A poignant and harrowing account of the rise and fall of Napoleon Lapathiotis (1888-1944), Greece's most esteemed poet. Acclaimed director Takis Spetsiotis conveys, with sensitive daring and finesse, the poet's life as a ... more »romantic charmer, literary genious, communist sympathizer, depraved drug addict and, most importantly, as a national icon whose openly gay lifestyle created a scandal in conservative Athenian society. Greek with English subtitles. With his award winning sets, stunning costumes and lush photography, Spetsiotis successfully recreates the magic of Athenian bohemian life with its blues singers, junkies, left wing politicos and sexual liberators. Winning four awards at the Greek equivalent o the Oscars, Thessaloniki Film Festival, 1985, including best actor, Meteor and Shadow is a moving and visually striking decent into the horrors of a troubled soul that speaks volumes on the complex and sometimes destructive relationship between an artist's personal life and his public creations.« less
"Be wary of the following reviews as most of them appear to be written by the same person!
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 05/31/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Meteor and Shadow"
Good Idea--Poor Quality
I feel badly about "Meteor and Shadow". It could have been such a good movie but something happened to the quality of the recording. It is about the rise and fall of Greek poet Napoleon Lapathiotis who lived from 1888 until 1944 and is based on serious documents of his life. The film is set against a period in Greece during which there was a series of political and social developments which were influenced by what was happening in Europe. Even though Lapathiotis was a poet, the film avoids his literary output to focus on the way that he lived. He was a homosexual, a communist and a drug addict who was considered scandalous by the Grecian society and class in which he lived' Takis Spetsiotis, the director, gives us quite a different kind of biopic than we usually get. He gives us the poet as a "dandy" and a leftist who took his own life when he realized that he could no longer change aesthetics into action or feed his nobility of spirit. Segments of the poet's life are presented with sublime finesse. The sets are beautiful and the costumes are excellent. The production design is wonderful overall but the film moves along very, very slowly. For a gay themed film, this is extremely non-sexual and sexuality is discussed only in theory. However the biggest problem is the poor quality of the transfer to DVD. The film jumps and shakes throughout and the entire quality is way below standard. This is such a pity because within all of this is a story screaming to be heard. "
"...Napoleon Lapathiotis (1888-1944), Greece's most esteemed poet!!!The eccentric life and poignant death of Greek poet Napoleon Lapathiotis are the subject of this mannered, stylized biography by Takis Spetsiotis.The film is about the rise and fall of the poet Napoleon Lapathiotis (1888- 1944), based on a series of authentic documents and set against the background of major historical events of a very important period of political and social developments in Greece, as well as the influences of European cultural events on our culture. The film does not center on Lapathiotis' poetical work, but focuses mainly on his life-style. A homosexual, drug- addict and communist, he created a scandal in the conservative society of Athens in his days and in the social class from which he came.With finesse, sensitivity, a sense of rhythm and daring, which present segments of the life of the poet Napoleon Lapathiotis, Takis Spetsiotis goes beyond the classic model of the film biography, in order to fashion a portrait of a romantic, a dandy, a homosexual and leftist, who committed suicide when he was no longer able to transform aesthetics into action and nobility of spirit into the equivalent nourishment. Through chapters which bear the names of his friends, the prewar decades (1900- 1940) come alive by virtue of the sets, the costumes and the pastel photographs, something which for our standards and meagre financial means constitutes a remarkable feat.So,.... brilliant. So,... European!!!"
Masterpiece of contemporary European Cinema
Alfredo R. Villanueva | 08/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The film captures the biography of a very important person of the gay european history. The story of Napoleon Lapathiotis, an openly gay, communist, drug-abusing poet in turn-of-the-century Greece. His lifestyle shocked and scandalized Athens, though his poetry is still esteemed as among the greatest works of Greek literature. His life through the eyes of the director is highly hedonistic and joyful. Reality issues involved... An excellent film to have, to hold and watch."
VERY UNEVEN FILM
Alfredo R. Villanueva | New York, NY United States | 08/09/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"THOUGH I AM GLAD TO HAVE WATCHED THIS FILM, FOR IT INTRODUCED ME TO A GAY POET I HAD NOT DISCOVERED, THE FILM ITSELF LEAVES QUITE A BIT TO BE DESIRED. FOR A POET WHOSE LIFE WAS DEEMED SCANDALOUS, THE PORTRAIT IS FAR TOO TAME. WHAT ONE GETS IS A HIGH CLASS SISSIFIED DANDY WHO APPARENTLY NEVER WORKED A DAY IN HIS LIFE, WAS MAINTAINED BY HIS FAMILY AND WAS FOND OF BORING CONVERSATIONS WITH HIS EQUALLY BORING GAY FRIENDS. HOMOSEXUALITY IS PRESENTED AS A COMMERCIAL TRANSACTION BETWEEN MEN OF THE UPPER CLASSES AND PROLETARIANS--ALL THE MORE STRANGE GIVEN THE FACT THAT NAPOLEON WAS AN AVOWED COMMUNIST. THE SLOW PACING CAN MAKE IT SEEM QUITE AS LONG AS IT IS. HOWEVER, IT MUST BE WATCHED, IF ONLY ONCE."