Nikos Georgiou Nikolaidis (Greek: ÎÎ¯ÎºÎ¿Ï Î"ÎµÏÏÎ³Î¯Î¿Ï ÎÎ¹ÎºÎ¿Î»Î±ÎÎ´Î·Ï) (25 October 1939, Athens, Greece â" 5 September 2007, Athens, Greece) was a Greek film director, screenwriter, film producer, writer, theatre director, assistant director, record producer, television director, and commercial director. He is usually considered a representative of European avant-garde and experimental art film and underground surrealist cinema.
Nikolaidis was born on 25 October 1939 in Athens, Greece, where he lived and worked all his life. He was also the scriptwriter and producer of the movies which he directed and would occasionally, as in the case of the 1965 Orestis Laskos film Praktores 005 enantion Hrysopodarou, write screenplays for other directors. For much of his life he worked in advertising and he managed to direct two hundred television advertisements within twenty years. He studied filmmaking at the Hellenic Cinema and Television School Stavrakos and acquired scenic design skills at the Vakalo College of Art and Design, a highly regarded specialized private art school, both located in in Athens, Greece. In 1960 he began to work as a first assistant director for Vasilis Georgiadis and in 1962 he directed his first short film Lacrimae Rerum. His directorial feature-length debut was Evrydiki BA 2O37 which premiered at the Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema on 29 September 1975 where it won the Best Director Award, the Greek National Ministry of Culture Award, and the Athens Film Critics Association Best Picture Award. Despite a lukewarm reaction by viewers, critics appreciated the innovative perspective on the classic Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice and noted the originality of Nikolaidis' artistic techniques. It is characteristic that Nikolaidis himself believed Evrydiki BA 2O37 to be his best film.
For his next picture, The Wretches Are Still Singing (1979), the director studied the transformation of social values using the example of a group of five friends who meet after a long separation and share with each other the details of their difficult lives. The film became the symbol of the 1950s generation and reflected his personal views on the problem of alienation in the modern world. The film was shot in a surreal way with a predilection for the aesthetics of the Marquis de Sade. In it, for the first time in Nikolaidis' filmography, one can see the characteristic elements of film noir which became part and parcel of Nikolaidis' unique approach in the majority of the films that followed. Today he is probably best known for his 1990 magnum opus Singapore Sling, a bizarre mix of film noir and horror with sex being used as a power game. Despite his long career as a film director in his home country which stretches to the early 1960s he was almost entirely unknown outside Greece before the early 1990s and is still less known outside it and it was only with this film, which has immediately achieved cult status, that international fame came to him. From his cinematic works, he further directed Sweet Gang (1983), Morning Patrol (1987), See You in Hell, My Darling (1999), and The Loser Takes It All (2002). He also published a collection of short stories and wrote three novels, including The Angry Balkan (1977) which has been reprinted many times in Greece. In addition to his career as a filmmaker, theatre director, and writer, Nikolaidis also worked at a recording studio.
His films have often divided viewers and critics alike. Due to his methods of filmmaking, screenwriting, et cetera, as well as the themes his films usually deal with, being in strak contrast to standard mainstream ones, his films have received very little publicity though some, especially his lesser known ones, became cult films, both inside and outside Greece. The characters in his films are usually people constrained by limitations or found in absurd and extreme situations while playing with their fate. The themes that one often encounters in his films include the 1950s and film noir, the relationship between sex and death, companionship and love, as well as the struggle against all sorts of powers and ghosts from the past. Nikolaidis filmed much of his work in black-and-white, a few of his films contained a certain similarity to so-called "trash films," and he categorized the majority of his films into trilogies. As an example of the last tendency, the "Years of Cholera" trilogy which deals with the last decades of the twentieth century begins with The Wretches Are Still Singing (1979), continues with Sweet Gang (1983), and ends with The Loser Takes It All (2002).
In November 2005, after the completion of his last film The Zero Years, a tale of perversion and sexual dominance which failed to replicate the earlier success of Singapore Sling (1990), Nikolaidis declared his intention to stop making movies in order to deal with music.
From 1970 on, he lived with Marie-Louise Bartholomew with whom he had two children. She was also either the producer or at least involved in the production of all his eight feature films and two hundred advertisements. He died on 5 September 2007 aged 67 of pulmonary edema in Athens, Greece. The Thessaloniki International Film Festival held a retrospective in his honor during its tribute program in November 2007 and the Greek Film Archive paid tribute to him between 26 May and 1 June 2011 by projecting his eight feature films. To this day he remains the only Greek filmmaker who was ever awarded the Best Director Award at the Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema or at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival's Greek State Film Awards five times.
