Panagiotis Mentis, Landscapes with a woman
A synthesis of women’s monologues: A divorced French literature teacher, a woman who sunbathes, a lady with her dog… Charming, comical, hysterical, lonesome women joined by their need to confess, unfold their stories, sometimes with humour and sometimes with desperation, outlining the social context which shapes them and in whose shaping they contribute.
WOMAN: Take a picture of me. Why keep the film otherwise? A picture with the kids in my arms… Where are the kids? Call them, they’ll be out playing… No, I won’t close the shutters. Why close the shutters? The people are staring? Let them. I want to see and be seen. I am here. I am still here. You’ve filled the album with landscapes. If I wanted landscapes, I’d buy postcards. I wanted to be in there, too. Take a picture of me, you bastard!… Stop finding excuses. You begged me? When did you beg me? Before the Lions’ Gate? To feed me to the lions? I wanted a picture with the herons. I wasn’t interested in the Lions’ Gate… The herons at Porto Lagos. The herons, flying. So what if they were flying. You were scared, you coward, you skinflint; scared of wasting the film… You had pleased me. A favour… one favour, for my sake… The herons! What a beautiful time we had — I had: In everything beautiful, you were always absent to me… I never laughed? Who, me? I remember laughing my heart out. The marathon runner! How classy, how polite, what a gentleman!… Did you know that at the end of an event the athletes fall down and thrash about to exhaust their energy? You didn’t know… But you were worried. You got jealous. Inferiority complex! You found him quaint. “An illiterate kid.” Who was illiterate? The marathon runner, illiterate? We were all hanging from his lips. Then, to spite me, you declared: “He lacks a university education!”. Well, fuck you, Mr. graduate! He had travelled around the world! His words took you to places. What could you ever utter? Did you ever tell the kids one story? To me… If only you could find a lie to tell me so that I could dream one night. I’d go to bed and I knew. Now he’ll go to the window. He’ll open it to let the cigarette smell out. Now he’ll wash the goddamn ashtray. Now he’ll go to the bathroom. He’ll clean his fake teeth with the three different brushes. He’ll floss his real teeth one by one. He’ll pee, wipe himself, have a bidet. He’ll wash his hands and feet. His toes one by one, endlessly. His creepy toes, endlessly! He’ll go out to check the locks a second time. He’ll shut the windows, switch off the television, the heater… I’d wrap myself with the sheet like a shroud and lie there frozen. I froze, terrified that you might touch me. Do you know what I detested the most about you? That you didn’t have a human smell… The marathon runner… I should have left with him!… I’d open the mattress for him to lie down after training. I’d hold him in my arms to calm him. I’d listen to his heart, longing for victory. And when he won… It’s in the papers, he wins all the time!
Director: Natasa Triantafylli
Lighting: Nikos Vlasopoulos
Actors: Lena Papaligoura, Ioanna Pappa