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Keftedes: Traditional Greek Meatballs. Recipe



Traditional Greek Keftedes Fried meatballs
Traditional Greek Keftedes
Fried meatballs


What are keftedes?


Keftedes, or keftedakia (Little keftedes!), are fried Greek meatballs, or, just to confuse you, they can be baked, or, then again, they may be called soutzoukakia, which are spiced up with cumin and baked in a spicy tomato sauce.


Then, there are “Youverlakia”, meat balls made with rice and served with “Avgolemono”, egg and lemon sauce, or, maybe in a tomato sauce, the Greeks certainly do love their meatballs!



Youverlakia Greek meatballs with rice, in tomato sauce.
Youverlakia
Greek meatballs with rice, in tomato sauce.



 Keftedes may be prepared with minced beef, pork, a mixture of both beef and pork, or minced lamb.


With whatever, and however keftedes are prepared, one thing is for sure; they are delicious, golden and crispy on the outside, soft and moist inside, and loved by all.


My family prefers the quick and easy to prepare, simple, fried, traditional Greek keftedes.



Greek keftedes, Greek salad and homemade chips.
Greek keftedes, Greek salad and homemade chips.


 Keftedes were the stand by for all school trips, picnics and children’s parties, no Greek mama, worth her salt, sent her little darlings on a school outing, or threw a party, without plenty of keftedes!


In the good old days, the tradition was that Greek housewives cleaned the house on Saturdays, from top to bottom, bulling it up for Sunday, the day of rest.


This mammoth house-clean took time, and so, in the days before fast-food and take-out, lunch had to be something quick and easy, yet tasty and nourishing, what could be better than crispy, piping hot keftedes?


This is why you may often hear this popular Greek dish referred to as;


 “Saturday keftedes”!


As well as being a favourite family meal, served up with lashings of tzatziki (Garlic yogurt), a large Greek “Horiatiki” salad, topped with feta cheese, and large portions of golden, homemade chips, keftedes are often to be found served as a meze (Appetizer), to help the ouzo go down!



Greek keftedes as a meze with ouzo Photo; mezessf.com
Greek keftedes as a meze with ouzo
Photo; mezessf.com


The herb used for keftedes is traditionally diosmo: mint (Spearmint), both fresh and dried are used, I love mint, so add a lot, no hard and fast rules, if you love it, pile it in!


Some recipes also add a tea spoon of dried oregano, I don’t, I want to taste the mint!


If you have any ouzo at hand, add a glug of that, why not?


Dried Greek diosmo (mint)
Dried Greek diosmo (mint)




Traditional Greek keftedes.


Ingredients

(Makes about 30 keftedes)


500 g minced beef


1 large onion (finely chopped or grated)


1 clove garlic (finely chopped or crushed)


250 g breadcrumbs


1 sprig fresh mint (about 8-10 leaves, chopped)


1 tsp dried mint


1 shot of ouzo (optional)

1 egg


Salt & pepper to taste


Corn or sunflower oil for frying



Flour for dredging (About ½ a cup)


Method


Throw all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and mix together really well, the best way to do this is with your hands, really give the mixture a good squeezing, get those flavours forced into one another!



Mixture for Greek keftedes
Mixture for Greek keftedes



If the mixture seems rather sloppy, just add a few more breadcrumbs, if it’s too firm, slosh in a little olive oil (Or milk).


Cover the bowl with cling film, foil, or whatever it is you use, and leave it in the fridge for about an hour; this really gets those flavours mingling!

(The mixture can be made the day before you’re going to cook the keftedes).


Once the mixture has chilled for an hour, give it another mix, using your hands, and using a spoon, take about a large walnut-sized, bit of the mixture, roll into a ball and put to one side on a plate.



A walnut - sized spoonful!
A walnut - sized spoonful!



Once all the mixture has been rolled into balls, heat the oil in a large frying pan (Don’t waste your precious olive oil for this, corn or sunflower oil is best).




Greek keftedes... ready for a flour bath!
Greek keftedes...
ready for a flour bath!

Once the oil is really hot, dip keftedes in flour, knock of excess and add to pan, don’t overload the pan, it’s best to fry in batches, about 15 keftedes at a time, overloading the pan will lower the temperature of the oil.



Greek keftedes, floured and ready for the pan.
Greek keftedes, floured and ready for the pan.


