About his views

“My source is German expressionism and the Kammerspielfilm, and my inspiration comes from the way in which these were rooted into the core of the American creations of European directors, such as Fritz Lang, Stroheim, Billy Wilder, Siodmak, Preminger, Dassin, Bezzerides etc. And let’s not exclude the ‘Europeans’ Orson Welles and R. Chandler, whose dark texts were my first fairy tales.”

“The hero has to be weighed down by his own uncertainty and must reflect upon it. He must invalidate himself while continuously looking for new battles in his attempt to regain his self-respect. This is the goal. Besides, let’s not forget my own relationship with the material. Doubt needs to have many on the receiving end and what a better way to start than with yourself.”

“ ‘Despair’ is having a passion to secure your demands and to establish a different perspective, another attitude. It’s in the fate of the demand itself that this expectation will turn into despair. Yet, at the base of despair hope is always sown and this gives me the right to consider the sum of my work to be very ‘bright’ and extremely innocent.”

“Mistakes are like lost loves – you miss them, their unfulfilled love tortures you, but you’d never want to live through them again…”

“The thing that I am not forgiven for is not my consistency towards my obsessions but my obsession in consistency.”

“I never allowed reality to ground me and I didn’t let my imagination lift me far away from reality. I made sure I intertwined both. That’s why I made movies, that’s why I picked and chose cinema.”

“I was always on the outside. I’ve been making movies and doing a bit of writing for thirty-three years now but never appeared in public discussions or TV shows. They’re pointless and useless. How many worthy people have been trapped lending themselves to television screens? Nowadays I admire their stupidity, but I also fear it. For me it would be more important if one of them decided to go into a supermarket, lock the doors and make everyone listen to the poems of Kavafis, Kavvadias and Karyotakis… I’d do it myself, to steal their hearts.”

“At the time when I wanted to drop some bombs, there was no organization that would take me. So, my bombs were ‘Singapore Sling’ which turned everything on its head, ‘Morning Patrol’ and ‘Sweet Bunch’. Those were not sofa films.”

“It’s up to you to make the times interesting. You can destroy a room or a relationship in ten minutes or you can make it last, if the elements are there. You can direct it if you want, or even live a lifetime in three days. I no longer see any quests, I don’t see any suspense, nothing challenging. Our times were very difficult. We were chillingly hunted down. They called us the ‘standing intellects’ because we stated that Vougiouklaki films (light comedies) should cease, since an alternative kind of cinema existed. We were the errand boys doing everything. I made my first film when I was 35 years old. Thus, I interpreted and directed my life and my surroundings in such a way so that I could, from the time I started and indeed until this moment, say ‘yes’ whenever I wanted and ‘no’ whenever I wanted.”

“I feel the obligation to point out, through my work and not through the TV windows or interviews, that people must liberate their minds and learn to see behind the observable facts. They must learn to interpret the world around them beyond the level of the storefront display.”