Trois jours en Grèce (Three days in Greece)

Jean-Daniel Pollet

Jean-Daniel Pollet used to say that Greece was his “second home”. He encountered it in 1962, at the age of twenty-six, during the journey that preceded the making of Méditerranée (1963). On his return, he spent several months locked up in a cellar looking for the montage, which he found one Easter day. Never before had we seen such a thing: a series of images that return and are arranged in a fugue whose loops replay the circularity of the journey around the Middle Sea. Over the years, Pollet never stopped going back to Greece, filming some of his major films there. In 1991, Three days in Greece closed the series. The filming, three decades after the first trip, would be his last stay in the motherland. The last Greek film, it is also, in accordance with the deep law of Pollet’s cinema, a return to the origin, remake, reworking and relaunching of Méditerranée. Reinvention of its broken circularity, of its syncopated pace, the same vertigo danced above the abyss, but untied, unfolded, lightened or lifted by the grace of a new serenity... Pollet’s cinema, transported by the spirit of dance, reaches in Trois jours en Grèce the amplitude of a cosmogony. (Cyril Neyrat)

In a classic film, Belmondo gets out of a car, enters a restaurant, goes to the phone. We follow him. It’s not editing, even if there are connections, several shots: we just follow him, from one shot to the next. The ellipsis — you cut a little bit of time and the viewer is supposed to understand what you cut — it’s still not really editing, you have to cut even more — you don't know why you go from one shot to another. Then you get a certain logic, poetry... For me, this language comes naturally: there, long live the editing and the mechanism of dreams soaked in the unconscious!... long live the editing at night just before going to sleep. An enlightening montage, as with dreams, where there is no other logic than that of the unconscious. A logic which is that of happiness or that of suffering.” (Jean-Daniel Pollet)


Greek / French spoken, English subtitles
Restored version courtesy of La Traverse / English subtitles created by Courtisane