As soon as the keftedes are in the pan, lower to a medium heat, and cook until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes, turning frequently, so they are browned on all sides.



Greek keftedes Slowly Sizzling
Greek keftedes
Slowly Sizzling



Don't forget the chips; homemade of course!
Don't forget the chips;
homemade of course!



Once you’ve cleaned your house, serve up your delicious Greek keftedes with a Greek salad, a good dollop of tzatzki and piles of golden chips!



See more mouthwatering Greek recipes below;





























Fanouropita or Phanouropita the Lost and Found Cake of Saint Fanourios or Phanourios. Feast Day 27 August.


  Fanouropita, the lost and found cake Photo by: Greek Table Cooking
Fanouropita, the lost and found cake
Photo by: Greek Table Cooking


Until I watched Katerina (Not only a top chef, owner of the popular Maistrali Taverna  in Loutraki, but also a mine of information) making this symbolic cake, I had no idea about the wonderful story behind Saint Fanourios and the “Fanouropita”.


The “Fanouropita” the “Lost and found” cake is baked on the eve of the Feast Day of Saint Fanourios, the twenty seventh of August.



Saint Fanourios
Saint Fanourios


 As we made this cake way back in November, and I didn’t take notes, I badgered Katerina, by phone, during her busiest month; August, asking for details, so I dedicate this post to Katerina!


The “Fanouropita” is traditionally a Lenten cake, but many variations of the recipe are to be found.


Why is the “Fanouropita” called “The lost and found” cake?



Lost something? Say a prayer, and let Saint Fanourios find it for you!
Lost something?
Say a prayer, and let Saint Fanourios find it for you!



The "Fanouropita" is called the lost and found cake because it is associated with Saint Fanourios the holy martyr and miracle worker, whose name comes from the Greek word “Fanerono”, meaning “I reveal”, the Saint of lost things, lost souls, lost anything really, who, if you say a prayer to will “reveal” things you were careless enough to misplace!




Original icon of St. Fanourios. Rhodes.
Original icon of St. Fanourios. Rhodes.



Before the discovery of a small icon, depicting Saint Fanourios, was found on the Greek island of Rhodes in around 1500 AD, on the twenty seventh of August, not much was known about him at all.



The church of Saint Fanourios Rhodes.   The icon of St. Fanourios was found at the front, right corner on the right next to St. john the Baptist. It is only slightly visible.
The church of Saint Fanourios Rhodes.

 The icon of St. Fanourios was found at the front, right corner on the right next to St. john the Baptist. It is only slightly visible.


 Saint Fanourios’ mother was allegedly a scarlet woman, a sinner, a cruel and impatient woman, with no time for the poor, whom she treated in a most inhuman way.


Saint Fanourios, despite all her faults, loved his mother, and tried his best to save her, to make her change her ways, but all to no avail, and consequently, after her death, she went straight to hell.



Agios Fanourios  Doxa Lake Korinthias Photo by Stelios Kritikakis
Church of Saint Fanourios  Doxa Lake Korinthias
Photo by Stelios Kritikakis 


Even on being stoned to death, for defending and spreading the Christian faith, Saint Fanourios did not ask God’s help for himself, but begged God to forgive his mother, to grant her salvation, save her soul and let her rest in peace.



Church of Saint Fanourios Loutraki
Church of Saint Fanourios
Loutraki


Traditionally, the “lost and found” cake; “Fanouropita”, is baked on the twenty sixth of August, the eve of the Feast Day of Saint Fanourios, in memory of the saints’ mother, in order that her soul maybe saved and she can rest in peace.


It is prepared with either seven, or nine ingredients, symbolizing the seven (Or sometimes nine) sacred mysteries of The Greek Orthodox Church, named the sacraments in the Western church, or, the seven days of creation.


The seven sacred mysteries are:


1. Baptism


2. Confirmation


3. Confession


4. Holy Communion


5. Marriage


6. Ordination (Holy Orders)



7. Unction (The anointing of the sick)


The other two sacred mysteries seem to vary, as anything the Church does, is classed as sacred, but is usually consecration of the Church and the burial of the dead.




The Seven Sacraments, an altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1448
The Seven Sacraments, an altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1448



When preparing the cake, there should be a lighted candle and a sprig of thyme to hand.



