Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Athens Silhouette 1956

A terrific sample of graphic design in the cultural column of the Greek evening newspaper Apogeumatini from 1956. Two 1930s fonts, "Evening" in black and "Hours" in white, float over a silhouette of the Athenian skyline. The city is drawn as an architectural section. The darkness suggests the sun's setting and pronouncement of evening outings. The afternoon hours are bracketed between siesta and nightfall. A second daily awakening is dramatized between the Acropolis on the left and Lycabettus Hill on the right, or between the Parthenon and the chapel of Saint George. The space between the two natural formations contains the cultural heart of Athens: Plaka, Monastiraki, Ermou, Omonia, the National Gardens, Vasilisis Sofias, Kolonaki.

The setting of the sun and the sweetness of urban darkness also marks a new social adventure, the watching of films. The newspaper graphic, in fact, is taken from a clipping that the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation has scanned and made available on line, where the director discusses the release of his movie debut. Windfall in Athens is one of the earliest movies to explore Athenian topography in its narrative, although the indoor scenes were actually filmed in a studio in Cairo. For the entire clipping, see "Ο κ. Μιχάλης Κακογιάννης ομιλεί δια τον Ελληνικόν κινηματογράφον," Apogeumatini (1956)

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Kostis Kourelis

Philadelphia, PA, United States