapeutic in Thessaloniki Competitors Title ‘Silence 6-9’

After breaking out with a debut position within the movie that ushered within the Greek Bizarre Wave and turning into one in all his nation’s most achieved theater actors and administrators, Christos Passalis makes his function directorial debut with “Silence 6-9,” a haunting, melancholic love story that performs in competitors this week on the Thessaloniki Movie Pageant.

Passalis’ first function premiered within the Crystal Globe competitors on the Karlovy Fluctuate Movie Pageant, the place it earned rapturous reward from Selection’s Jessica Kiang, who described Passalis’ “absorbing, surreal, retro-futurist love story” as a “superbly crafted solo debut.”

“After a starting unmistakably positioned deep inside the familiarly bizarro, alien reaches of the Greek Bizarre Wave aesthetic, Passalis’ solo directorial debut step by step distinguishes itself by transferring to a extra human and humane place,” she wrote.

The movie begins one evening with a stranger arriving in a wierd city. As he walks down a abandoned street beneath the sodium glow of the streetlights, he encounters a mysterious girl — one other new arrival, and the one different occupant of an eerie, shuttered lodge working beneath the watchful eyes of two shadowy chambermaids.

The story will get stranger nonetheless. Aris (Passalis) has been employed to take care of the antenna towers that decide up crackling, fragmented transmissions from townspeople who’ve mysteriously vanished — messages which might be recorded on analog cassette tapes and desperately pored over by the family members they left behind. Anna, performed by Greek display stalwart Angeliki Papoulia, performs among the many doubles of disappeared native girls earlier than an viewers of grieving husbands and lovers unable to let go of the departed.

For all its odd trappings, “Silence 6-9” is a movie about love, loss and grief — in regards to the common urge to carry on and the concern of letting go. It pits these inconsolable males, endlessly trapped in a cycle of grief and longing, in opposition to the townspeople whose rage in opposition to the system takes form in an indignant plea for “No Extra Cassettes,” at the same time as deeper emotions take root between the newly arrived couple bearing witness to those unusual occasions.

“There are two powers: concern and love. The alternative of concern shouldn’t be braveness — it’s love,” says Passalis. “On the finish of the day, the movie is a couple of very scared society. Folks disappear. Some wish to keep in mind. Some have to neglect. It’s a scared society. The one strategy to escape this concern is by loving.”

“Silence 6-9” reunites Passalis and Papoulia, who co-starred in Yorgos Lanthimos’ 2009 Cannes sensation “Dogtooth,” the movie extensively credited with ushering in what would come to be often known as the Greek Bizarre Wave. A veteran stage actor and director, Passalis has additionally continuously collaborated with Syllas Tzoumerkas (“Homeland,” “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea”). The 2 co-directed the hybrid function movie “The Metropolis and the Metropolis,” which premiered within the Berlin Movie Pageant’s Encounters competitors part this yr.

In “Silence 6-9,” Passalis labored carefully with cinematographer Giorgos Karvelas, manufacturing designer Márton Ágh and sound designers Nikos Exarhos, Persefoni Miliou and Kostas Varympopiotis, with an help from Yiannis Loukos and Antonis Georgou’s melancholy rating. Collectively they constructed “a world off the map,” mentioned the director, an eerie dreamscape sitting “out of time and house” the place the viewer “wouldn’t have the ability to perceive if it’s 2020, it’s 1980.”

Passalis, who co-wrote the script with Eleni Vergeti, additionally drew inspiration from Franz Kafka — who he described as “the primary cinematographer” — whereas crafting a world whose odd and seemingly arbitrary guidelines, such because the nightly prohibition on noise between 6 and 9 p.m., however hue to their very own inside logic. “I wished to have a really sure and particular mythology. I wanted to search out some particulars that will make this fable extra plausible, extra palpable — extra particular. To create a universe that’s distinctive for me,” he mentioned.

Very like the inhabitants residing in a stressed limbo, that universe occupies a wierd, liminal house someplace between waking and desires. Solely slowly over its course does the movie start to recommend a wider world grounded in additional recognizable occasions and meanings — although as with the mourning course of he depicts, Passalis resists straightforward decision.

“These areas are mysterious by nature. We can not resolve something. There are literally thousands of books written about grief. This solely comes to point out that this factor can’t be understood,” he mentioned. “We’re simply preventing with this. It’s a struggle. It’s an inside struggle that may’t be resolved.

“I feel we endure from making an attempt to know all the pieces — to place issues in a protected place. It’s not the purpose of a movie to reply something. I didn’t wish to give a transparent ending. There are not any clear endings.”


‘The Reverse of Worry Is Love’: Christos Passalis on Grief and Therapeutic in Thessaloniki Competitors Title ‘Silence 6-9’



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