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Tag Archives: η Στριγκλιά Νίκης

Let’s see: Alex is working on a movie about a communist mom and her relationship to her son, but both characters are performed by one and the same female actress, so if you take away the gender-confusion of a female performing a female and a male role, Alex’s movie might as well be a movie about mother-daughter relationships and how these are affected by Greek communism. The name of the mom in his movie is Νίκη/Nike which is the Greek word for “victory”, so the mother’s name is basically “Victoria”. Lo behold, today I discovered this Bulgarian 2014 indie film by female filmmaker Maya Vitkova called, oh yes, Виктория or”Viktoria” which she claims is a semi-autobiographical tale about  mother-daughter relationships set in the 1970s and early 1990s in Bulgaria under communist rule and after the fall of Soviet communism, which is the exact same time period that Alex’s upcoming film is set. COINCIDENCE?

Here is Maya Vitkova explaining her movie Виктория/Viktoria:

And here is what she said on IMDB (which makes her the only if not one of the few filmmakers ever to address their film viewers on IMDB in the comments):

Author: mayvitkovitz from Bulgaria
2 June 2015

The key situations in Viktoria are stories that happened in my own life, but the willingness to tell them is not an obsession for psychoanalysis or a self cure. The motive to write Viktoria links to the story Kurosawa tells at the very beginning of his autobiographical book. A healing frog in a box with mirror walls, frightened by its own reflection, starts secreting an oily secretion similar to sweat. They used to boil this sweat on a faint fire for days and that’s how produced a miraculous cure. According to Kurosawa, to write about yourself, is similar to being locked between four walls covered with mirrors and stare at yourself. And although you’re not a frog, you feel sweat streaming down your body… Storytelling is a mission, one of the few ways to change human lives. To write stories and turn them into films, which truly regenerate the humanity, the human spirit, you odd [ought?] to be honest. To lock yourself into the mirror box and examine you from top to toe, to tell a story of a moment in your life which somehow changed you, a story, that can thus help turning the lives of those who see it better. I do hope that the cure – the film – I prepared out of my „sweat”, will be healing for the people who use it for their „wounds”. That’s the reason I wrote Viktoria.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3400872/reviews?ref_=tt_urv

Wow, that sounds like a student of Jodorowsky’s brand of Psychomagic Psychobabble right there (doesn’t Alejandro always say he wants to make movies that heal?), but anyway, onwards to the movie itself class! Study this film-trailer for Виктория/Viktoria closely and diligently:

Synopsis
Dreaming of the West, Boryana is determined not to have a child in communist Bulgaria. Nonetheless, her daughter Viktoria enters the world in 1979, curiously missing a belly button, and is declared the country’s Baby of the Decade. Pampered by her mother state until the age of nine, Viktoria’s decade of notoriety comes crashing down with the rest of European communism. But can political collapse and the hardship of new times finally bring Viktoria and her reluctant mother closer together?

The film follows three generations of women in the final years of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the early years of the new government, focusing on reluctant mother Boryana and her daughter, Viktoria, who in one of the film’s surreal, magical touches is born without an umbilical cord. Though unwanted by her mother, Viktoria is named the country’s Baby of the Decade, and is showered with gifts and attention until the disintegration of the East Bloc. Despite throwing their worlds off balance, the resulting political changes also allow for the possibility of reconciliation.

You will see that there are several scenes here which in another context would have been pedophilic, such as an image of a baby’s bare bottom and another quick shot where a girl’s pair of underwear is cut off with scissors. I obviously haven’t seen the movie itself but everything about this trailer suggests that Maya Vitkova’s Виктория/Viktoria is a movie that touches on the subject of sexual child abuse under communism.

This surreal excerpt from the movie of a young girl dressed up like a mix between Kenny from the animation  Southpark and Little Red Riding Hood being pushed over by a gigantic hand, again suggests that Виктория/Viktoria is a movie about child abuse:

Then there is this excerpt of what appears to be a catholic priest or lawyer’s gown in a tub of water spreading a cloud of blood:

Another scene which suggests child abuse:

And this scene of a piano recital reminds me of those stories that Alex used to tell in interviews, where he said he was being paraded around like a trophy by the Greek communists after he and his sister joined the Greek Communist Youth organization at the ripe old age of 12, and Alex saying that he considers this experience of being paraded around by the communists in his youth “akin to child pornography”:


The communist context of the movie is made explicit in the following somewhat parodic  excerpt:

So, let’s take this from the top again:

1) Alex is making a movie where the mom character is called Νίκη/Nike or Victoria. Two years ago Vitkova already released a an indie movie called Виктория/Viktoria, which is the name of the daughter in her movie.