“Fanouropita” – “Lost and Found Cake” 9 ingredients



Fanouropita
Lost and found cake
Photo: steliosparliaros.gr

Recipe from orthodoxtraditions.blogspot.gr


3 cups plain flour

1 cup sugar

¾ cup olive oil

¾ cup orange juice

½ cup brandy

½ cup raisins (or crushed walnuts)

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. clove powder

1 ½ tsp. baking powder


    Beat oil and sugar with electric mixer until dissolved and creamy yellow.


   Put the baking powder into the orange juice and stir making sure there are no lumps. Add it to the sugar and oil mix. Beat until combined.


    Then add brandy, cinnamon and clove powder.


     With the mixer at low speed, gradually add the flour. Then fold in fruit or walnuts.
     Grease a pan with oil and dust with sugar and flour. Then pour in batter.


     Bake in medium oven (fan-force 1800C) for about an hour or until inserting a toothpick into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool on a rack.


After being blessed in the Church, the cake is cut into forty pieces, symbolising the forty days of the soul in purgatory, and shared among neighbours, friends and family, it should be eaten by at least seven people.



More than 600 Fanouropita blessed at the monastery of Saints Adrian and Natalia, Argos 27 August 2011 Photo : Studio B&G
More than 600 Fanouropita blessed at the monastery of Saints Adrian and Natalia, Argos
27 August 2011
Photo : Studio B&G

In Crete, Cyprus, the island of Skiathos and in Florina, it is said that the sharing of “Fanouropita” will help unmarried girls to find a husband, others bake the cake to help people find their right path in life, for good luck, and to help farmers find stolen animals.



More Saints of The Greek Orthodox Church






26 Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands


Filmed in Greece Saronico Photo Nais Athanasakou
Filmed in Greece
Saronico
Photo:
Nais Athanasakou


Location, location, location, that’s what it’s all about, and what better location is there than Greece, with her sparkling deep blue seas, and sunny skies, the land of mystical mythology?


Many a film producer, through the years, seems to have agreed, and chose glorious Greece as the backdrop for some memorable films, and now,  brilliant news:  the island of Syros may soon be home to a Hollywood film studio and film school!

 With the finalization of the The Greek Film Project in Syros”, we may be about to see many more films made in Greece, a great promotion for Greek tourism!


Syros Greece
Syros
Greece


Why not have another look at 26 famous films shot in Greece, I guarantee, after seeing the beautiful landscape, you’ll be on the next plane leaving for the land of the Gods!


In chronological order:


1. 1957 Boy on a Dolphin


Statue of "Boy on a Dolphin" Hydra
Statue of "Boy on a Dolphin"
Hydra

Director Jean Negulesco

Starring Sophia Loren and Alan Ladd

Location:

 Hydra Greece, Poros Greece, Athens Greece, Rhodes Greece, Corinth Greece, Mykonos Greece and Delos Greece.

The first Hollywood movie filmed in Greece, and Sophia Loren’s English debut.



Sophia Loren "Boy on a Dolphin"
Sophia Loren
"Boy on a Dolphin"


Phaedra (Sophia Loren), an impoverished sponge diver, one day, whilst diving from the boat of her good-for-nothing, deceitful, illegal immigrant Albanian boyfriend, Rhif, unearths an ancient Greek statue of a  Boy on a Dolphin

Things come to a head when Sophia wants to sell the statue and Rhif tries to thwart her plans.



2. 1960 Never on Sunday


The port of Piraeus Greece
The port of Piraeus
Greece

Director Jules Dassin

Starring Melina Mercouri, Jules Dassin, Georgos Foundas.
(In real life Melina Mercouri eventually marries Jules Dassin)

Location:

 Piraeus Greece


Melina Mercuri "Never on Sunday"
Melina Mercuri
"Never on Sunday"

 
Ilya (Melina Mercouri), is a fun-loving, larger than life prostitute, entertaining the dock workers of Piraeus, but Never on Sunday!

Along comes Homer Thrace (Dassin), a would-be philosopher from America, whose intent is to save Ilya from herself.



3. 1961 The Guns of Navarone


St Paul's Bay  Rhodes, Greece
St Paul's Bay
Rhodes, Greece


Director J. Lee Thompson

Starring Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn

Location:

 The Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes Greece, St Nicholas Bay, Rhodes Greece, Rhodes harbor Greece.



