Friday, August 19, 2005:

Mikis Theodorakis

Z cover
Mikis Theodorakis -- La Course De Manuel (Chase)
Mikis Theodorakis -- To Palikari Echi Kaimo (vocals: Maria Farandouli)
Mikis Theodorakis -- To Palikari Echi Kaimo (vocals: Mikis Theodorakis)
Walking home with a few sacks of groceries, you hear a snatch of music that grabs your attention. You turn to look, and find that the music is coming from a third-story loft, the window up halfway, propped with a board. After awhile you take a seat on the curb and set your groceries down beside you.

You sit fascinated, staring up at the window across the street, and then you notice that a group of wiry muscular heavily tattooed men have formed a half-circle behind you. They're closing in on the sides and they want to know what you're doing there. You point up at the window. The leader turns to look, and then the others follow suit. No one says anything for awhile.

Then, from your right: "I like the girl." You nod.
"I like the man more." This from your left. "It's like he has to try harder, but that makes it better." You nod to this too.

They sit down, one by one. A few songs later, you realize your ice cream sandwiches are probably melting. You open the box and pass them around. It's not enough. You look to see what else you have.

The next week you pass that same spot. The men are all there, hanging out on a stoop chit-chatting. The window across the street is closed. The men watch you approach. You tip your hat. They nod in response. From the back, someone asks if you have any ice cream sandwiches.


A bit of background: the last track offered here was one of two bonuses to the LP, which weren't included in the film. The film is a tightly-constructed political thriller about the assassination of a political figure and a government conspiracy to hide it (it sounds like it might be dull, ponderous, belabored--it's not; it's fascinating, fantastic, and should IMHO be well up on the IMDb top 250). At the beginning it's stated that any similarities between the characters and real people are deliberate. It's bold and brilliant work, on both the film and the music. Following the 1967 coup in Greece Theodorakis was jailed and then exiled for his political activities, but Costa-Gavras seems to have escaped that fate. Theodorakis is still alive and apparently going great guns, and no, thank you, I'd rather not debate his political views. :-)
wikipedia writeup on Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis' site
Z page at
[]: An out-of-print double-CD set of four soundtracks, if you have $100 USD you don't know what to spend on.

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