Dance Fight Love Die With mikis on the road

A film by Asteris Kutulas

A clip-style journal. 60 bits of music. 60 stories. 1 anti-romance. The most extraordinary film about musical anarchist Mikis Theodorakis.

Film Stills © by Asti Music & Behind the Scenes photos © by Asteris Kutulas, Stella Kalafati, Achilleas Gatsopoulos, Privatier, Ina Kutulas & Asti Music














Mikis Theodorakis & Asteris Kutulas, East Berlin 1985 (Photo © by Privatier/ Asti Music)

SYNOPSIS – DANCE FIGHT LOVE DIE is an exuberant visual epic; a clip-style, poetic road movie; an associative film collage firmly focused on the cosmos of composer Mikis Theodorakis. A standout artist who was shaped by – and shaped – a dramatic century, inspired millions around the world and became the ingenious enfant terrible of recent European musical history.

A constant at Theodorakis' side, director Asteris Kutulas captured countless moments of the composer’s life from 1987 to 2017: 3 decades, 4 continents, 100 locations, 600 hours of footage. For this exceptional film, Kutulas spliced extremely personal moments with treasures from the archives, documental recordings with humorously grotesque fiction – and Theodorakis’ own music with fresh reinterpretations by many, mostly young, artists adding a rock, classical, electro or rap spin to the master’s compositions.

This filmic poem offers a comprehensive and original overview of the "agenda" of the "intellectual anarchist" and lateral thinker Mikis Theodorakis.

87 minutes of music, very few words. DANCE FIGHT LOVE DIE – a unique film on Inspiration, Eros and Thanatos.

The SATELLITE CLIPS from the unused material

Thus the extensive footage, covering a span of 30 years, not only highlights key moments of an extraordinary musician’s career, but also plenty of extreme life events and experiences. Taken together, all these glimpses and insights come together in a “Theodorakis universe”; a cosmos of sparkling and bleak high- and lowlights; a cosmos ever-present in the “episodes” caught by the camera’s eye. These sensitive and formative moments define, mark and accentuate Theodorakis’ life as a composer, poet, well-read maverick and visionary who somehow travelled the world like a Greek rock ‘n roller to treat his grateful audience to hundreds of concerts.

filmjournalisten.de: Like a volcanic eruption, Asteris Kutulas – who also wrote the script together with Ina Kutulas – hurls 30 years of Mikis Theodorakis’ efforts and works onto the silver screen … Like fireworks, one capture after another erupts onto the screen, revealing a bottomless pool of musical ideas that don’t shy away from artistic experiments (Air Brush) and invariably put a spotlight on war, Holocaust, military dictatorship, Greek-Turkish reconciliation and the Cold War. Like eruptions triggered by the clash between universe and humanity’s own destructiveness … The excerpts ejected by this cinematic volcano are sourced from many different parts of the world. In one, several decades after Zorbas, we find Theodorakis dancing the sirtaki with Anthony Quinn on Munich’s King’s Square. In another, he enthuses about Soviet Alpine chocolate, retrieved from a “great cabinet”. And when his hands aren’t busy conjuring up chocolate, they love to direct and compose. This man is a marvel.

(poster drafts by Dominik Kokocinski & Achilleas Gatsopoulos)

Composer's Statement: Asteris Kutulas already revealed to me an independent approach of a most personal point of view in his very first work: the film “Recycling Medea”. For me - looking at it from an artistic point of view - this was a fortunate coincidence. Through his perspective and approach, he introduced completely new ways of expressing and dealing with my own work and my personal life. At first it wasn’t easy for me to adjust to his special approach, because of the vast amounts of work I had already made, as well as the fact that I had been developing my own aesthetic and philosophical codes for a long time. But instead of Asteris’ unusual directorial interpretation of my work and life repulsing me, the opposite happened; they enriched me psychologically, spiritually and creatively because they inspired me to see myself and my work with the fearless eyes of today and tomorrow. I will say, this approach has made me feel young, because this view redeems both my work and me from dozens of years formerly burdened by my untamed life. (Mikis Theodorakis, Athens 2018)

Director's Statement: The road movie DANCE FIGHT LOVE DIE reveals the secret of Theodorakis’ charisma: freedom, authenticity and a clear lack of ceremony. The camera watches and shows him just the way he has always been: direct and straight-forward in any situation – an artist completely absorbed in his oeuvre. Our film aims to facilitate a visual approximation, a journey, a direct line of sight into the life of Theodorakis, the composer. A life caught up between the two poles of Greek and European music, between popular and symphonic traditions, between centre and periphery, between Athens and Paris, between Greece, Europe and all other continents, between intimacy and public persona, between a tree on Crete and roads in Frankfurt and Sidney or the roll call area of Mauthausen’s concentration camp, between hat and headphones in a studio, a restaurant’s table setting and an embassy door. Music and images run through machines to be perceived by actual people. Seen and heard, spoken and sung, shown, discarded and reintroduced. (Asteris Kutulas)

