[ilds] a character like so many others who came to and stayed

csligh Charles-Sligh at utc.edu
Mon Oct 13 10:59:31 PDT 2008

> Greece: Arcadia Lost: The Gods Smile on Arcadia
> Posted on Monday, October 13 @ 11:43:22 EDT by greek_news
> Greece By Christine Sturmey

> The wonky weather that had most of us staring at our closets in 
> confusion in recent weeks was a godsend for Greek-American 
> cinematographer/director Phedon Papamichael, who just finished filming 
> “Arcadia Lost,” a coming-of-age drama set in different locations 
> around the Peloponnese, mainland Greece and Evia and slated for 
> release in the spring.
> “We couldn’t have asked for the weather,” he told a press conference 
> on Tuesday, describing the uncanny coincidence when the skies give you 
> that magical quality which just cannot be achieved with artificial 
> lighting.
> “Arcadia Lost” is about two American teenagers, Charlotte (played by 
> Haley Bennett) and Sye (Carter Jenkins), who get lost in Greece 
> following a terrible accident. They cross paths with Benerji, a 
> vagabond ex-patriot American (Nick Nolte), who leads them on a journey 
> of self-discovery until, confident that they are ready, he lets them 
> go it alone. *“He is a character like so many others who came to 
> Greece 25, 50 years ago and stayed,” said Papamichael of Nolte’s 
> character. “Famous ones and not famous ones –Lord Byron and Lawrence 
> Durrell. You can call him a philosopher or a drunk, but he’s like so 
> many others who just can’t go back, who get lost in the atmosphere.”*
> “There are three visual parts to the story,” explained the director. 
> “Reality before the accident and then a different state of reality 
> when they meet Benerji, who takes them on a spiritual journey, like a 
> journey into the underworld.”
> The atmosphere after his departure is described as post-apocalyptic 
> and here Papamichael took advantage of the Peloponnesian landscape 
> that was scorched by wildfires last year. Other locations include Mani 
> and Mt Parnassus.
> “For the scenes where the kids are with Benerji we had absolutely 
> wonderful weather. Later we had these great dramatic skies,” said 
> Papamichael.
> One of the greatest moments, he recalled, was the final scene, which 
> was shot at the Mornos Reservoir in central Greece, where receding 
> water levels have revealed the rooftops of houses where families lived 
> before the artificial lake was filled.
> “We had a star shining over us,” said Papamichael, “it was a very 
> special experience overall.”
> It appears that the filmmaker’s luck was not limited to the weather, 
> however, as Papamichael, US producer of Chambers Productions Kelly 
> Thomas and writer David Ariniello all admitted that the experience of 
> shooting in Greece, which can be attributed to a lucky case of 
> misfortune, worked surprisingly well. The film was originally written 
> to be set in India, but the producers failed to get the support they 
> needed from the government there.
> “We spent two months there,” said Papamichael, “and one day, when we 
> were in New Delhi waiting for permits with Stamatis [Athanasoulas, 
> Greece’s Top Cut producer], I suddenly thought this could be set in 
> Greece.”
> Ariniello was then asked to adapt the script to the new location. “The 
> transition seemed difficult at first,” the writer told the press 
> conference. “I had been here before, visiting the Peloponnese. The 
> landscape I saw had a magical aspect that worked well. This other part 
> of Greece, the one most people don’t know, was what was most important 
> and this was the key that allowed me to translate the film.”
> For Thomas, the production went so well that she’s already getting 
> calls from American colleagues wanting to explore the option of 
> shooting in Greece. “It was the best thing that could happen to us, 
> not getting the support of the Indian government,” she said.
> Coming on the heels of “My Life in Ruins” and “Mamma Mia!” a success 
> with “Arcadia Lost” would bode well for the Greek cinema industry, 
> which has been making some efforts in recent years to become more 
> attractive to foreign productions. Losing Oliver Stone’s 2004 
> mega-budget “Alexander” to Morocco was a painful but valuable lesson. 
> Papamichael – who spoke to Oliver Stone at the time and who also 
> worked as director of photography on his film biography “W,” a 
> chronicle on George W. Bush expected to come out in Greek theaters in 
> late November – explained that “Oliver Stone was here with a budget of 
> around $150 million and wanted to do a movie about Alexander the 
> Great. He was kept waiting for two hours before a meeting. These guys 
> don’t have the time to wait around. He didn’t get what he wanted, so 
> he moved on.”
> Greek Film Center president Giorgos Papalios explained how Nia 
> Vardalos was left waiting for a permit to shoot on the Acropolis 
> because the order from up above hadn’t reached the right person. He 
