For more information on the Temenos: www.thetemenos.org
Christmas U.S.A. (1949) is considered one of the most important experimental films of postwar America. Markopoulos deals with notions such as female/male, managing in just 13 minutes to look into the queer psyche, while filming unseen corners, isolated rooms, forests, dim-lit buildings.
Based on the Greek myth of Hippolytus, Markopoulos’s Twice a Man (1963) is a poetic adaptation of the mythic story and its theme of sexual desire. Transported to 1960s New York, its abstract narration focuses on the relationships between a contemporary Hippolytus, his seductive mother and his male lover. The film’s textured use of color and rhythm achieves a sensuous composition that delicately balances the intertwining of characters and their personas.
Memories, color, and light interlock in the portrait of a space in the film Ming Green, a film shot in the spring of 1966, when Markopoulos was getting ready to leave his apartment in Greenwich Village.
The Illiac Passion (1967) is an interpretation of “Prometheus Bound”, taking place in the underground scene of New York during the 1960s. Andy Warhol makes an appearance in the role of Poseidon riding an exercise bike.
Bliss (1967) is the first film that Markopoulos shot after he left the USA for Europe. In six minutes, he is attempting a description of the interior of St. John’s Byzantine church, on the island of Hydra, in Greece. The beautiful, almost mystical, images of the church ooze a feeling of bliss.
Gregory J. Markopoulos said about his film, The Mysteries (1968): “In my film I suggest that there is no greater mystery than that of the protagonists. War and Love are simply equated for what they are; the aftermath is inevitable, and a normal human condition, for which – like the ancients – one can only have pity and understanding. In this lies the mystery. All else is irrelevant. That there are other subcurrents of equal power in The Mysteries goes without saying; and those who are capable of the numerous visual visitations and annunciations which the film offers will realize what is the Ultimate Mystery of my work”.
The Portrait of Gilbert & George (aka Gibralta, 1975) is a portrait of the two famous artists -here they are presented as live sculptures- shot in Paris, during an exhibition. Film critic Erika Balsom writes: “Though a portrait of the artistic duo, the film indulges in none of the privileging of visibility on which the genre of portraiture often rests…”
Early Monthly Segments (2002) is constituted of brief segments or exercises, shot between 1967 and 1970 by Robert Beavers, using a 16mm Bolex film camera and color reversal film.
In Pitcher of Colored Light (2007), Beavers films his mother’s house and her garden, giving emphasis to shadows. Beavers wrote about his film: “A voice within the film speaks to memory. The walls are screens through which I pass to the inhabited privacy”.
The Suppliant (2010) is a five-minute short film that stands as an exquisitely wrought portrait of the small statue of the title, as well as of the artist/friend in whose apartment it resides. Beavers pans briskly up and down the figure’s sleek surface, as if to summon its spiritual, nurturing power, cutting these moves with shots of its head, its torso, and an arm gracefully poised. Sounds are minimal and precise. Without a single shot of the apartment’s occupant, images and sounds carve a portrait of a solitary life.
In Among the Eucalyptuses (2017), Robert Beavers films old factories and their machinery, warehouses, train lines and shabby buildings in the city of Piraeus, which are juxtaposed to ancient statues and moments. Two worlds co-existing and colliding at the same time, a distant past and a fading present. A poetic meditation on the stillness of time.