David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker, James Darren,  and Anthony Quayle in The Guns of Navarone
David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker, James Darren,
 and Anthony Quayle in The Guns of Navarone 


Based on the novel by Alisatair Maclean, 
The Guns of Navarone is set in 1943, the axis powers (Germany, Italy, Japan) are planning to attack 2000 British soldiers stranded on the island of Kheros.

Six allied soldiers disguised as Greek fishermen, sail across the Aegean, overwhelm the crew of a German patrol boat, and, on landing, meet up with the Greek resistance.



4. 1962 The 300 Spartans 

Lake Vouliagmeni Heraion Loutraki
Lake Vouliagmeni
Heraion
Loutraki

Director Rudolph Maté

Starring Richard Egan, Ralph Richardson, Diane Baker

Location:

 Athens Greece, Loutraki Greece, Perachora Greece, Lake Vouliagmeni, HERAION Greece (Loutraki…home sweet home to us!)



The 300 Spartans
The 300 Spartans


The 300 SpartansA true story; in 480 BC, 300 tough SPARTAN soldiers, led by King Leonidas, against all odds, ward off the invading Persian army of 250.000 at the Battle of Thermopolai.



5. 1963 America America


Parthenon, Athens  Greece
Parthenon, Athens
 Greece 

Director Elia Kazan

Starring Stathis Giallelis, Frank Wolff, Elena Karam.

Location:

 Turkey, Athens Greece, New York



Movie poster "America America"
Movie poster
"America America"


 America America was inspired by the life of the director Elia Kazan’s own uncle. (The Character Stavros in the film).

Stavros, a young boy born in a poor village in Ottoman Turkey in the late 1890s has a dream, a dream of life in America.

After witnessing the massacre, by the Turks, of Greeks and Armenians, Stavros heads to Istanbul to help fund a carpet shop, but on the way, loses the family fortune which has been entrusted to him.

After living on the streets, narrowly escaping an arranged marriage and an affair with a married woman, Stavros, at last, boards the SS Kaiser Wilhelm for America.

Working his way up from a shoeshine boy, Stavros saves every dime he earns and eventually manages to bring his family over to America.




6. 1963 A summer Holiday


Acropolis of Athens Greece
Acropolis of Athens
Greece

Director Peter Yates

Starring Cliff Richard, Lauri Peters, Melvyn Hayes.

Location:

 Athens, Greece, Aldenham Bus Depot, Aldenham, Hertfordshire, England, UK, The Elstree Studios of Associated British Picture Corporation, Hertfordshire, England, UK.



Cliff Richard "Summer Holiday" Athens Greece
Cliff Richard
"Summer Holiday"
Athens Greece


In this musical: Summer Holiday four bus mechanics, soup up a London double-decker bus, transforming it into a hotel and tour around Europe, picking up girls along the way, little do they know that one girl is a runaway!

On reaching Athens, all the passengers on the bus are arrested for kidnapping.




7. 1964 Zorba the Greek


Chania Liighthouse Crete
Chania Liighthouse
Crete

Director Mihalis Kakogiannis

Starring Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas, Lila Kedrova

Location:

 Kokkino Chorio, Crete Greece, Chania Crete Greece, Stavros Crete Greece (Zorba’s dance)

From the novel “Zorba The Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis



Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates "Zorba the Greek"
Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates
"Zorba the Greek"


Basil, half English, half Greek, typically British in his ways, meets Alexis Zorba, a Greek peasant, while they are both waiting at the port of Piraeus, to board a ship for Crete, where Basil’s family own land, and where Basil intends to reopen a lignite (A poor quality coal) mine.

Once in Crete, an unlikely friendship between Basil and Alexis leaves the wealthy, educated, English gentleman, having second thoughts as to if an education and a refined life are the be all and end all.

 The uneducated, coarse, Greek peasant Zorba, seems to have grasped what Basil has not: how to truly live life and be happy.



8.1976 Une femme à sa fenêtre


Delphi Greece
Delphi
Greece

(Language; French)

Director Pierre Granier-Deferre

Starring Romy Schneider, Philippe Noiret, Victor Lanoux.

Location:

 Athens Greece, Delphi Greece, Paris France.



Romy Schnieder "Une Femme a sa Fenetre"
Romy Schnieder
"Une Femme a sa Fenetre"


Une Femme A Sa Fenetre : It’s 1936, when, on 4th August, General Metaxas, declares martial law in Greece and Primoulis, a hard- nosed police officer, is after union leader, Boutris, who manages to escape by the skin of his teeth.

