Picking up where I left off… Over in Cyprus… The film filmed on Symi, ‘The 13th’, was shown in a programme of screenings on the Saturday night (17th) and was well received. I answered questions afterwards and then went for something to eat; it had been a long day. On Sunday, I was able to slip away during the morning to have a look around a tiny part of the Archaeological Park in the blazing sun for a couple of hours. (Today’s photos.) Later, rather red and sweaty, I headed back to where I was staying to prepare for another evening of films, this time, those being shown in the experimental film programme. It was on the way back from this event that what William Goldman (Screenwriter of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, among many others) calls a ‘movie moment’ happened. It is one of those stories where you had to be there, but I’ll try and tell it as I experienced it.
There are four of us in a car, two film directors and two comedy writers (me being one of the writers, in case you were wondering). We needed to stop at a shop to pick up some bits and pieces (beer) for later. The car pulls up, and Aris and I leap out, him from the driving seat, me from the back, and we both slam our doors at the same time, fall into step and march quickly into the shop.
‘I feel like I’m in a Tarantino film,’ I say as there was something movie-ish about the timing.
Inside the shop, I find what I need, pay for it and turn around to see the other three watching a TV screen up on the wall. A film is playing, and clearly, something major is about to happen.
Three separate gangs are arriving at a casino. There are long shots and close-ups, some tracking shots as the heavies walk through the casino, and the sound and colour, plus the action, are actually quite good.
‘What’s this movie?’ someone asks.
‘Not sure. Looks good.’
We watch a bit more as it’s quite a compelling scene.
‘Something’s about to kick off.’
‘Is it Tarantino?’
‘I don’t recognise it.’
Remember there are two film directors here, no doubt studying the camera angles while the writers write the ‘black stuff’, the action/stage direction in their heads, wondering how they would write this scene.
The three gangs are meeting up on the roof of the casino, and it’s all getting very tense. The music is building.
‘It’s nicely choreographed,’ someone says, meaning the action.
‘Reminds me of West Side Story.’
Everyone is very impressed, and even though we’ve got our supplies, no-one is in a hurry to leave. The scene has us hooked, and we want to know what’s going to happen.
‘Is it a Scorsese?’
And then the screen splits into three.
‘What is this film?’ Frustration that none of us recognises it, we feel like we should.
The three gang bosses are shown in the split screen, facing the camera. They lift their hands to their faces, and suddenly they pull away latex masks to reveal…
‘Uh, Charlie’s Angels.’ All four of us say it in disappointed unison, turn and walk out. Another movie moment.
I found it funny at the time, it’s better when I tell it to you in person. Which is an interesting point. Telling stories is to the same as writing stories, and comedy is very difficult to write. It’s much easier to speak as you can keep the flow going, use expressions and gestures, leave pauses and so on. Anyway, that was my Saturday and Sunday night in Paphos. The next day I headed for home which meant a taxi to the local bus station. The taxi turned out to be more like a limousine, a rather grand way to arrive at a bus station. From there it was a journey to Limassol to change buses, and another one on to Larnaca for the plane. A one-hour 45-minute flight over Rhodes and Symi to Athens to change. Another plane, where I was flying with Yiannis Poseidon who had been in Athens, down to Rhodes, once more waving at Symi as I passed, and a taxi to the hotel before taking the ferry the next day. And that, in a nutshell, was my trip to Cyprus. Here are some more photos.