Ciné Thessaloniki: Movies filmed in the city

Thessaloniki's center

Thessaloniki can without difficulty inspire artists from different sectors. Many novelists and poets have praised the city both for its social/anthropologic and geographical morphology. The natural surroundings, the charming buildings, the friendly and generous people, the rich history of the city as well as its presence and the role it has played over the years have led creators to deify every single detail the city unfolds before the eyes of both locals and visitors.

Thessaloniki has motivated cinema directors as well. The most important characteristic of the movies filmed in Thessaloniki is that the artists tried to illuminate some hidden beauties the co-capital city of Greece has. Some spots of the city were lightened by the cinematic lens, whereas the locals sometimes were wondering whether the city depicted on the big screen was their city, the one they thought they knew like their palm! That is another element that should be mentioned, for art in general has the power to highlight what our mere vision cannot. But not always…

In 1961, Yannis Dalianides, the famous Greek director, had filmed “Atsidas” (The Sharp-witted), a comedy that depicted Thessaloniki as it was. This was the era of representing the city cinematically, where comedy and drama directors did not really concern about showing Thessaloniki’s hidden jewels. However, this particular movie was a great promotion of Thessaloniki’s splendor as it was!

Some years earlier, in 1954, Greg Tallas (Gregory Thalassinos) had directed a film called “To Ksipolito Tagma” (The Barefooted Battalion), which was the deification of artistic vision, as the experts cite! With little tools but with lots of fantasy and technique, Greg Tallas represented the city as a place that was about to reborn!

“Parenthesis” (1968), filmed by Takis Kanellopoulos, was a movie where the co-capital city of Greece is slightly depicted, though everyone may accurately understand that Thessaloniki is unfolded all around.

Genethlia Poli

Later on, in 1987, Takis Papayannides directed “Genethlia Poli” (The Birthplace), where he did something really interesting: he showed the history as well as the linear evolution of the city, using its Byzantine heritage as “proofs” within the sequences that was depicting the past of Thessaloniki. Thus the Greek co-capital city proved to be a place where past meets present, preparing everyone for the glorious future.

The “Triumph of the Spirit” (1989), directed by Robert M. Young, starring Willem Dafoe, is based on a true story and it has to do with a former Greek Olympic winner boxer that was sentenced and placed in the Auschwitz prison camp. The Greek part of the movie is filmed in Thessaloniki, where the director tried to represent the city as it was during the Second World War.

In 1937, in “Mademoiselle Docteur” by Georg Wilhelm Pabst we watch on the big screen how Thessaloniki was during the First World War, through the eyes of Anne-Marie Lesser, the famous German spy.

Excelsior Hotel

Thessaloniki is a city that can easily be a setting for a movie, whereas it is a dreamlike scenery itself. Two in one for the sake of art! Having that in mind, Excelsior Hotel, the 5 star hotel in Thessaloniki with the luxurious suites, will be home to your most fantastic moments, and will make your stay there seem like starring in movie!


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