A middle-aged man grappling together with his thwarted ambitions grows obsessive about a lovely younger lady. The fallout threatens to unravel the fraying seams of his precarious, annoyed life in Stergios Paschos’ “The Final Taxi Driver,” which world premieres in the primary competitors this week on the Thessaloniki Worldwide Movie Competition.
Produced by Athens-based Filmiki, Paschos’ sophomore function stars Kostas Koronaios, Marissa Triantafyllidou, Ektoras Liatsos and rising actress Klelia Andriolatou, final seen in Netflix’s first Greek unique, “Maestro in Blue.” It’s certainly one of 4 movies from first- and second-time Greek administrators vying for the Golden Alexander in Thessaloniki.
“The Final Taxi Driver” follows Thomas (Koronaios), who works the night time shift behind the wheel of a yellow cab and lives together with his spouse, Maria (Triantafyllidou), and their teenage son, Tassos (Liatsos). A poetic soul who studied literature in college, he’s by no means fairly managed to reside as much as his expectations, going by way of the motions of a annoyed household life.
That life is abruptly upended when a buyer commits suicide whereas Thomas watches, aghast, by way of the rearview mirror. He quickly meets Eleni (Andriolatou), the useless man’s long-lost daughter, and develops a passionate attachment when he convinces himself that she gives a means out of his dead-end life — an obsession that pushes Thomas to the brink.
Talking to Selection forward of the movie’s premiere, Paschos says “The Final Taxi Driver” was impressed by his reflections on life, getting old and the numerous roads not taken as we get older. “I at all times had a worry that if I wasn’t capable of fulfill some goals that I had, that possibly I might find yourself round 50, with lots of suppressed emotions inside me,” he says. Within the character of Thomas, he provides, he sees a person that “might be me in 15 years from now, residing a completely totally different life.”
The movie marks the director’s long-awaited follow-up to his 2016 debut, “Afterlov,” which scooped the Youth Jury Prize for greatest image after its premiere at Locarno’s Cineasti del Presente. Bringing the movie to completion was a protracted journey, marred by funding challenges in Greece, the dramatic interruption of the coronavirus pandemic and the very nature of the script itself. “Every part with this movie was tough — from scratch up till the very finish,” Paschos says. “When you’ve got an thought, you by no means know the way tough it will likely be to deliver it to life.”
That problem owed partially to the character of the movie’s inward journey. For on a regular basis he spends behind the wheel of his taxi, Thomas’ most essential vacation spot is, paradoxically, an inside one — one thing that doesn’t simply lend itself to an onscreen depiction. “Largely, the movie is sort of a psychic panorama, and this isn’t one thing straightforward to put in writing. And likewise, not straightforward to promote,” Paschos says, laughing.
The director acknowledges that his character examine bears a minimum of a passing resemblance to the ’70s cinematic basic by Martin Scorsese referenced within the title — one other portrait of a troubled cab driver slowly coming undone on the seams. However for essentially the most half, he says, that’s the place the similarities finish.
“I wish to keep away from evaluating the 2 movies. I don’t wish to evaluate my movie with this masterpiece,” says Paschos, who counts amongst his greatest influences a landmark of American cinema that earned an Oscar nomination for main man Robert De Niro.
“It’s a masterpiece that has affected me in some ways, and I feel that items of the center of the unique ‘Taxi Driver’ are in all places in movie historical past…. However I don’t assume [‘The Last Taxi Driver’] is comparable in its movie language.”
Paschos says he “needed to make a movie that appears like a noir movie, that performs with this style, but additionally to be an existential movie — a noir movie that there’s no good man or dangerous man. There’s just one confused man, however he’s on the lookout for himself — not another person,” he continues. “The difficulty is inside, not outdoors. It’s one thing that he has to beat in himself.”
The director, whose first movie straddled the road between drama and comedy, says he doesn’t imagine in “pure genres” in terms of recreating life onscreen. “You possibly can at all times discover room to play with genres — with screwball, with romance. I like this concept, this playfulness. I like after I see in movies the tone to alter quickly,” he says. “I like this factor of shock. I feel it higher captures the essence of life, that may be all these items collectively.”
The Thessaloniki Worldwide Movie Competition runs Nov. 2 – 12.