Film Stills © by Asti Music & Behind the Scenes photos © by Asteris Kutulas & Stella Kalafati

About "Dance Fight Love Die" by Ioanna Karatzaferi (NY): … But tonight, the night belonged to Asteris Kutulas and his film about Mikis Theodorakis. About Mikis conducting orchestras in several music halls, stadiums, theatres and elsewhere; with full-size orchestras all over the world; with auditors of another nationality, race or culture each time gathering and singing either songs in Greek or songs translated in their own language. Mikis’s music was even played on the Himalayas by musicians with local instruments. The director Asteris Kutulas intelligently chooses to cut the film’s duration in 6-minute-presentations of Mikis’s conducting and this attempt is not separated from his artistic attempt to identify himself with Mikis. We were watching the film, fascinated; we were standing between two creators, who do not ever leave any gap between creation and its presentation to a – different each time – public. Theodorakis, finding comfort in his seat, was watching the film with a big, happy smile and was enjoying happy music memories, spread in time and place. I was spiritually following him, with the eyes of my soul. He was growing, flying, hugging the world with his big hands by filling pentagrams since his youth. At the same time, Asteris was recording him through a mixed expression of art and technology. And their works were meeting each other and becoming one body, like a strong and unbroken diamond. Kutulas’s film and his own “Recycling Medea” as well were secretly creating in me a hope for a new cinema with no crime, no weapons, no battle-cries or disastrous invasions. This gift became even bigger, opened its wings to the sky; Theodorakis has said that he wanted as a child to fly like the birds, to go to space. But he couldn’t understand why he wasn’t able to. Ecstatic and filled with awe – even Mikis himself – we applauded for Asteris and Mikis, as we were not able to hug the latter. That was not just a gift. It was Communion itself. (Ioanna Karatzaferi)

Myrto Theodorakis, Mikis Theodorakis, Asteris Kutulas at a DEFA studio screening (East Berlin, 1982) Photo © by Rainer Schulz

Featuring (in alphabetical order) Rafika Chawishe, Rosa Merino Claros, Uwe Förster, Constantinos Isaias, Stella Kalafati, Katharina Hein, Inka Neumann, Aiste Povilaikaite, Sofia Pintzou, Anna Rezan, Carlos Rodriguez, Marilyn Rose, Tatjana Schenk, Kat Voltage

With the Cover Orchestrators, Singers, Dancers, Soloists and Artists (in alphabetical order) Air Cushion Finish, Anna RF, Alexia, Çiğdem Aslan, Bejeranos & Microphone Mafia, Zoe Chryssanthis, George Dalaras, Deerhoof, July Dennis, Francesco Diaz, Thanassis Dikos , Maria Dimitriadi, Galina Dolbonos, Eves the Behavior, Maria Farantouri, Eliot Fisk, Ekaterina Golowlewa, Jayrope, Lakis Karnezis, Alexandros Karozas, Loukas Karytinos, Rainer Kirchmann, Maria Kousouni, Johanna Krumin, Ilse Liepa, Zülfü Livaneli, Melentini, Lorca Massine, Elinoar Moav, Petros Pandis, Kostas Papadopoulos, Maria Papageorgiou, Dulce Pontes, Anthony Quinn, Henning Schmiedt, Arja Saijonmaa, Sebastian Schwab, Margarita Theodorakis, George Theodorakis, Kostas Thomaidis, Emilia Titarenko, Vladimir Vasiliev, Tatjana Vassilieva, Kalliopi Vetta, Nadja Weinberg, Renato Zanella, Jannis Zotos, Markus Zugehör and many others

With many thanks for the cooperation and/or the appearance of the musicians and friends (in alphabetical order) Nevzat Akpinar, Nikos Antypas, Petra Bandmann, Willi Bauwaraerts, Christian Boissel, Pavlos Carvalho, Göksun Cavdar, Dimitris Chandrakis, Esther Dennis, Stefan Dohanetz, Tim Dowdall, Takis Farazis, Angela Giannaki, Apollon Grammatikopoulos, Maria Hadzara, Halil Karaduman, Giorgos Kimoulis, Alexander Koutoulas, Stelios Kouloglou, Shankar Lal, Angelos Liakakis, Bernt Lindekleiv, Ferhat Livaneli, Peter Massink, Paul Morris, Wolfgang Musick, Jens Naumilkat, Hermann Naehring, Dimitris Papangelidis, Rena Parmenidou, Alvaro Rodriguez Pereira, Carlos Rodriguez Pereira, Dietrich Petzold, Nikos Politis, Rainer Rohloff, Volker Schlott, Yiannis Spathas, Kostas Theodorou, Nikos Touliatos, Grigoris Tsistoudis, Mary Tsouvalaki, Lin Ye, Jannis Zervidis, Thanassis Zotos and many others

