In this guest post, Modern Greek language professor Stavroula Alexaki writes about spending an evening at a world-famous open air cinema with her students:
‘Ad Astra’: towards the stars we looked on Monday evening as we witnessed both the philosophy of pursuing our inner happiness along with a breathtaking view of the shining Parthenon and its enlightening impact.
Our students of beginners II and of intermediate I Modern Greek classes had the opportunity to visit the one of a kind open air cinema in Athens, ‘Thision’ movie theatre. We watched “Ad Astra”, the last film of James Gray with Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones.
Thision was recently featured as “the world’s most enjoyable cinema” on CNN’s report as it is located right under the Acropolis Hill.
Open air cinemas are a very common and pleasant form of everyday entertainment for Greeks during warm summer nights and almost every small or bigger city embraces its own theatre either on ground floor “green” yards or on airy terraces. Under the brilliant stars of the clear and transparent deep blue sky, one enjoys first run movies along with the relaxing smells of jasmine and other fragrant varieties of multicolored flowers.
We tapped on the points where Greek language meets with everyday life and culture, aiming at language’s best practice. During our walk to and from the cinema, students were encouraged to interact with people in Greek. Same when they arrived at the cinema, while buying tickets, snacks, searching for their seats or just meeting new people and talking.
Our company was also enhanced by a student of a Greek university, and the American college in Greece, so the students enjoyed the opportunity to interact in Greek with people of similar age, interests, and experiences.
Most importantly, we all enjoyed the closeness and warmth of “’Greek’ human contact through the smiling and friendly faces around.
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