The next morning, after his narrow escape, Boutris climbs through the apartment window of Marchese Margot Santorini, the bored wife of Rico, penniless Italian playboy diplomat.
Margot aides Boutris with his getaway, falling in love with him into the bargain!



9. 1978 The Greek Tycoon


Mykonos  Greece
Mykonos
Greece

Director J. Lee Thompson

Starring Anthony Quinn, Jacqueline Bisset, Raf Vallone

Location:

 Athens Greece, Mykonos Greece, Corfu Greece, New York, London



Aristotle Onassis
Aristotle Onassis

The Greek Tycoon,  based on the life of Wealthy Greek shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis and his rocky marriage to Jacqueline Kennedy, former wife of John Kennedy, president of the United States of America.



10. 1981 For Your Eyes Only


Corfu Town, Corfu Tower of  St. Spyridon Greece
Corfu Town, Corfu
Tower of  St. Spyridon
Greece

Director John Glen

Starring Roger Moore, Carole Bouquet, Topol

Location:

 Aghia Triada Monastery, Meteora, Greece, Corfu Town, Corfu, Achillion Palace, Corfu Greece, Agios Spyridon Tower, Corfu Town Greece

For Your Eyes Only: The twelfth James Bond film 007 spy film.



Carole Bouquet as Melina, Roger Moore as James Bond  in For Your Eyes Only in 1981.
Carole Bouquet as Melina, Roger Moore as James Bond
 in For Your Eyes Only in 1981.


Whilst trying to locate a missile command system, Bond becomes entangled in a web of deception, spun by dodgy Greek business man, Aris Kristatos.

As bond tends to, he falls for beautiful  Melina, who is out to get revenge for the murder of her parents, marine archiologists.



11. 1983 Rembetiko 


Movie Poster for "Rembetiko"
Movie Poster for "Rembetiko"


(Language:Greek)

Director Costas Ferris

Starring Sotiria Leonardou, Nikos Kalogeropoulos, Michalis Maniatis

Location:

 Greece


Sotiria Leornadou, Michalis Maniatis "Rembetiko"
Sotiria Leornadou, Michalis Maniatis
"Rembetiko"


Based on the life of Marika Ninou, a Rembetiko singer, born in Smyrna (Asia Minor) 1917, who was deported, together with her family at the age of seven, to Greece, where her family open a night club.

In the space of only a few years, Marika has witnessed her father murder her mother, run away from home, had a baby, and returned to the night club.

A truly wonderful film, learn all you need to know about the legendary Greek rembetiko blues HERE 



12. 1985 Eleni


  Movie poster for "Eleni"
Movie poster for "Eleni"

Director Peter Yates

Starring Kate Nelligan, John Malkovich, Linda Hunt 

Location:

 Greece, Canada, Spain, USA

From the book Eleni  by Nicholas Gage


John Malkovich "Eleni"
John Malkovich
"Eleni"


A tribute to his mother, Eleni, by Greek-American Nicholas Gage, a journalist at the New York Times, who, when posted to a bureau in Greece, decides to solve the murder of his mother by the communist guerrillas, when they invade her village during the Greek civil war.

 (“Greek civil war; 1946 to 1949 between the Greek government army (backed by the United Kingdom and the United States), and the Democratic Army of Greece (DSE, the military branch of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), backed by Yugoslavia and Albania as well as by Bulgaria” Wikipedia)




13. 1986 Shirley Valentine


Little Venice, Mykonos Greece
Little Venice, Mykonos
Greece

Director Lewis Gilbert

Starring   Pauline Collins, Tom Conti, Julia McKenzie.

Location:

 Mykonos Greece, London England, Liverpool England.



Pauline Collins as Shirley Valentine
Pauline Collins as Shirley Valentine

Shirley Valentine, a fed up, English housewife with a penchant for talking to walls, jumps at the chance of a holiday in Greece, when her friend drops out, Shirley travels to Mykonos alone.

Here begins a passionate, holiday, love affair with Greek waiter; Costas, and the beginning of Shirley’s life in Greece.