The artistic heritage of Nikos Nikolaidis has had a significant influence on the subsequent generation of Greek filmmakers who were inspired by the stylistics of his films and his unusual artistic images containing complex allegories and symbols. His films' protagonists are usually outcasts and nonconformists or the cynics and the marginalized people of society with mental and sexual disorders. The main feature of Nikolaidis' directorial approach was the predominance of form over content. At home, he acquired the status of an innovator looking for unusual ways to use film language as well as a skilled visualizer who created a unique aesthetic combining beauty and ugliness. Abroad, Nikolaidis earned a reputation as an eccentric and controversial director, challenging the received morals and familiar tastes. His influence extends abroad too. Ihor Podolchak's 2013 film Delirium was compared by Ukrainian film critics to the works of Nikolaidis after its prerelease screenings.
- Lacrimae Rerum (Latin: Tears of Things) (1962, Short Film)
- Anev Oron (ÎÎ½ÎµÏ ÎÏÏÎ½ â" Unconditionally) (1964, Short Film)
- Evrydiki BA 2O37 (ÎÏ ÏÎ¹Î´Î¯ÎºÎ· Î'Î' 2Î37) (1975, Feature Film)
- Ta Kourelia Tragoudane Akoma... (Î¤Î± ÎÎ¿Ï ÏÎÎ»Î¹Î± Î¤ÏÎ±Î³Î¿Ï Î´Î¬Î½Îµ Î'ÎºÏÎ¼Î±... â" The Wretches Are Still Singing) (1979, Feature Film)
- Glykia Symmoria (Î"Î»Ï ÎºÎ¹Î¬ Î£Ï Î¼Î¼Î¿ÏÎ¯Î± â" Sweet Gang) (1983, Feature Film)
- Proini Peripolos (Î ÏÏÎ¹Î½Î® Î ÎµÏÎ¯ÏÎ¿Î»Î¿Ï â" Morning Patrol) (1987, Feature Film)
- Singapore Sling: O Anthropos pou Agapise ena Ptoma (Singapore Sling: Î ÎÎ½Î¸ÏÏÏÎ¿Ï ÏÎ¿Ï Î'Î³Î¬ÏÎ·ÏÎµ ÎÎ½Î± Î ÏÏÎ¼Î± â" Singapore Sling) (1990, Feature Film)
- To koritsi me tis valitses (Î¤Î¿ ÎºÎ¿ÏÎ¯ÏÏÎ¹ Î¼Îµ ÏÎ¹Ï Î²Î±Î»Î¯ÏÏÎµÏ â" Girl with Suitcases) (1994, Television Film)
- Nikolaidis used to characterize this television film as "a mistake" for the following reason: "Mistakes are like failed love affairs â" you reminisce about them, tortured by the fact that they were never fulfilled, but you wouldn't ever wish to relive them again... Bearing the reality, that the televised screening of this 'mistake' movie, received a viewing of 57.6%, only proves how big my mistake was."
- Tha se Do stin Kolasi Agapi mou (ÎÎ± ÏÎµ Î"Ï ÏÏÎ·Î½ ÎÏÎ»Î±ÏÎ· Î'Î³Î¬ÏÎ· Î¼Î¿Ï â" See You in Hell, My Darling) (1999, Feature Film)
- O chamenos ta pairnei ola (Î ÏÎ±Î¼ÎÎ½Î¿Ï ÏÎ± ÏÎ±Î¯ÏÎ½ÎµÎ¹ ÏÎ»Î± â" The Loser Takes It All) (2002, Feature Film)
- The Zero Years (2005, Feature Film)
- Oi tymvorychoi: Diigimata 1962â"1965 (ÎÎ¹ ÏÏ Î¼Î²ÏÏÏÏÎ¿Î¹: Î"Î¹Î·Î³Î®Î¼Î±ÏÎ± 1962â"1965 â" The Gravediggers: Short Stories 1962â"1965) (Î'Î¸Î®Î½Î±: ÎÎ´Î¹ÏÏÎ¹ÎºÎ® ÎÎºÎ´Î¿ÏÎ·, 1966, ISBN 9609515037) (Greek)
- O orgismenos Valkanios: Mythistorima (Î Î¿ÏÎ³Î¹ÏÎ¼ÎÎ½Î¿Ï Î'Î±Î»ÎºÎ¬Î½Î¹Î¿Ï: ÎÏ Î¸Î¹ÏÏÏÏÎ·Î¼Î± â" The Angry Balkan: A Novel) (Î'Î¸Î®Î½Î±: ÎÎºÎ´ÏÏÎµÎ¹Ï ÎÎÎ´ÏÎ¿Ï, 1977, ISBN 9600301956) (Greek)
