Mystery 62 | Nights of Slowness – Discourses about Time: L’ange by Patrick Bokanowski


2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture presents an evening dedicated to rare, legendary, French experimental film L’ange (The Angel, 1982) by Patrick Bokanowski, on Wednesday, October 20, at 18.00, in the courtyard of the church of Agios Nikolaos, within the archaeological site of Elefsina. Against the backdrop of the full moon of October, the second this year’s event of Mystery 62 entitled “Nights of Slowness – Discourses about Time”, focuses again on the concept of time, presenting a film with innovative techniques of experimental cinema and animation, in the presence of its creator. The screening of the 65-minute film will be followed by a public discussion with the director and his wife, Michèle Bokanowski, who has composed the film’s music. In addition, the musician Buildings at night will create original music material especially for the event, with the theme of the passage of time in dreams. The event’s artistic direction is carried out by the director and musician Alexandros Voulgaris (The Boy).

The event “Nights of Slowness” is part of the section of events entitled “Ordinary Mysteries“. This year’s program of “Nights of Slowness’ highlights the common aspects of the cinematic language of European cinema and showcases European artists who have made revolutionary changes in its history.

A few words about Patrick and Michèle Bokanowski

Patrick Bokanowski is a French director who makes experimental and animated films. He was born on June 23, 1943 in Algiers, French Algeria.  Bokanowski develops work between the traditional cinematographic genres: short film, experimental film, and animation. His manner of treating filmic material is his research at the frontier of optical and visual arts, always in an “in-between” to create. He calls into question the idea that cinema’s essence should be to reproduce reality, that is, our habits of thinking and feeling. His films contradict the “objectivity” of photography that is solidly essential to most of the global film productions. Bokanowski’s experiments, with the aim of opening cinema to other expressive possibilities – for example the “warping” of objective lenses (though he prefers the term “subjective”) – testify to purely mental visions that ignore conventional representations, affecting reality, transforming, and giving the viewer of his films new perceptual adventures.

L’ange (1982) is his most important work. It is accompanied by a soundtrack made by his wife, Michèle Bokanowski, and released on the 2003 CD album, L’Ange’, by the label trAace. According to Raphaël Bassan, a French journalist and film critic who specializes in experimental films and the history of cinema, in his article “L’Ange: Un météore dans le ciel de l’animation” (La Revue du cinéma, n ° 393, April 1984), the work of Patrick Bokanowski can be considered as the beginning of modern animation.

His filmography includes the films: La Femme qui se poudre (1972), Déjeuner du matin (1974), L’Ange (1982), La Part du hasard (1984), La Plage (1992), Au bord du lac ( 1993), Flammes (1998), Le Canard à l’orange (2002), Eclats d’Orphée (2002), Le Rêve éveillé (2003), Battements solaires (2008), Un Rêve (2014), Un Rêve Solaire (2016) ), L’envol (2018), L’indomptable (2018).

Michèle Bokanowski is a French composer. She was born in Cannes, on August 9, 1943, and , and was educated in traditional music. She continued her studies in composition in Paris with Michel Puig and in electronic music in 1970 at the Service de la recherche de l’ORTF (ORTF) directed by Pierre Schaeffer. She also studied computer music at the Faculté de Vincennes and electronic music with Eliane Radigue.  After completing her studies, Bokanowski worked as a composer. She married Patrick Bokanowski and often collaborates with him for film, Catheringe Dasté for theater works, and choreographers Hideyuki Yano, Marceline Lartigue and Bernardo Montet for dance Shecomposes for concert performance, film, television, theatre and dance. Selected works include: Trois chambres d’inquiétude, Tabou, Chant d’ombre, Cirque, while she has composed soundtracks for films including: Battements solaires (2008), Le canard à l’orange (2002), Flammes (1998), Au bord du lac (1994), The Beach (1992), La part du hasard (1984), L ‘ange (1982), Déjeuner du matin (1974), The Woman Who Powders Herself (1972).

Photo: John-Kouskoutis

The Idea:

The Night of Slowness (Nuit de la Lenteur) was presented for the first time in Elefsina in 2018, in collaboration with the French Institute of Greece. It is part of an annual event, dedicated to the exchange and circulation of ideas, organized by French Institutes all across the globe. Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture repeats and further develops the action in 2021 with two key moments, under the title “Nights of Slowness – Discourses about Time / Nuits de Lenteur – A propos du Temps”. The Nights of Slowness are hosted twice a year, under the light of the full moon, and present a series of original discussions featuring distinguished guests, always focusing on the concept of time. At the same time, each event is accompanied by different cultural actions. The Nights of Slowness are here to introduce us to the art of slowness, and to slow down the frantic pace of a world that moves way too fast.

The first this year’s event of Mystery 62 took place in June 2021 and included speeches by director Sylla Tzoumerka and film critic Alexandros Papageorgiou, with the participation of composer Yannis Veslemes.

Event schedule
Arrival: 18:00
Buildings at night: 18:30
L’ange – Movie screening: 19:00
Discussion with Patrick Bokanowski & Michele Bokanowski: 20:15
Buildings at night: 21:30

Useful Information:

It is recommended that guests bring a bottle of water (In the Courtyard of Agios Nikolaos, there is no refreshment stand) and cushions or mats or some other cloth for the ground. 

Accessibility: The event space is accessible by a continuous ramp from Sotiriou Gioka Street. It is noted that it has a very steep slope and may need a companion to help people with mobility problems.

During all Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture events, all the necessary measures are taken, in accordance with the relevant health protocols, for the safety of both the public and each event’s employees.

Free Admission with Entry Pass 

It is required to book your free pass here until October 20 at 17.00. Additional entry passes will be given, based on availability, one (1) hour before the start of the event and until they are sold out, at the entrance of the venue (Sotiriou Gioka 11, Hierophanton Square, Church of Agios Nikolaos. See the map here). 

Capacity: 100 seats