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.
DANCE FIGHT LOVE DIE - WITH MIKIS ON THE ROAD
FEATURING MIKIS THEODORAKIS, SANDRA VON RUFFIN & STATHIS PAPADOPOULOS
MUSIC BY MIKIS THEODORAKIS
CINEMATOGRAPHY BY MIKE GERANIOS
MIKIS THEODORAKIS ON THE ROAD 1987-2017 FILMED BY ASTERIS KUTULAS
EDITING BY CLEOPATRA DIMITRIOU & YANNIS SAKARIDIS
MUSIC EDITING, MIXING & MASTERING BY ALEXANDROS KAROZAS
LOGGING BY INA KUTULAS
ART DIRECTION BY ACHILLEAS GATSOPOULOS
CO-PRODUCED BY YANNIS SAKARIDIS & ERT
CO-PRODUCED BY SCHOTT MUSIC
WRITTEN & PRODUCED BY ASTERIS & INA KUTULAS
DIRECTED BY ASTERIS KUTULAS
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.
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)
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)
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
Photo © by Mike Geranios/Asti Music