23rd ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

AIFF.GR
  • John Huston Tribute - Beautiful Losers

    A painter and a boxer, a writer and a cavalry soldier, a traveler and an adventure lover, the Ernest Hemingway of the cinema, as he was named, John Huston left a legacy of 37 films over 5 decades in most cinematic genres. As an artist who realized soon enough that knowledge alone wouldn’t do him any good unless he lived passionately the great adventure of life, Huston never concealed his soft spot for characters that were much like him: adventurous, stubborn, uncompromising and skeptics starred in his work and gave a special beauty to the usually negatively charged word “loser”. Despite being an excellent writer he wrote only until his colossal directing debut, “The Maltese Falcon”. He didn’t hesitate to deal with great modern literature classics that were considered impossible to transfer on screen. He turned the routine of directing into a challenge and often there were tensions during shootings, but he always knew how to get the best out of his actors, leading his father and daughter to the Academy Awards. AIFF invites you to discover one of the greatest old Hollywood personages, choosing 11 of his films based on the most memorable losers that have appeared in his filmography.

    Tasos Melemenidis

    Filmography (selected)
    1987 The Dead
    1985 Prizzi’s Honor
    1979 Wise Blood
    1975 The Man who Would be King
    1972 Fat City
    1961 The Misfits
    1956 Moby Dick
    1951 Τhe African Queen
    1950 The Asphalt Jungle
    1948 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
    1941 Τhe Maltese Falcon

  • Fat City

    In one of the top films of the 70s two boxers, one on his way out and the other on his way in, tour the country getting beat up for a few dollars in games which are usually rigged. All this makes for a melancholy yet tender glimpse of what used to be the American Dream. A great performance by the underrated Stacy Keach, an Oscar nomination for Susan Tyrrell and one of the first great appearances by Jeff Bridges. Digitally restored version.

  • Moby Dick

    It is hard to take on the work of a literary giant, especially when no one before had dared tranfer it to the big screen. Huston succeeded, adding his signature to a brave and remarkable adaptation, starring Gregory Peck in the legendary role of Captain Ahab as well as the imposing Orson Welles.

  • Prizzi’s Honor

    A Mafia henchman marries a contract killer. Only the”family” isn't supportive of the wicked couple. Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner are magnificent in their starring roles and Angelica Huston earns a well-deserved Academy Award for Actress in a Supporting Role. The film boasts seven more nominations and a director who is obviously enjoying himself behind the camera in spite of his 79 years of age. These are but some of the elements which rendered this fiendishly entertaining black comedy as one of the top films of the 80s.

  • The African Queen

    During the First World War a missionary spinster is forced to cohabit with a drunken adventurer on board a decaying boat while they cross the Congo river with all its dangers and not realising that their cohabitation will lead to an unexpected romance. One of the best exotic adventures ever to have been made with Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, a charmingly odd couple. “The African Queen” was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, winning Best Actor in a Leading Role, the only golden statue Bogart received throughout his glorious acting career. Digitally restored version.

  • The Asphalt Jungle

    When the “perfect” robbery doesn't go according to plan, the members of a gang fall apart one by one and what follows is an frenzy of betrayal which gives Huston the opportunity to take a sedulous look into the psyche of outlaws, their dreams for a better life and the succession of failures which end their lives before any bullet can. Nominated for four Academy Awards (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography). Digitally restored version.

  • The Dead

    One of James Joyce's most beautiful stories inspired John Huston to direct what would become his last film: an atmospheric masterpiece in which a celebratory dinner turns into a wonderful reflection on life and its only certainty, death. A superb performance by Angelica Huston, the film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium and Best Costume Design).The film will be presented in 35 mm and dedicated to Mpampis Aktsoglou

  • The Maltese Falcon

    Nominated for three Oscars, the archetypal film noir of American cinema and one of the best directorial debuts signalled the beginning of a new genre, the birth of a timeless star and the beginning of a beautiful friendship and collaboration between Huston and Bogart. Digitally remastered version.

  • The Man Who Would Be King

    Michael Caine and Sean Connery's characters are two ex British military officers who have become thieves and who are about to embark on the greatest adventure of their lives when they decide to travel to uncharted territories of Asia in order to take advantage of the local tribes. Snowstorms, clashes, treasures and cold-blooded ruthlessness are elements in this larger than life, old-style saga. Huston's film was nominated for four Academy Awards and will be shown in 35 mm presentation.

  • The Misfits

    The lonely path of a recently divorced woman searching for love and acceptance crosses with that of a group of misfit cowboys. A melancholic requiem about the beautiful losers of this world starring Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift in their final on-screen presence.

  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    Three men hit the mother lode while looking for gold in Mexico and are successful at fending off their enemies bar the greatest one: their greed which gradually turns them into monsters. “The Treasure of Sierra Madre” is one of the most cynical films ever made. It won an Academy Award for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Walter Huston, the director's father. Digitally restored version.

  • Wise Blood

    Based on a novel by Flannery O' Connor, Huston indulges his love for intransigent and romantic characters and pushes them to extremes through a story of a young psychotic man and the heretical uprising against his religious upbringing. Combining farce with tragedy “Wise Blood” is a lark around the American south on the verge of madness, capturing human comedy at its weirdest. Brad Dourif gives a phenomenal performance.