14. 1988 The Big Blue


View from Hozoviotissa Monastery - Amorgos Island, Greece
View from Hozoviotissa Monastery
 Amorgos Island, Greece

Director Luc Besson

Starring Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno, Rosanna Arquette

Location:

 Aghia Anna Amorgos,Greece, Le Grand Bleu Bar, Amorgos Greece, Kalotarritisa Bay Greece, (The Olympia shipwreck scene) Amorgos Greece, Ios island Greece, Sicily, Italy, Corsica, France, Peru.



 Jean Reno, Jean-Marc Barr,  "The Big Blue"
 Jean Reno, Jean-Marc Barr,
"The Big Blue"


 The Big Blue, a cult film, the heavily fictionalized story (In real life, neither diver reached 400 feet, and neither diver died whilst diving), of two friends, Enzio Maiorca(Jean Reno) and  and Jaques Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr ) both free divers, growing up in Greece in the 1960s, until their deaths in the 1980s.

Wonderful soundtrack Le Grand Bleu  by Eric Serra



15.1991 Mediterraneo


Kastelorizo Island  Greece
Kastelorizo Island
 Greece

(Language; Italian, Greek, Turkish, English)

Director Gabriele Salvatores

Starring Diego Abatantuono, Claudio Bigagli, Giuseppe Cederna, Vana Barba.

Location:

  Kastellorizo Island, Dodecannese, Greece

Academy Award for Best Foreign Film 1991



Movie poster for  "Mediterraneo"
Movie poster for
"Mediterraneo"


Set during WWII, Mediterraneo is about a group of Italian soldiers stranded on what they think is an abandoned Greek island, their mission to spot enemy ships, but there is not an enemy in sight.

The Greek inhabitants, mostly women and children, as the German’s have taken all the men, apart from the village priest, after watching the Italians from their hiding place, realize they are harmless, and come out of hiding, and make friends.

A lot of quirky characters!



16. 2001 Captain Correlli’s Mandolin


Kefalonia Greece
Kefalonia
Greece

Director John Madden

Starring Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, John Hurt.

Location:

Chorgota Beach, Komitata village, Sami harbor, Kefalonia, Greece.

Based on the book Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières.




Captain Correlli's Mandolin - Nicolas Cage & Penelope Cruz
Captain Correlli's Mandolin -
Nicolas Cage & Penelope Cruz


It’s1941, WWII, Italy has allied with the Germans and invaded Greece, Italian Soldiers are stationed on the remote Greek island of Kefalonia to keep its inhabitants in check.

Happy go lucky Captain Antonio Correlli, makes the best of a bad job, integrates with the locals, entertaining them with his mandolin, his passion in life.

Pelargia, the local doctor’s daughter, engaged to a fisherman who is away at war, against her better judgment, slowly falls in love with Antonio.

In 1943, Italy surrenders to the allies, what will be stronger, the couples love for each other, or the love for their respective countries?




17. 2002 The Bourne Identity


Mykonos Greece
Mykonos
Greece

Director Doug Liman

Starring Franka Potente, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper. 

Location:

 Mykonos, Greece (Final scenes), Sea Satin Market, Little Venice, Mykonos Greece (Scooter rental scene), Czech Republic, France, Italy, Spain.
Based on Robert Ludlum's novel, “The Bourne Identity”.



Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in  "The Bourne Identity"
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in
"The Bourne Identity"


In the The Bourne Identity, a wounded man is found by fishermen, who nurse him back to health, but, once he has his heath back, he realizes his memory is gone.

The unknown man tries to find clues to his identity, using a Swiss bank account number, and soon finds he is being hunted, and so the adventure starts, he’s on a mission to find out who he is and why he’s being hunted.



18. 2003 A Touch of Spice


Plaka Athens Greece
Plaka
Athens
Greece

(“The original Greek title is Πολίτικη Κουζίνα (Politiki Kouzina) which means Cuisine of the City and refers to the Cuisine of Constantinople.

 However, in the film's promotional material, the word Politiki of the title is depicted in capital letters, therefore allowing an alternative reading of the title, due to the lack of punctuation, as Πολιτική Κουζίνα (Politiki Kouzina) which means Political Cuisine signifying the important role that politics played in the lives of the main characters.

The Turkish title, "Bir Tutam Baharat" A Touch of Spice "A Touch of Spice".)


(Language: Greek, Turkish, English)

Director Tassos Boulmetis

Starring Georges Corraface, Ieroklis Michaelidis, Renia Louizidou

Location:

 Athens Greece, Lavrio Greece, Istanbul Turkey.



