D irector, Author, Impresario, Entrepreneur etc, Costas Ferris was the primary creative force behind the production of the 1983 film "Rebetiko" as well as the 1991 Television special series for NGTV, which was essentially a Guided tour of Rebetiko music, titled " Stou Thoma - O Kosmos Tou Rebetikou" (At Thomas's - The World of Rebetiko) . While his film " Rebetiko " is now well known and has reached near legendary status among avid Rebetiko Aficionados on both sides of the Atlantic, those fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to witness the " Stou Thoma " production are equally unanimous, that it too is destined to become a special event and as satisfying and illuminating a video experience as was the 1983 movie. Ferris has been one of the seminal forces behind the movement to bring the Rebetic Ethos, along with it's marginal Sociological connotations in from out of the cold to shine a more realistic light on this seldom whispered about past. By doing so he has cast new insights on this most absorbing Hellenic musical treasure from the first part of the 20th century. His film "Rembetiko", focused on a good deal more then just the musical content of the genre. The film's primary significance stems from the fact, that it gave a tangible and realistic human context to people, places and events from a period in time, that for many has always been something of a Sphinx Enigma. This is particularly true for individuals who are now second or third generation English speaking descendents of the late 19th century Greek Diaspora, that left the Greek mainland a long time ago. It is this Demographic in particular which often has a difficult time relating to various elements from their own Ethnic history, that the labors of individuals such as Ferris have been most instructive and something of a revelation. One that serves to remind a few of us who we really are and from where we actually came. For a more detailed account of Mr. Ferris credits, click on the photo above.
O ne of the finest films to ever come out of the Hellenic Republic. This is the movie that resurrected the spirit of a past as well as the consciousness of the present . The basic story line is loosely based on the life of Marika Ninou, who was one of the great second generation Rebetissis until her untimely death at the age of 36 in 1958. This is the award winning film by Costas Ferris, that was instrumental in helping to revive the widespread interest in the Rebetiko Era. There is a review of the film as well as some specifics regarding it's cast and production at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Click on the cover photo on the left to check it out and don't forget to vote while your there.
what may be the only Video document of it's kind , " Stou Thoma"
is something of a musical guided tour of the World that was Rebetiko. It
is without question the most informative and educational document I have
ever come across, that specifically identifies, delineates and then
follows up with live musical examples of each type of structural and
musical influence, that constitute the Rebetiko genre. Consequently the
video is particularly effective in giving the viewer a comprehensive
picture of the origins and evolution of the entire genre. The single
caveat for English only speakers is that this four Volume set is
conducted in Greek, without the benefit of subtitles. However that
noted, we quickly need to add that the outstanding performances given
by this assemblage of world class artists, all very effectively and
most convincingly go a very long way in bearing witness to the "Old Testament", that was "Ta Rebetika" and are well
worth the price of admission alone. This Video was produced as a TV
special series for National Greek Television by Costas Ferris who wrote
the overall script, as well as directed this 1991 production.
Thesia Panayiotiou orchestrated and conducted the songs for the series
and Manos Tsilimidis was cast in the lead role of a
Phantom/Narrator. The singers and performere are Tsingos and
Marangopoulos who also appeared in the film "Rembetiko"
along with Xintaris, Bayiokis the opera tenor Konstantinos Paliatsaras, Irini Daskalaki and the always delightful Chryssoula Christopoylou. Also featured are Constantinou and Liossis on Bouzouke, Tsiamoulis,
Clapakis, as well as the famous accordion player Koulaxizis. For visual
context, Ferris had the production crew construct a variety of
different Club stages from the now infamous Cafe Aman, to a 1950s
Bouzouxidiko as well as a prison set along with the appropriate
Costumes and period piece paraphernalia. The narrative which is
delivered by Manos Tsilimidis (who is excellent in his role as a Phantom
Rebetis), was based on original thematic materiel taken from various
Rembetiko song lyrics and styles, that reflected everything from the
mainstream sounds of the day, to the types of Rebetiko that were known
as "Kalesmata" or invitations, to a "through the lens
darkly" style known as the "Descent into Hades", which
were called "Anakalesmata" or more specifically the call of the dead. In short,
a creative and
educational video masterpiece.