STAVROS  TORNES


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Biography

 

A text by Stavros Kaplanidis

STAVROS STORNES was born in a small Athenian neighbourhood in1932. He works on various jobs and in 1957 he begins his cinema studies. At first, he works as an assistant and as an actor in the Greek films of the 60's and collaborates with cinema people who search, as he does, the secrets of the cinema language and expression. (TAKIS CANELOPOULOS, DIMOS THEOS, ADONI KYROY, KOSTAS SFIKAS).

He also collaborates with E. KAZAN in the casting, of  the film "AMERICA, AMERICA" and with CACOYANNIS in "ZORBA" (two pictures filmed in Greece).

STAVROS TORNES debutes as a director in 1963-1964 when he makes two documentaries for the Greek tourist organization, Mycene, Cyclades.

In 1967 he presents shortlength film "THERAICOS ORTHROS" co-directed by KOSTAS SFIKAS.

Right after this, STAVROS TORNES leaves military governed Greece and goes to Italy. With a group of exiled patriots, he defends the lost Greek democracy and travels a lot to Italy, France, the, Middle East, trying to be heard.

In 1973, he illegally visits Greece and makes the documentary "Studenti" which refers to student activities against the military regime.

Galatsi area 1946. Stavros with somme friendsJenia Kalogeropoulos and Tornes at "TO MEGALO KOLPO" 1958 by C.Theodoropoulos .Stavros at "OURANOS" 1962  by Takis Kanelopoulos

STAVROS TORNES returns, to Italy earns his living as anactor in various films for the cinema and television. We see him in "UOMINI CONTRO" and "LE CHRIST STOPPED in EMBOLI" of F. ROSI, "ALLONS-ENFANTS" of TAVIANI, and "ITALIA ANNO ZERO" of R. ROSSELINI. In "NAUSICA", a television film of AGNES VARDA, he holds the primary role. He also plays in "UNO, DUE, TRE" of GIANNI SERA, "DOMANI" of MIMO RAFELE, and "Text and writer" a T.V. series by CIRIACO TISO based on the works of PIRANTELLO, POE, LOVECRAFT and JOYCE. He is a member of the "GUIDA POETICA ITALIANA" movement with ROBERTINO D' ANGELIS and of the "POST AVANT-GUARDE" movement with SIMONE CARELLA and publishes the texts in "GUIDA POETIKA" and "AUTOBUSS" of GIORGIO MANACORDA. STAVROS is interested in painting. He paints for some years until the cinema wins him over.

In 1976 he films the short-length picture "ADDIO ANATOLIA" with his poet friends and mainly with CHARLOTTE VAN GELDER who will later become his life companion and screenwriter of their later films. In 1977 he films his first "Ionglength" picture "COATTI" with which he impresses in the TOULON/HYERES festival. In 1980, another short-length film "EKSOPRAGMATIKO" will terminate his Italien period.

Charlotte Van Gelder and Stavros Tornes in Thessaloniki Film Festival 1986

In 1981 STAVROS TORNES and CHARLOTE van GELDER return to democratic Greece. STAVROS makes two shortlength pictures "with NIKOS KAVADIAS" and "SQUARE IPPODAMIAS" two compositions whose lyricism even T.V. cannot diminish.

The second long-length picture which is filmed in Greece, "BALAMOS", participates in the 1982 Salonica festival. It falls like a meteorite, inthetraditional cinema and provokes reactions, but wins the "panhellenic critic association" award. "BALAMOS" will also participate in the SALSO MAGGIORE festival and will obtain enthousiastic criticism.

"KARKALOU", a long-length film of 1983-1984 with co-screenwriter CHARLOTE van GELDER is the film which firmly establishes, STAVROS TORNES as one of the biggest contemporary Greek film makers. Even though "KARKALOU" was excluded by the Salonika festival selection committee of 1984, it was projected in one of the similar subactivities of the festival and was enthousiastically, applauded by a full auditorium. The critics once again honor him by giving him, for the second time, the critics pan-hellenic assosiation award.

For STAVROS TORNES, expressing himself through the cinema becomes more and more a way of life. In 1985, he and CHARLOTTE van GELDER as screenwriter make "DANILO TRELES", ababylonian film in which he reaches the most profound ancient and modern Greek thoughts. This film participates in the Salonica film festival. The committee is confused with the notions of freedom and poetry (which STAVROS presents in all his films) and does'nt know what to do with a film...which is not liked.

In 1987, STAVROS TORNES who is waiting for months for a financial support from the Greek Film Center-which will never come- decides to start shooting the film which was going tobe hislast one "A HERON FOR GERMANY" on a CHARLOTTE VAN GELDER' screenplay.

They shoot in adventurous conditions, but many close friends who share the agony of filmmaking, help conclude the film. Nevertheless the HERON is not accepted for the official competitionat the Salonika Film Festival '87. STAVROS TORNES dies July 26, 1988 at the age of 56 while working on his future film which we will never see. The title of this film was "THE POOR HUNTER OF THE SOUTH".

 

manifesto

filmography

biography

points of view

film reviews

a Louis Skorecki text

coatti

balamos

karkalou

danilo treles

a heron for germany

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