Schoolwave on the Rocks: Greek Film Festival

Fouli Christmann

Clearly focussing on the Greek youth music experience (in Schoolwave on the Rocks, part of the Greek Film Festival), the documentary nevertheless references music movements in Europe and America. With globalization, it doesn’t matter if you are from a Greek village, the whole world has become a global village.
Schoolwave on the Rocks: Greek Film Festival
Schoolwave on the Rocks: Greek Film Festival Over the last four years, school students from around Greece and Europe have congregated in Athens for an annual music festival known as ‘Schoolwave’ that is held in the Theatre of Rocks in Virona. Covering rock, metal, pop, hip-hop, punk, ska, jam blues and traditional music, these students are on a mission to play to a like-minded audience. You get a sense of the passion and agony of these kids. Part of a sub-culture in Greece, some of them feel different and excluded in remote parts. To be with other musicians and jam is a fantastic opportunity. The standard is high as 21 groups are selected to play from an original number of 250 bands. Those that are attending are interviewed on the spot by a roving reporter. Hand held camera techniques give immediacy, if sometimes haphazard effect, but you get a feel of the excitement and nervousness of these kids. Off-stage they seem like kids, but on-stage they are fully in control. The documentary is supplemented with ample footage from the festival with glimpses of the many diverse bands and styles. Filmed in video clip style, it tantalizes the viewer. Your pulse beats with the rock and metal, swoops with the hip-hop and cruises with the ballads. The performances are very polished, but you never forget that these are just kids as Mum, Dad and Grandma are in the audience to support them. At times some of the behaviour seems that little bit childish as we are told what lengths the performers have gone to attend the festival. Fans will enjoy this targeted documentary and in particular the cameo appearance by musician Alkinoos Ioannidis who humbly explains that he has defects and continues to work on himself as an artist. Clearly focussing on the Greek youth music experience, the documentary nevertheless references music movements in Europe and America. With globalization, it doesn’t matter if you are from a Greek village, the whole world has become a global village. Documentary-maker Alexandros Grammatopoulos at the age of 33 is the veteran Director of 70 video music clips and the 2004 Greek Olympics. His ideas are triggered by music or particular lyrics, or from random events. One video clip with the famous Dalaras took inspiration from the shapes of the foam on the car windscreen at the car wash. He takes great care with his craft and is trusted implicitly by the major stars in Greece. It is true that one star was hung upside down during filmmaking to the point of fainting. He will go to extremities, but in the Schoolwave documentary, treats his young charges with absolute respect and sensitivity. Schoolwave on the Rocks: Greek Film Festival Directed by Alexandros Grammstopoulos 16th Annual Greek Film Festival Melbourne – 2 -13 September Sydney – 9 – 20 September Brisbane – 25 – 27 September Adelaide – October 1 – 5 October

About the author

Fouli Christmann is a Melbourne based writer. She loves exploring Melbourne and embraces the City’s search for cultural enlightenment. She last attended the Melbourne Open City Walks and discovered some previously unknown corners. She is usually found at one of the many festivals including the Greek, Italian and German Film Festivals. With links to these countries by birthright and marriage she has acquired an extensive knowledge of their idiosyncracies and foibles. She enjoys winding down by cooking for family and friends and trying out the restaurant of the moment. When not attending the latest cultural offering, she can be found at work in the Australian Public Service.