Original Link: https://goo.gl/9w8Mkv
A CONVERSATION WITH CINEMATOGRAPHER – MUSICIAN PETROS ANTONIADIS
“When we love something we have to go for it, no matter what”
His creative passion is shared between cinema and music. On Monday, March 20, he will be in Athens to direct Panos Mouzourakis’ new music video for the song “Photospatho” (Lightsaber) and on Wednesday, March 22, he will be on stage at the “Bras de Frères” in Chania for the original musical performance titled “Pink”.
Of course, we are speaking about Petros Antoniadis from Chania, initiated as a young child into the magical world of image and music, was his grandfather, Petros Vlachakis, creator of the emblematic painting the “Battle of Crete”. A few years later, Petros would go on to meet Oscar-winning Walter Lassally, who would be his mentor in his first and subsequent cinematographic steps.
“Diadromes” met Petros during one of his frequent visits from Athens – where he lives and works – in his birthplace Chania and talked to him about the people who influenced him most in the fields of both cinema and music …
Petros, you have said that the man who inspired you most in the magic of the world of the image was your grandfather, the painter Vlachakis who created the famous painting of “Battle of Crete” …
Indeed he did. Not only did he introduce me to art, he also introduced me to music. One of the first musical sounds I remember is us singing Erotokritos together on our trips from Chania to our land in Agia. My contact with him gave me a more general artistic influence…
At the same time, you were fortunate enough to become acquainted right at the beginning of your engagement with cinema with an iconic personality from the world of the cinema – I am referring to Walter Lassally, the director of photography for the film “Zorba”. What have you kept from your acquaintance with him?
I am very lucky to still have Walter in my life and he continues to inspire me. When I first started he helped me to understand the cinema, to find exactly what I wanted to do. I am infinitely grateful for everything…
He is also a man who teaches humility in his own way. Not a common virtue for people who deal with what we call the ‘spectacle’ (show?)…
I believe that when someone does what they love, they do not care about other peripheral things. It is all about the essence for them. For someone who loves the cinema it gives him life, that’s his “oxygen” – is life source. It is absolutely natural. No one is proud just because he is breathing!
You’re a director of photography. In Greece, when we talk about the cinema, we tend to focus on the director and the protagonists (talents) of the film. Do you believe that is somewhat unfair on everyone else involved in the making of a film?
I don’t think so. A film is the director. The photographer (cinematographer) is asked to capture in a pictures what the director has in mind. If he has a different view then there is a problem. While making films is definitely a team effort, at the end of the day it is the art of the director. He is the conductor. No one else can exist without him. He can exist on his own though.
In Greece, the economic crisis has been a reality now for many years, and as we know cinema is a very costly art form. How does a filmmaker survive in this environment?
To endure the crisis and remain faithful to your artistic belief means that you really love what you do. The cinema is a costly exercise; I don’t think there is a person who works in Greek cinema – especially nowadays, who can live just from that. Those who do it do so with so much love because if we don’t do it, Greek cinema will disappear. So we all support one another so that the Greek cinema – which we love so much – can survive. Beyond that, thankfully, there is advertising (are commercials) …
Are there some things you only do for money and others that you do only for art or does every challenge create a gateway towards creativity and creation?
I believe that I am lucky that I only become involved in projects that I like. I don’t care, no matter if it’s a movie (narrative) or an advertising campaign (a commerdial), how much I’m going to make. What I am concerned with however is quality. I want to be proud of every project that I am involved with. I want to look back at my career and say that I gave it 100%. When we do something we love, we have to give it everything. This is irrelevant to the pay that you receive, regardless of whether you’re paid 1 million euro or whether you have to remortgage your house.
You sing and play music which, as you say, is on an amateur level. What does music give you that cinema doesn’t?
Walter once told me a good movie should be easy to understand even when you remove the sound. That is the power of cinema. Music is exactly the opposite. Just as the cinema takes you on a journey through images and creates feelings, music does exactly the same without images. Their relationship is like the relationship between day and night. Without light there can be no darkness and without darkness there is no light. On an emotional level, they work together.
We have seen a boom in film festivals in recent years which we’ve also seen in Chania. Do these events help to “educate” the audience in cinema?
For sure. However, the festivals are very important in the sense that they are celebrations where creators unite. I remember two years ago when I was in (the Film Festival in) Drama. There was no sense of competition between the other creators. We were all friends. I met excellent filmmakers and other talented people who all shared one thing, a love for the cinema.
In Chania, Pantelis Voulgaris is currently making his new film, while Thodoris Papadoulakis just filmed his latest series here. Could Chania become a cinematic point of reference for filmmakers?
Crete in general could. We all remember the commercial that Thodoris created for the Prefecture where a director tells a producer that he can make a film around the world on one single island. This is Crete, from one end to the other, it offers you everything. It is a blessed place that is a unique natural setting. The only problem is that the State has done nothing so far to attract foreign productions. In England (the UK), for example, they finance part of production in a variety of ways, whereas here all we do is ask for large sums of money …
How do you see the future?
The future is created by us. There is nothing that we can’t do or achieve. If we believe in something, then the universe conspires to provide us with what we need and want.
The musical performance “Pink”
What would happen if live song was used to create a story? This was what cinematographer Antoniadis wondered – and his love of music led him to “Pink – Two Voices, One Story”, a Live musical performance narrating the emotional journey of a couple, enriched with dialogues / monologues by screenwriter Giorgos Fiidas.
As Antoniadis has said, “Pink” is the first musical performance performed by a larger ensemble, the purpose of which is to create a larger group of musicians on a pan-Hellenic level. Each “concept” will travel and perform in regions of Greece, with different musicians, but always under the same artistic umbrella.
After a number of successful performances, “Pink” will be appearing again in Chania on Wednesday, March 22, at 10 o’clock at “Bras de Frères” (2 Epimenidou Street) featuring the following musicians: Petros Antoniadis (vocals, guitar), Gouli Katsibiri (vocals), Ioannis Giannakakis (keyboards), Stelios Ladopoulos (guitar), Pantelis Kiasos (drums).
Reservations Tel. No.: 697 402 0550