Almost by accident I was introduced to Temenos by sitting in on P. Adams Sitney’s showing of Markopoulos’ films at Princeton University. The course was titled, The Image of Greece in European Cinema. As the film screenings were open to the pubic and as I live in Princeton, teach film, and was keen to know more about my Greek heritage, I made sure I attended whenever possible. The Illiac Passion was shown that night along with a few of Robert Beaver’s (Markopoulos’ partner) films. Mr. Beavers presented the films and spoke about Temenos where every four years Markopoulos’ films are shown in a remote area of the Peloponnesus under the stars. I was on fire. The thought of seeing Markopoulos’ films in a meadow high in the Peloponnesus ignited my imagination. I vowed I would go to the next one. I kept my promise; however, I added to my motivation by applying and getting a Fulbright grant to research Markopoulos, his drive and his creation of community. As Robert Beavers said at this year’s Temonos, the showing of Markopoulos’s films which are free and without any commercial restraint provide an artistic respite for the filmmakers who attend -a community, certainly.
I looked forward to participating in this three day “community forming.” However, circumstances altered my place in this newly formed group. Since my son and I had a car, we were not housed in Loutra Iraias where most of those attending were housed, but, instead, almost 30 minutes away in Rafti. Consequently, we were somewhat isolated from the rest of the group. Also, we didn’t arrive until close to 7 P.M. the first day, another consequence of driving from Athens and getting lost on several occasions. By the time we got to our rooms, we were too tired from the stress of driving and didn’t make the first night’s celebration in Lyssarea where the films are shown.
Robert Beavers, when speaking to the group on Sunday, told of how a friend of his described him and Markopoulos as a “society of two.” My son and I for the most part were a “community of two.” Nevertheless, the thrill of making our way to each evening’s films and the experience of the films themselves created exhilarating and challenging discussions as we made our way back to Rafti in the middle of the night . As an undergraduate sculpture major, he had ideas about what art should do to an observer. I defended Markopoulos’ intentions while he questioned if those intentions made their mark with the audience,