- Ta Kourelia Tragoudane Akoma...: Senario (Î¤Î± ÎÎ¿Ï ÏÎÎ»Î¹Î± Î¤ÏÎ±Î³Î¿Ï Î´Î¬Î½Îµ Î'ÎºÏÎ¼Î±...: Î£ÎµÎ½Î¬ÏÎ¹Î¿ â" The Wretches Are Still Singing: A Screenplay) (Î'Î¸Î®Î½Î±: ÎÎºÎ´ÏÏÎµÎ¹Ï Î"Î½ÏÏÎ·, 1980) (Greek)
- Glykia Symmoria: Senario (Î"Î»Ï ÎºÎ¹Î¬ Î£Ï Î¼Î¼Î¿ÏÎ¯Î±: Î£ÎµÎ½Î¬ÏÎ¹Î¿ â" Sweet Gang: A Screenplay) (Î'Î¸Î®Î½Î±: Î£Ï Î½ÏÎµÏÎ½Î¯Î±, 1984) (Greek)
- Gourounia ston Anemo: Mythistorima (Î"Î¿Ï ÏÎ¿ÏÎ½Î¹Î± ÏÏÎ¿Î½ ÎÎ½ÎµÎ¼Î¿: ÎÏ Î¸Î¹ÏÏÏÏÎ·Î¼Î± â" Pigs in the Wind: A Novel) (Î'Î¸Î®Î½Î±: ÎÎºÎ´ÏÏÎµÎ¹Ï ÎÎ±ÏÏÎ±Î½Î¹ÅÏÎ·, 1992, ISBN 960030985X) (Greek)
- O chamenos ta pairnei ola: Senario (Î ÏÎ±Î¼ÎÎ½Î¿Ï ÏÎ± ÏÎ±Î¯ÏÎ½ÎµÎ¹ ÏÎ»Î±: Î£ÎµÎ½Î¬ÏÎ¹Î¿ â" The Loser Takes It All: A Screenplay) (Î'Î¸Î®Î½Î±: ÎÎºÎ´ÏÏÎµÎ¹Ï Î'Î¹Î³ÏÎºÎµÏÏÏ, 2003, ISBN 9603221821) (Greek)
- Mia stekia sto mati tou Montezouma: Mythistorima (ÎÎ¹Î¬ ÏÏÎµÎºÎ¹Î¬ ÏÏÏ Î¼Î¬ÏÎ¹ ÏÎ¿Ï ÎÎ¿Î½ÏÎµÎ¶Î¿ÏÎ¼Î±: ÎÏ Î¸Î¹ÏÏÏÏÎ·Î¼Î± â" A Hit in the Eye of Montezuma: A Novel) (New York City: Greek Works, 2008, ISBN 0974766097) (Greek)
- Best Director Award, Greek National Ministry of Culture Award, Athens Film Critics Association Best Picture Award, Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema, September 1975 (Evrydiki BA 2O37)
- Best Director Award, Athens Film Critics Association Best Picture Award, Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema, September 1979 (The Wretches Are Still Singing)
- Athens Film Critics Association Best Picture Award, Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema, October 1983 (Sweet Gang)
- Best Director Award, Greek National Ministry of Culture Award, Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema, October 1987 (Morning Patrol)
- Best Director Award, Best Quality Film Award, Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema, October 1990 (Singapore Sling)
- Best Director Award, Thessaloniki International Film Festival's Greek State Film Awards, November 2002 (The Loser Takes It All)
- Alexandros Moumtzis, "Le Nouveau face Ã l'Ancien (Pandelis Voulgaris, Nikos Panayotopoulos, Nikos NikolaÃ¯dis)," dans Michel DÃ©mopoulos (directeur de publication), Le CinÃ©ma grec, Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, collection "cinÃ©ma/pluriel," 1995, 263 pages (ISBN 2858508135). (French)
- Nikos Nikolaidis (Film Director/Writer/Producer)
- Nikos Nikolaidis at the Internet Movie Database
- 5 Books, 6 Films, and... Nikos Nikolaidis
- Nikos Nikolaidis at the TCM Movie Database
- Works by or about Nikos Nikolaidis in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- ÎÎ¯ÎºÎ¿Ï ÎÎ¹ÎºÎ¿Î»Î±ÎÎ´Î·Ï (1939â"2007) at Comic Orange: Comic Orange, Movies (Greek)
- ÎÎ¯ÎºÎ¿Ï ÎÎ¹ÎºÎ¿Î»Î±ÎÎ´Î·Ï (1939â"2007)/Nikos Nikolaidis at CinematografÃa en Grecia (Spanish)