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10 June 2019: Eternity and a Day: A Tribute to Bruno Ganz


In tribute to the late-great Bruno Ganz, Gareth Evans presents a special 35mm screening of Theo Angelopoulos' Eternity and a Day.

Eternity and a Day
Theo Angelopoulos, 1998, 137 min, 35mm
Greek with English subtitles

"Angelopoulos’ death-haunted border trilogy ends with this chilling look at the failure of poetry in the face of human trafficking. Ganz stars as a celebrated writer, a terminally ill widower whose daughter has married a feckless yuppie. His solace in memories of his wife and regrets about the failures in their marriage are interrupted by an odd version of Death in Venice: he becomes obsessed with saving a little boy from living on the street or being sold to wealthy Western Europeans who want to adopt children. They travel toward the Greek-Albanian border, despite the child’s reluctance, making a final tour of the landscapes and weather patterns that obsess Angelopoulos, a filmmaker whose films mirror life in that they can be long, but the last moments go by too fast." – Harvard Film Archive

Remembering Bruno Ganz
By Gareth Evans

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
Mary Oliver, from The Summer Day

What do we look for in an actor? Perhaps, first and last, after our distractions with spectacle and fantasy have passed, we are searching for a companion: someone with whom we can travel, as we move through life – surviving, hopefully thriving, trying to understand the mystery of existence, its meaning and our place in it. This person then, by definition, would need to welcome us – as we would greet them. They would be hospitable. We would meet as equals and walk together, in conversation. 

Because the vast majority of our encounters with actors takes place in films, where focus and frame and exposure are all, and whose stories we can revisit repeatedly through the course of our lives, it is profoundly important that we trust this person to whom we have given our time and attention. There is no actor I would trust more with these important questions and concerns than Bruno Ganz.

Over many decades, numerous award-winning films and major stage performances, he inhabited the roles he played so fully and convincingly that, not only are both the projects and the parts impossible to imagine without him involved, but many of the resulting works are among the most important and compelling of our times. Working with many of the greatest directors in cinema (Angelopoulos, Herzog, Tanner and Wenders among them), Bruno Ganz chose roles that speak at once to the challenges we face, revive the great tradition of filmic storytelling, innovate and expand genre narratives, incarnate pivotal moments of history and deliver stunningly imaginative, often overwhelming cinematic experiences.

This most pan-European of actors, crossing borders and deepening our sense of the continent's cultural richness with each performance, deserves far more than this modest but heartfelt celebration of his magnificent body of work. Nevertheless, we are delighted to be able to show this remarkable film in its original 35mm form.

Photo by Maria Yannopoulos