2) Alex’s mom character Νίκη is a communist, Виктория/Viktoria takes place during communist rule in Bulgaria with the mother and daughter being celebrated by the communist regime.

3) The time period of the events in Alex’s film is the 1970s and 1990s, Виктория/Viktoria likewise takes place in the 1970s and the early 1990s.

4) Виктория/Viktoria is about mother-daughter relationships, Alex’s movie is about mother-son relationships but the two main characters, the mother and the son, are both interpreted by a single female actress.

5) Alex is a pedophilia apologist; Виктория/Viktoria‘s trailer suggests that this movie touches on the subject of sexual child abuse under communism, with many scenes suggesting or depicting child abuse.

6) Alex said in interviews that being paraded around by the communists after joining the Greek Communist Youth organization as preteen was a very traumatic experience for him which felt “akin to child pornography”; Vitkova’s girlchild character Viktoria is paraded around by the communists in Bulgaria as the “Baby of the Decade”, in a movie that Vitkova claims is semi-autobiographical. Alex’s mom is a communist who still in public interviews will refer to other leftists in Greece as “comrades” and is a former card-carrying member of the Greek Communist Party. Vitkova claims that Виктория/Viktoria is about trying to restore her relationship to her mother after the fall of communism.

I’m sure Alex would say that he has never seen Виктория/Viktoria and that these similarities are all a big coincidence, but I have come across so many male artists ripping off lesser known female artists that I am extremely supicious. Obviously there are other films that depict mother-child relationships under communism or the post-communism transition period (the German film Goodbye Lenin would be a well-known example amongst my contemporaries), but the above similarities should raise an eyebrow.

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The following part of this blog entry is pure fiction and bears no relation to existing people or events.

Το Γρύλισμα και η Στριγκλιά Νίκης 

by drs. Efthimia Dilpizoglou

(c) 2014 all rights reserved

Η Στριγκλιά Νίκης escaped from the mouth of a girl getting spanked on your set to the song “Try a little tenderness” by Cassia Eller. She was enacting an RPG age-play scenario about a mother named Nike, after the popular brand of running shoes, and her recalcitrant son Leuter Is. Your dad’s lawyer contacted the Nike Inc. sponsorship department for a lucrative and mutually beneficial sponsorship deal, curiously Nike Inc. refused to sponsor your movie despite the female lead who was named after the brand and willing to wear the shoes for the duration of the movie with several ECUs inserted throughout the feature to visibly showcase the Nike Inc. swoosh logo. Nike Inc.’s lawyer talking to your dad’s lawyer argued that the Nike brand is a family brand and they did not want to have their brand associated with S&M age-play pornography. “Leuter” is the Dutch word for “dick”, so the name of Nike’s son, “Leuter Is”, was basically a clever Dutchism for the phrase “He’s a dick”. You thank Paul Verhoeven for that one, who, when asked why he picked Rutger Hauer as the male lead in his famous film Turks Fruit, had answered: “Omdat-ie een leuter is.”. Later Paul Verhoeven claimed he was misquoted and that his actual statement was: “Omdat-ie zo’n kleuter is.”, supposedly referring to Rutger Hauer’s playful child-like qualities and energy as an actor, but the misquote had already become one for the film history books. Fortunately no one had cracked any inappropriate jokes yet about “een kleuter op je leuter is leuker neuken”, because you are a professional S&M pornographer and that type of stuff is something you cannot be associated with.

