Efthimis Filippou: “I separate shows by those I like and those that bore me”


IMG_5720_After penning the script for “Dogtooth”, Efthimis Filippou is crossing over from cinema into theatre. His latest collaboration finds him working with the Vasistas group and controversial director Argyro Chioti, to produce “Emata” (Blood), a play-concert combo overflowing with oddities and dark humor, a punk oratorio for our incurable wounds.

#1. Tell me a few things about your latest show, scheduled to be staged at the Onassis Cultural Centre.

About a year ago, Argyro Chioti suggested that we work on something together, something made for the stage. What came out of that collaboration is what I understand to be a text for a play and not a standalone theatrical play. We worked on it together from the start, decided on the themes and format, all the while figuring out how to connect words and imagery, theoretically at first and then moving on to the practical side. The show isn’t something I would like to judge or put a label on. The only thing I will say, is that I tried to make it feel like a mail correspondence between two people. At least how I would imagine one to be and I hope that others will feel the same. It starts with a wound, describing how it’s dealt with by the person who bears it and the person who sees it and what changes as it inevitably heals.

#2. What kind of theatre does this play belong to?

I don’t know. My relationship with theatre is a rather simple one and plays are separated between those I like and those that bore me. I don’t know anything about codes, rules, categories and types

#3. If a show could have a human form, would the script be its spine or its skin?

It would be its tongue. The tongue that talks, spits, licks and mocks. The tongue that removes lettuce from teeth.

#4. Do you believe in inspiration or in hard work? Are there differences between the two?

There is, yes. I tend to appreciate people that work hard more than those who are just inspired.

What’s the role that humor plays in your work and in your life?

As time goes by, I’ve noticed that if I see someone slip on a banana skin and fall down, I feel sad rather than laugh, which is something that I would have done in the past. As much as I can, I try and avoid laughing at banana skins.

#5. Is there a script you are particularly jealous of, based on how complete and sharp it is?

Brief Encounter. Just a simple story unburdened by lies, with a voice over that flows with the fluidity of thought. The answers given for certain questions in the dialogue are carefully chosen words and the ending is exactly what you thought it would be in the beginning.

Interview by Efi Alevizou, Shot by Despina Spirou