Greek National Opera Presents ‘Bleat’ at New York Film Festival

By Francisco Salazar

On. Oct. 4, the New York Film Festival presented the Greek National Opera’s commissioned short “Bleat.”

The new film is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and stars Emma Stone. The film was presented with an accompaniment by live music ensembles inside a sold-out Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

Stone who was present at the Festival said, “I wish often that we could cut many lines of dialogue because I think people can say a lot more without speaking. ‘Bleat’ was like a dream come true. […] This was my first time in Greece [and] on Tinos. It was so beautiful and, since there was not any dialogue, you got to sort of live in the landscape of this beautiful place. It was magical.” In closing, she jokingly asked Lanthimos if they could make only short films once the strike is over, without any dialogue, and ideally all shot on Tinos.”

At the screening Lanthimos added, Neon and the Greek National Opera came up with the idea. It was very exciting and charming for me to think about making something that would involve a film in its most primitive form – just a silent film, a narrative. Just to start from scratch and make something really simple and elemental. And, of course, to have the opportunity to research music and listen to it. And for that we worked with Giorgos Koumendakis, the director of the Greek National Opera […]. I think we decided on the music kind of in parallel with me coming up with the idea of what the film element might be. […] I had music on my mind, I spent some time on Tinos […]. I just tried to allow myself to be free in how I associate things to come up with the story of this.”