Andréas Giannopoulos is a Melbourne-born film director and writer. He began his interest in cinema making stop-motion animations as a child, before beginning to shoot short films at the age of 14.
He graduated from Swinburne University of Technology with a Bachelor of Film and Television in 2015. During his degree, he worked on narrative shorts, documentaries and music videos, and wrote research essays on the cinema of Orson Welles, the changes in film noir during the mid-to-late 40s, and self-reflexivity in Hollywood’s wartime comedies. In his graduate year he both produced the romantic drama They Move by Night and wrote, directed, and produced the mystery/sci-fi short The Arms of Venus de Milo, which is currently screening in film festivals.
He has a strong preference for shooting on celluloid film. On the side he’s a volunteer for Melbourne Cinémathèque and the Senses of Cinema journal.
Type of cinema I am most passionate about:
My favourite kind of movie is a good movie, but I have a particular affinity for the French New Wave, film noir and 1950s sci-fi; and Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard, and Andrei Tarkovsky are my favourite directors.
A film that changed me/my mind is:
As silly as it sounds, the film that had the greatest impact on the way I see the medium is the 1951 feature The Day the Earth Stood Still. I saw it when I was 13 and it was the first time I understood cinema had a history, and that a film could strive to be something beyond a way to kill a few hours. That film is admittedly not the most important or successful in these areas, but it’s what set me on the path I’m on now, and hopefully will be on for the rest of my life.
I’m looking forward to Critics Campus because:
Being mentored by critics from around the world is an incredible opportunity, as is being involved with other folks as interested in criticism as I am, and arguing with them endlessly. Also, I’m looking forward to having a good time. Films are exciting, and film criticism should be too!
Cinema excites me because:
Cinema exists between art and life, and through this unique place it gives me sensations that nothing else can, not even life itself. It’s the closest thing for me to a spiritual experience. Andy Warhol said that emotions in movies feel more real than in real life. He might have been right.
Favourite critic and why:
Not a “film” critic per se, but Susan Sontag’s essays on film and culture in general have influenced my making of and thinking about films more than anything else. Her view of art as something completely emotional and “sensuous” solidified a lot of the ideas I was grappling with myself.
The future of film criticism is:
Ideally, film criticism, both in videos and in writing, will move towards a common understanding of movies as something transcendent yet realistic, lucid yet ineffable, instead of putting interpretation and labels first, holding back more meaningful and useful insight. More likely and unfortunately it’ll see people attempting to beat each other with even louder and sillier “statements”.
Film criticism is important because:
I think by understanding how those flickering images make us feel all those funny feelings, we can attempt to understand those funny feelings themselves. Not to mention, film criticism can be art itself. André Bazin’s essays are as exciting and moving as some of the greatest films.
The MIFF film(s) I’m most looking forward to:
The Jerry Lewis retrospective. I’ve admittedly never seen anything directed by the man, but according to some (including Godard!) he’s a cinematic genius, so it’d be nice to see what the fuss is all about.