Grandfather Vassillis "Touch of Spice"
Grandfather Vassillis
"Touch of Spice"


In the film, Fanis reminisces about growing up in Istanbul, where his grandfather Vassillis, owned a grocery store, specializing in spices.

Due to political unrest, in 1964, Fanis and his family are deported from Istanbul by the Turks, and begin a new life in Athens, Greece, Vassillis, his grandfather, stays behind in Turkey.

The only way Fanis can come up with, to keep the link to his grandfather alive, is to cook, using all his grandfather’s culinary secrets of the “Politiki” cuisine; which spice goes best with this, which spice goes best with that.

Vassillis has promised to visit Fanis in Athens, but that promise is never kept, and, after thirty years, when Vassillis is ill, and near death, Fanis returns to Istanbul, where he meets up with his old friend Saime.

Reflecting on life, Fanis realizes that he never took his grandfather’s advice, he never did put a little spice in his life.



19. 2004 Brides- Nyfes (Νύφες)


Andros island, Greece
Andros island, Greece


(Language; Greek, Russian, Italian, Turkish)

Director Pantelis Voulgaris

Starring Damian Lewis, Victoria Haralabidou, Andréa Ferréol. 

Location:

 Andros Greece, Athens Greece, Crete Greece, Kastoria Greece. 


"Brides (Nyfes)"   Damien Lewis
"Brides (Nyfes)"
 Damien Lewis 


Nyfes (Brides): Set in 1922, during the Greco-Turkish war; “The Asia Minor Catastrophe”, and the Russian civil war, men are scarce, and so, the women from these countries, look elsewhere for a husband.

After corresponding with immigrants, 700 women board the SS King Alexander, clutching only a photograph, with a name; they head for a new life, with an unknown husband in America.

The ultimate "Mail order bride" !



20. 2008 Mama Mia


Skopelos Island Greece
Skopelos Island
Greece 

Director Phyllida Lloyd

Starring: Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Amanda Seyfried.

Location:


Agios Ioannis Chapel, Skopelos, Greece (wedding procession), Kastani Beach, Skopelos, Greece, Damouchari, Pelion, Greece.


Meryl Streep "Mama Mia"
Meryl Streep
"Mama Mia"

Bride-to-be, twenty year old Sophia, lives on the Greek island of “Kalokairi”, with her mother Donna, who owns a small hotel.

One day, on finding her mother’s diary, Sophie discovers that any one of three men may be her father, and, without telling her mother, invites all three to the wedding which is to be held on the island, Mamma Mia! 



21. 2009 Dogtooth 


Stairs in Pagrati neighborhood, Athens.  Greece
Stairs in Pagrati neighborhood, Athens.
Greece

(Κυνόδοντας- Kynodontas original title)
(Language; Greek)

Director Yorgos Lanthimos

Starring Christos Stergioglou, Michele Valley, Angeliki Papoulia. 

Location

Athens Greece

Dogtooth was nominated for Best Foreign Film, Academy Awards 2011, plus it has won too many other awards to mention!



Yorgos Lanthimos Director of "Dogtooth"
Yorgos Lanthimos
Director of "Dogtooth"


The second film from Greek director, Yorgos Lanthimos :Over protective parents, won’t allow their three teenage children out into the world until their “dogteeth” fall out, they live in isolation, listening to homemade tapes, to aid their vocabulary, in a large, isolated, country house.

 A weird "Greek wave" thriller, Greek critic Dimitris Danikas gave the film a rating of eight out of ten and characterizes it as "black, surreal, nightmarish." 



22. 2013 Before Midnight


iew from Patrick Leigh Fermor's garden in Kardamyli Greece
View from Patrick Leigh Fermor's garden in Kardamyli
Greece

Director Richard Linklater

Starring Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick.

Location:

Kardamyli, Messinia, Greece, The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, Messinia, Greece, Patrick Leigh Fermor's house - Kardamyli, Messinia, Greece (house where Jesse and Céline spend their Greek holiday), Pylos, Greece (street scenes), Kalamata International Airport - Kalamata, Messinia, Greece (Jesse and Hank at the airport in the opening scene).



Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy "Before Midnight"
Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
"Before Midnight"



The third and final (so far!) of the Before  films proceeded by "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset".

It’s eighteen years since the French-American couple, Jesse and Celine, first met on a train in Vienna.

