El Greco is a 2007 biographical film about Domenicos Theotokopoulos, also known as ‘El Greco.’ This Greek painter became famous during the Spanish Renaissance period.
The movie was based on “El Greco: o Zografos tou Theou,” (El Greco: the painter of God) the fictional biographical novel written by Dimitris Siatopoulos. The movie was written by Jackie Pavlenko and directed by renowned Greek filmmaker Yannis Smaragdis.
The movie revolves around the life of El Greco during the 16th century. He takes off from his hometown of Crete, and ventures to Venice, Italy and later, Toledo, Spain. In Toledo, he meets Titian, another painter, and Fernando Nino de Guevara, a priest. Unfortunately, his friendship with Guevara turned sour when he called him out in the Spanish Inquisition with charges of Heresy.
While he is in prison waiting for his sentence, El Greco decided to write about his life – which was depicted in flashbacks. His flashbacks brought him back to Crete, where he fell in love with Francesca, the daughter of Crete’s Venetian governor. As El Greco’s father prepares for rebellion, he decides to leave Crete and stay away from Francesca for good.
Nick Ashdon, a British actor, played the role of ‘El Greco.’ Juan Diego Botto, a Spanish actor, took the role of Fernando Nino Guevara. The late Greek actor Sotiris Moustakas starred as Titian. Dimitra Matsouka played the role of Francesca, El Greco’s love interest. Supporting actors include Laia Marull as Jeronima de las Cuevas, Lakis Lazopoulos as Nicolos, Giorgos Charalampidis as El Greco’s father, Fermi Reixach as Don Miguel de las Cuevas, Dimitris Kallivokas as Chacon, Giorgos Christodoulou as Da Rimi, Roger Coma as Paravicino, and Constantinos Isaias as Orgaz, among many others.
The movie has a runtime of 119 minutes and comes in four languages, namely Greek, English, Spanish, and Italian. It was produced by Alexandros Film, and was co-produced by 20 other production outfits.
The movie won a lot of awards, including the Best Film Citation from the Greek Union of Film and Television Technicians, Greek Competition Award and Audience Competition Award. Smaragdis was also given the Best Director Award at the 2007 Greek Competition Award. Juan Diego Botto, who played Fernando Nino Guevara, took home the Best Actor Award from the 2008 Cairo International Film Festival.
Other awards earned by ‘El Greco’ include Best Sound, Best Set Decoration, Best Make-Up, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, and Best Cinematography. It also bagged nominations from film festivals all over the world.
The movie’s soundtrack, entitled “El Greco Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” was composed by Vangelis, who was already launched 2 projects related to the great El Greco. The soundtrack was launched on December 20, 2007 in Greece. The record is made up of 18 songs. 15 of them were composed by Vangelis, while the 3 others were songs played in the movie. Vangelis was given the “Best Music” award by the 2007 Greek Competition committee.
The movie was launched in the United States last May 22, 2009.