The Travelling Players (1975), a four-hour masterwork that established Theo Angelopoulos's reputation. Photograph: Artificial Eye
Now in his late 70s, Angelopoulos has been Greece's premier cinéaste for 40 years, a heroic international art-house figure making ambitious epic movies on major political, spiritual and mythical themes, usually at great length, at times overblown.
The first volume of three is dominated by the four-hour masterwork that established his reputation, The Travelling Players (1975).
A leftwing interpretation of Greece's turbulent history from 1939 to 1952 much influenced by Brecht and Jancsó, it traces in long, elaborate, fluid takes the adventures of an emblematic troupe of itinerant actors.
The forthcoming second volume contains five equally expansive works, all long, serious, pessimistic and visually impressive.
Each is a painful odyssey in time and space that ultimately repays the demands it makes on the audience. Two of them star Marcello Mastroianni in uptight mode (The Beekeeper,The Suspended Step of the Stork). Volume 3 will contain Ulysses' Gaze, an astonishing 1995 contribution to the celebration of the centenary of cinema starring Harvey Keite