Now, living in Paris, they have taken a trip to Greece, can they save their marriage?




23. 2013 Little England (Mikra Anglia original title)


Andros Island Greece
Andros Island
Greece

(Language; Greek)

Director Pantelis Voulgaris

Starring Pinelopi Tsilika, Sofia Kokkali, Aneza Papadopoulou.

Location:

 Andros, Greece


"Little England" Photo: Nikos Nikolopoulos
"Little England"
Photo: Nikos Nikolopoulos


Little England : “One home, one secret, one man, two sisters.”

Orsa is passionately in love with lieutenant Spyros Maltabes, but tells no one, Moscha, her sister, wants to leave the island of Andros, where it’s a woman’s fate to marry a sailor, who are never  home, or drown at sea.

Their mother, Mina, knowing that love means heartache and trouble, and  disregarding the well-being and feelings of her daughters, conspires to arrange marriages for them both.

 Orsa is to marry  Captain Nikos,  and later, Moscha is to marry the now Captain, Spyros Maltabes, her sister's secret love.

 Their house is divided into two. Down stairs lives Orsa and Nikos, up stairs lives Moscha and Spyros, not a good recipe for their happiness!



24. 2014 The Two Faces of January


Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheum   Acopolis Athens, Greece
Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheum
 Acopolis Athens, Greece

Director Hossein Amini

Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac.

Location:

Athens Greece, Chania Crete Greece, Iraklion Crete Greece, Istanbul Turkey.


Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst "The Two Faces of January"
Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst
"The Two Faces of January"


The Two Faces of January : An American couple, Chester MacFarland and his younger wife Colette, arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinth Canal.

While sightseeing on the Acropolis, Chester and Colette meet the Greek-speaking tour guide, Rydal, who is scamming tourists, and Rydal accepts their invitation to dinner.

When at the couple’s hotel, Chester and Colette shock Ryder by asking him to help them move the body of a man, whom Chester says attacked him.

Rydal agrees to help the couple and finds himself in a situation he can’t wriggle his way out of.



25. 2015 Cloudy Sunday (Ouzeri Tsitsanis original title)


Thessaloniki, Greece
Thessaloniki, Greece


(Language; Greek)

Director Manousos Manousakis

Starring Andreas Konstantinou, Haris Fragoulis,Christina Hilla Fameli.

Location;

 Greece


Henri Cartier-Bresson - Zeibekiko dancer in a café. Piraeus. Greece. 1953.
Henri Cartier-Bresson - Zeibekiko dancer in a café. Piraeus. Greece. 1953.


Ouzeri Tsitsanis: Greece. WWII, under German occupation, Christian, Giorgos, falls in love with Jewish, Estrea (Thessaloniki has a large 500 year old Jewish community), something frowned on by their families.

The story evolves in the “Ouzeri” where Tsitsanis, famous Greek composer and singer of “Rembetiko”- the blues, works.

German officers, Greek collaborators, black marketers, and undercover resistance fighters, mingle together in this story of betrayal, love and treachery.



26. 2016  Roza of Smyrna

(Η Ρόζα της Σμύρνης- original title)


Cafe in Agiassos, Lesvos - Greece
Cafe in Agiassos, Lesvos
 Greece

(Language; Greek, English, Turkish)

Director George Kordellas

Starring Tasos Nousias, Leda Protopsalti, Evgenia Dimitropoulou

Location:

Athens Greece, Agassios Lesvos Greece, Izmir Turkey.


Tasos Nousias, Leda Protopsalti and Evgenia Dimitropoulou "Rosa of Smyrna"
Tasos Nousias, Leda Protopsalti and Evgenia Dimitropoulou
"Rosa of Smyrna"


Roza and Ismael have a secret, a secret they have kept for decades.

While on a trip to Izmir, with the curator of a renowned Athens museum, Dimitris is looking for objects for his exhibition about the Culture of Nationalities who lived together in Izmir before the genocide. 

In an antique shop in Izmir, Dimitris comes across an old photograph, a wedding dress soiled with blood and a letter.


 There are some wonderful films here, my favorites are, in order of best first, “Zorba the Greek”, wow, did he know how to live!

“The Big Blue”, could watch it over and over again, “A touch of Spice”, and then the Greek rembetiko era: “Rembetiko”, “Roza of Smyrna” and “Cloudy Sunday”.

How many have you seen?

Have I missed any? Let me know !




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