O Megalexandros
Alexander the Great

“Through his lens, Angelopoulos looks at things in silence. It is the weight of this silence and the intensity of the immobile stare of Angelopoulos’ camera which makes O Megalexandros so powerful that the viewer cannot break away from the screen. This kind of filmmaking, so personal and unique in its particularity, tends to return to the roots of cinema. This is precisely what creates the impression of freshness and strength. As for myself, watching this film I deeply felt the pleasure of cinema in the most absolute meaning of the term.”

Akira Kurosawa


“I’ve always been irritated by the way that montage is such an artificial process, dictated by a cinema of efficacy. For example, a man enters, stops, and waits. In the cinema of efficacy this waiting is conveyed through montage, whereas in my work there is no montage – the scene exists in a time scale which is not reduced for the sake of efficacy. There is a material, concrete sense of time; real time, not evoked time. In my films ‘dead time’ is built in, scripted, intended. Just as music is a conjunction of sound and silence, ‘dead time’ in my films is musical, rhythmic – but not the rhythm of American films, where time is always cinematic time. In my films the spectator is not drawn in by artificial means, he remains inside and outside at the same time, with the opportunity of passing judgment. The pauses, the ‘dead time,’ give him the chance not only to assess the film rationally, but also to create, or complete, the different meanings of a sequence. As far as the question of influences is concerned, I draw techniques from everything I’ve seen, but the only specific influences I acknowledge are Orson Welles, for his use of plan séquence and deep focus, and Mizoguchi, for his use of time and off-camera space.”

Theodoros Angelopoulos1



  • 1. Dan Fainaru, ed., Theo Angelopoulos. Interviews (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2001)