Vassilis Mazomenos: the exception. The one who “directs the universe”

https://www.athina984.gr/en/2021/06/01/vasilis-mazomenos-oi-tainies-toy-ison-thyelles-profitikes-kai-polla-vraveia/

Probably our current guest must have been born with one  DNA which (among other things) consists of: realism and at the same time huge imagination. With a positive obsession with all forms of racism, abuse and injustice. Having a strong persistence through his art, to highlight the humiliation of this world. His films are the shield he uses to protect human rights around the world. Rewarding the dignity of every human being, without fear and a lot of passion. Through his film productions, documentaries, writing and theatrical performances, he passes on the messages of justification we all deserve. We have known each other for several years. We first met historian at Floral in Exarchia, to give me his following collections of poetryVASILIS MAZOMENOS THE “SAINTS OF HELL” – GAVRIILIDIS PUBLICATIONS (2003) / “THE FALL OF THE CENTURY” – GAVRIILIDIS PUBLICATIONS (2005) / “THE MEDIA OF THE STARS” and the movie: his «Guilt(2009).I never stopped watching and reading it. At our first meeting, he was polite and knew how to treat a lady and a journalist. A multi-talented man, with a razor-sharp mind. As soon as they brought our coffees, we started our conversation. It was at that moment that he dived into the path called “brain contact” in relation to my personality. And yet, not the quantity but the quality of a conversation could last more than three hours, effortlessly. It was an unforgettable experience. In one week I had read all his poetry collections, more than 5 times, remaining speechless especially with “SAINTS OF HELL”. While watching the film three times, which shocked me with the breadth of his imagination (and his technical perception in all respects) in production and history. Over the years our collaborations have been perfect, when I wanted to write something about “The director who mapped new paths in cinema” just as the great Ninos Fenek Mikelidis wrote about him in one of his reviews in Eleftherotypia.

 By: Eleni Sourdi

Scene one: Art makes you a better person, watch a movie

 When I saw  Money – A Mythology of Darkness (1998) you were so relevant, as a Director / Writer and as a Production Artistic Director. Then I saw the famous Guilt (2009) where the Director / Writer and the Producer were clearly. There I felt a shock, that something metaphysical happens, inside him. I identified with his truth and the cruelty of our world. The 2012 I was stunned, to see the truth, with flesh and bones in  10 the day, I felt chills, pain and solidarity for my fellow man, intensely. While I thought spontaneously, how stupid and vain people can be. It does not even cross their minds that one day they might become refugees, turn their whole life upside down and lose their comfortI felt an imaginary bow to what I saw and felt about racism, because It made me an even better person. It LINESit was a great experience. He let me burst into tears and for a moment and then something changed inside me. Help me, to always strive for my freedom, your freedom, our freedom, I confess: these are my 4 very favorite movies. When I saw in 2019 the EXILE, (had the direction of course, the writing and the production). There I raised my hands and thought: you are an atomic bomb (laughs) Vassilis. Thank you for accepting to open your heart publicly in Athens 9.84 and to swim realistically – spontaneously, in each other’s brain cells, with our wishes for a good month and a good summer.

 

Scene two: SAINTS OF HELL

Ε.Σ: From your first collection of poetry (2003), if you will allow me, (consciously or unconsciously), it was already a piece of inspiration for Guilt, The 10 the day and This makes it a perfect choice for people with diabetes and for those who want to lose weight or follow a balanced diet. LINES. Have you ever thought about it?

B.M:But inspiration as an explosion of the Unconscious does not work unequivocally. The mental and cerebral map of each person always makes the same paths, even if they seem different.

 Ε.Σ: You have been awarded for your works in our country and abroad. Two of them are 10 the day that you have taken 6 awards and LINES with 8 awards. Your film creations have been screened at well-known international and Greek festivals such as Montreal, Tallinn, Goa, Porto, Thessaloniki, Cairo, Sitges in Barcelona and many others. The strong emotion that resides in your heart now, how do you make yourself feel, after these great successes?

B.M:Awards and distinctions in general flatter human vanity to some degree, but they do not compare at all with the pleasure of creation itself. The truth is that when I shoot my films I am full and at the closing ceremonies of the festivals I feel completely empty.

Ε.Σ: Today in 2021, you are a Greek phenomenon director. You also continue your career as a screenwriter, film producer while you are a member of the European and Greek Film Academy. Known for your work as a production designer and as a producer of short films. And one of the first Greek directors who took advantage of the possibilities of new technologies in the difficult task of renewing the film language, where you also teach the specific style. Vassilis Mazomenos’s journey to Ithaca, how many obstacles does he find on his way and how does he overcome them?

 B.M:Obstacles I learned early on to respect and overcome. There are many and they are never missing. You live with them and turn them into advantages. The process in our work is very interesting. Also something I realized over the years is that there is no end.  

Ε.Σ: You were born in Athens in 1964 and studied at the University of Athens, specializing in Mass Media. You have written numerous texts on cinema, Art and Culture. You have been a member and chairman of juries at Greek and international festivals. In 2013 you founded the production company Horme Pictures. They say that those who are mediocre, go unnoticed in our journey. While those who radiate have fanatical enemies and friends. A great teacher at the school told me that this is the biggest prize so in a difficult time I will never forget it, to make the leap to the top. Do you agree with him, Vassilis, do you jump too?

 B.M:The truth is that I do not go unnoticed, although it is not my intention to look too much. And this is because I express outside my work a public speech that rather bothers the comfortable nature of some. I generally value pins more than pins.

 

Scene two: Together making wings of love and freedom

Ε.Σ: If we were not chatting in writing now but doing an on air show, suggest us a playlist with 10 titles (with your favorite songs) that would supposedly kill the deadly virus.

 B.M:I suggest the following musical compositions:

  1. Purcell – The Indian Queen,2.GF Haendel – Sarabande,3.Francis Poulenc / Stabat mater,4.Gyorgy Ligeti / Lux Aeterna5.Arvo Part / Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten,6.PI Tchaikovsky / Invocation to Sleep,7.Transparent Lilies – Orchestral (Bis Julia),8.Pink Floyd – [Meddle] Echoes,9.Georges Brassens – Le Bistrot & 10.A Hawk And A Hacksaw – Wedding Theme.

Ε.Σ: What are the words that make up the biggest word in the world (with adjectives, nouns, names) ie love?

B.M: Solidarity, Neighborhood, Insecurity, Passion, Echo.

 Ε.Σ: You are also a teacher, what is the most important thing you tell them so that your students can stand on their own two feet? A phrase, a rule, that they must have as an amulet, to make their dream come true in directing, acting, etc?

B.M:To follow their craziest dream without compromise, since only they feel in themselves if it is true and therefore it is worth sharing.

Ε.Σ: You have not given in to many theatrical performances. If you discover with your own criteria, a new poet, would you make the “surprise” to become their Director / Producer / and Artistic Director? Having discovered the breadth of his talent by putting on a theatrical performance while helping someone who has no backstage connections?

B.M:I already do it in the cinema. Not enough; I do not enter fields where my steps will be uncertain and I may get others around my neck. For the theater I am sure they can find other teachers more complete than me. Every art wants its devotion.

Ε.Σ: To list all your awards, the domestic and international reviews that have been written about you, all your creations, we would like a whole book. So you will find all the links, with the whole journey of the Art of Vassilis Mazomenos, at the end of the text. The spontaneity of our conversation was another experience. Good encounter with close health and always success. With quality – spontaneity and endless imagination. Thank you.

B.M:And I thank you very much for the nice hospitality Eleni.

 

 


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