Credits Costume Design - Heike Hartmann & Anabell Johannes / Make Up Artist - Johanna Rosskamp / Sound - Klaus Salge & Alexandros Karozas / Post Production - Achilleas Gatsopoulos / Graphic Design & Motion Graphics - Achilleas Gatsopoulos & DomQuichotte / Color Grading - Matthias Behrens / Assistant Director - Stella Kalafati / Camera Assistant - Max Valenti / Gaffer - Vassilis Dimitriadis / Production Manager - Marcia Tzivara / Post Production Management - Dimitris Argyriou / Artistic Consultancy - Ina Kutulas, DomQuichotte, James Chressanthis & Klaus Salge / Translations - Sonja Commentz (English) & Ina Kutulas (Deutsch) / Press & PR - Sofia Stavrianidou / Festival Strategy & Distribution - NewBorn Short Film Agency (Dimitris Argyriou)

Film Still: Mikis Theodorakis, Berlin 1996 (recording studio)

Additional Photography James Chressanthis (ASC), Stella Kalafati, René Dame, George Theodorakis, Reinhold Spur, Matthias Seldte, Stefanos Vidalis, Achilleas Gatsopoulos, Marcus Lenz, Lefteris Eleftheriadis, Ioannis Myronidis, Vasilis Nousis, Zafeiris Haitidis, Wassilis Aswestopoulos

Additional Editing Antonia Gogin, Dimitris Argyriou, Stella Kalafati, James Chressanthis, Bernd Lützeler, George Theodorakis, Zoe Chressanthis, Lemia Bodden

Associated Producers Klaus Salge, Christopher Kikis & Uwe Förster | Co-Produced by Yannis Sakaridis & ERT | Co-Produced by Schott Music

Produced by Asteris & Ina Kutulas

Behind the Scenes photos © by Asteris Kutulas, Stella Kalafati, Achilleas Gatsopoulos, Privatier, Mike Geranios, Ina Kutulas & Asti Music

Music soundtrack by courtesy of Mikis Theodorakis and the music editors Schott Music & Romanos Productions

With the kind support of Margarita Theodorakis & Romanos Productions / Peter Hanser-Strecker & Schott Music / Rena Parmenidou / Rafaela Wilde & WBS RA Cologne / Anita & Uwe Förster / Jannis & Thanassis Zotos & the b-Flat / Georgia Stavropoulou & Hellenic University Club of Southern California / Timothy Grossman & the Babylon / Xenia Kaldara & the Michalis-Cacojannis-Foundation / Costas Giannacacos & the Greek Film Week Munich / Velissarios Kossivakis & the Alkyonida cinema in Athens / Film Archive of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs

With the kind support of Costa-Gavras, George Theodorakis, James Chressanthis, Nikos Koundouros, Nikos Tzimas, Georgia Stavropoulou, Aram Radomski, Holger Ehlers, Zafeiris Gourgouliatos, Stella & Dinos Andrianos, Fotiny Varvitsiotis, Deborah Waknin, Michael Galanakis, Jim Saltmar, Theodoros & Eleftheria Polychronis, Akrevoe Emmanouilides, Ann Forkeotes, Christoforos Savvides, Michael Sarris & Polly Preventza, Diana Savas, Ernest Demis, Peter & Vivi Demopoulos, Michael Moschos, Louis & Sophia Linn

Many thanks to Myrto Theodorakis, George Theodorakis, Eri Ritsou, Dimitris Koutoulas, Costas Spiliadis, Christiane Krautscheid, Sebastian Hess, Ioanna Karatzaferi, Zülfü Livaneli, Simon Wiesenthal, Peter Massine, Tim Dowdall, Hansgeorg Hermann, Annett Gröschner, Iro & Giorgos Sgourakis, Uri Rom, Andy Ludik, Nikos Moraitis, Katharina Hein, Sakis Todoulos, Guido Karp, Jens Rötzsch, Elias Malandris, Thomas Erbach, René Dame, Armin Conrad, Bella & Angelika Oelmann, Henning Zierock, Heike Hänsel, Michaela Prinzinger, Angeliki Kotti, Christos Zouliatis, Herbert Lappe, Sebastian Merrick, Elisavet Papageorgiou, Wassilis Aswestopoulos, Rainer Schulz, Erol Özkaraca, Elisa Deftos & Paul Hoorn

Special thanks for the support to the Strecker-Stiftung

ERT (Greek Radio Television)
Special thanks to Schott Music for the great support

© by Asti Music, Berlin 2018 | Contact: info@asti-music.de

Created By
Asteris Kutulas


Photo © by Mike Geranios/Asti Music