> also mentioned that “300” producers are looking to do a film on the 
> Battle of Marathon in 2010, on the 2,500-year anniversary of the 
> historical event. Other than the money and prestige this could bring 
> Greece, it could also entail a string of parallel events held on a 
> local level and a commemorative marathon race. He also said that one 
> thing that suggests Greece is its security, though it must begin 
> offering more incentives, such as tax rebates, a common practice in 
> most countries.
> Markos Holevas, head of the Hellenic Film Commission, insisted that it 
> was high time Greece forged a proper policy and legal framework to 
> host foreign productions. “We don’t have much time to make up for lost 
> ground, because the international competition is fierce,” he said. For 
> her part, Thomas was impressed at how committed the Greek producers 
> and crew were, but agreed Greece still lacked a succinct proposal.
> Papamichael admits that the country has come a long way, especially in 
> terms of local crews and technicians, which he described as excellent. 
> “Normally Greece should be an ideal location, because it offers a 
> great variety of locations in a compact space. It is easy to move a 
> crew around. The infrastructure is great. The roads are good, there’s 
> a hotel with Internet access in every town. The weather is also ideal. 
> It has all the comforts of a First World country, but you can also get 
> something here you can’t anywhere else.”
> A coming-of-age road movie with a mystery at its heart, Arcadia Lost 
> explores Greece through the eyes of teenaged Americans, mapping 
> materialism and innocence onto timelessness and spirituality. In 
> ruins, olive groves, and stunning landscapes, the teens encounter a 
> country both foreign and familiar, a place that becomes the landscape 
> of the mysteries of their own minds and teems with life and death, the 
> mysterious and the banal, the sacred and the profane.
> Charlotte and Sye are not brother and sister, but they find themselves 
> thrown into those roles when their respective parents marry and decide 
> the new family should bond on a trip to Greece. By the time the plane 
> lands in Athens and they arrive at the dilapidated Malibar Hotel, 
> tensions are already beginning to surface—15 year-old Sye clutches his 
> camera as obsessively as he has since his real mother died, while 16 
> year-old Charlotte begins to see herself as the sexual rival of her 
> less-than-secure mother. Soon, the children become an obstacle to the 
> fledgling marriage, so the newlyweds resolve to send them home—to 
> boarding school, or worse.
> During an emotion-charged drive along the coast, the car swerves and 
> rolls into the sea. The kids are thrown free but the parents slip 
> below the dark water. How much of the accident was the teens’ doing? 
> Stunned and desperate, unsure of their guilt, they wander along the 
> road into the unfamiliar Greek countryside. At a village, they find 
> themselves befriended by the vagabond philosopher Benerji, an 
> ex-patriot traveler who mixes the revelry of Bacchus with the 
> spirituality of Buddha. The kids keep mum about their circumstances. 
> Instead, they agree to accompany Benerji toward a mysterious ceremony 
> on the path to Mount Parnassus.
> On their journey, Charlotte is seduced by the happy-go-lucky 
> backpacker Raffi, and both teens are nearly ensnared by the charming 
> but dangerous Gorgo. And yet, it is through these experiences that 
> Charlotte slowly begins to accept Sye as her brother, to make peace 
> with her past, and to understand the painful truth about where she is 
> and what has happened. Both teens begin to understand the 
> possibilities of re-imagining what it means to be family, what it 
> means to be an adult, and what it means to be alive.
> At a lake’s edge on Mount Parnassus, the shore is filled with 
> revelers, flowers, smoke. Unsure of what to do, Charlotte and Sye dip 
> under the water. Suddenly, they find themselves transported to another 
> body of water: they glimpse into the interior of their past... and 
> discover the truth.
> Haley Bennett – Charlotte
> Carter Jenkins – Sye
> Nick Nolte – Benerji
> Lachlan Buchanan – Raffi
> Dato Bakhtadze – Gorgo
> Alex Zorbas – Desmond
> Alexandra Pavlidou – Alisa
> Nicholas Marmaras – Georgie
> Anthony Burk – Cook
> Renos Haralambidis - Manager
> Phedon Papamichael – Director
> Scott Chambers - Executive Producer
> Kelly Thomas – Producer
> Jim Ivory - Assistant Producer
> David Ariniello - Screen Writer
> Stamatis Athanasoulas - Top Cut
> Amanda Livanou - Line Producer
> Kenny McLelland - Art Director
> Yorgos Papadimitriou - Production Manager
> Dimitris Apostolou - 1st Assistant Director
> George Markakis - 2nd Assistant Director
> Lena Chatzimitrou - Production Manager Assistant
> Stelios Pissas - Camera Operator
> George Striftaris - Casting Director
> **** From Kathimerini 

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