Sad news is arriving this afternoon from Greece, as legendary filmmaker Theo Angelopolous was struck by a motorcycle on the set of his latest film and has died of his injuries at the age of 77.
Filmmaking wasn’t the first career chosen by the director, who studied law and later attended the Sorbonne before finally studying film at the IDHEC (Institute of Advanced Cinematographic Studies). Over the course of his carrer, Angelopoulos directed only thirteen feature length films, but a handful of them are regarded as some of the finest ever made. Angelopoulos’ films are known for their meditative (and sometimes, equally elaborate) long takes, beautiful cinematography courtesy of his long collaborator Giorgos Arvanitis, and a meditative storytelling style that didn’t make him a box office favorite, but earned him the adoration of cinephiles worldwide.
His work has been honored by film festivals across the globe, with his utterly lovely “Landscape In The Mist” (BluRay release, please!) winning the Silver Lion in Venice in 1988, while he was a regular fixture at Cannes, winning the Palme d’Or a decade later for “Eternity And A Day.” At the time of his death, Angelopolous was shooting “The Other Sea,” starring Toni Servillo (“Gomorrah,” “Il Divo”) with a story set against the backdrop of the current economic crisis in Greece and centering on a politician who assists illegal immigrants from Macedonia and Albania to enter the country. The film was to be the closing chapter of his trilogy of films that included “The Weaping Meadow” and “The Dust Of Time.” The production in the midst of a six week shoot, and its status is unknown at this time.