Η Στριγκλιά Νίκης echoed across the room, and immediately το Γρύλισμα burst out of your head like Zeus giving birth to Athena and chased after her, bouncing up and down and off the walls like a couple of tennis balls. You never thought το Γρύλισμα could pair up with anything audible, but the combination of το Γρύλισμα and η Στριγκλιά Νίκης was a perfect match, perfect pitch too. It was kind of endearing the way it tried to keep up with her, but she was always one beat ahead of το Γρύλισμα following right behind her. She was so fast, she broke the soundbarrier. So into herself she was, she didn’t even seem to notice το Γρύλισμα was still after her, she went about her business bouncing around the room like it was the most natural thing in the world. As a professional S&M pornographer you had seen everything, but even you marveled at the beauty of a girl releasing such a Στριγκλιά Νίκης deep from within her. You were pretty sure such things only happened on an S&M film-set and nowhere else on the planet. Your business instinct told you this was a great opportunity, so you pulled out your best camera to capture the moment but neither you or your best camera were fast enough. You, your camera and το Γρύλισμα all looked like fools chasing after something so primal and free. Η Στριγκλιά Νίκης was already deep inside your ears, past your ear-drums, moving through your body like a tidal wave. How very different a sensation this was from το Γρύλισμα biting and scratching and kicking and pulling its way through you. Feeling the Στριγκλιά Νίκης within you was unlike any sound you had ever experienced before. She escaped from the tip of your toes, stood one instant before you to have one last good look at you and said, “You are the saddest wanker I have ever seen in my entire life”, and then she was gone.

Nothing could console το Γρύλισμα, who was heartbroken over the loss of its great love, η Στριγκλιά Νίκης. You recorded a whole record full of sad love songs to console το Γρύλισμα, several of your female Facebook followers committed suicide as a result of that record, others went blind with impacted tearducts, but το Γρύλισμα was so overcome with desperate heart-ache, it grew ever more violent by the day. For the first time in your life your girlfriend could actually see the bruises on your body that το Γρύλισμα caused inside you while throwing another temper tantrum. “Χάθηκε η Στριγκλιά Νίκης…”, it mumbled over and over. You never thought you would see το Γρύλισμα cry, but crying it did and you had to rock it to sleep every night like a weeping infant as it soaked your bed wet, its tears spilling out of your thick black hairy armpits like cascades. Your revolutionary lullaby το Νήμα was the only song that would calm down το Γρύλισμα to the point where it could rest, and you could finally sleep.

One by one a thousand nights now stars extinguish
Gods provoking us to seek illumination lost
Come a time for all manner of excuses
Where was love when I was just a little boy
It’s lost

Tired, exhausted and bruised all over, you would sit behind your pianodrum and sing:

Butterflies will flutter over
The resting places of our dead
Carved into their hands forever
The commandments of every land
In a secret garden flowers blossom
Fertilized by sweat and tears
And this hungry infant shall be nourished
When the springtime reappears
Carcasses will sing caresses
Of a secret illicit love
When our enemies arrive they’ll measure
Weight up every final bunch
A hope I had of hope now
Traveling away into the void
And the thread you are persuing has
It has been severed long ago
Time to time
I’d feel something real inside

Tο Γρύλισμα slept restlessly τυλιγμένο γύρω απ’τον λαιμό σου like a huge python smothering you. It was actually hugging itself the way you used to hug yourself whenever you felt alone, back in the days when you were alone and lonely. You knew that desolate feeling from your own experience, so you allowed it to coil tighter and tighter around itself, until one night it wrapped itself too tight and broke your neck. You had to walk around with a neckbrace for some while, and joked about your predicament: “I finally look like the characters in Cronenberg’s Crash!”. Tο Γρύλισμα was too depressed to laugh at you silly jokes.

One night as you sat behind your pianodrum to sing the revolutionary lullaby again,

Everybody keeps a dream inside their heart
As I close my eyes I envision flying overhead

Το Γρύλισμα intervened to ask you one pertinent question before bedtime: “Πες μου, πόσο μα πόσο μαλάκας είσαι;”
“Είμαι ένα τόσο μαλακισμένο πλάσμα που δεν περιγράφεται με λόγια. Απέραντα μαλακισμένος. Just ask my dedicated hate-blogger who couldn’t manage to use up enough blog space to describe the true extent of the matter.”

A tear rolled down the horrible face of το Γρύλισμα. You picked up a towel and wiped your sweatty armpits. “Χάθηκε η Στριγκλιά Νίκης… και φταις εσύ.”.

References:

Various song lyrics and Facebook entries by The Boy.

το Γρύλισμα appears courtesy of ΜΟΥΣΙΚΟ ΚΙΝΗΜΑ: (ΜΑΥΡΕΣ) ΤΡΙΧΕΣ.