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Lesson Transcript

Maria: Welcome back to our All About Greece series.
Iro: Geia sas.
Maria: Today, on GreekPod101.com, we bring you the Greece of today.
Iro: That’s right, Greek pop culture.
Iro: One of the more developed aspects of pop culture in Greece is the pop music scene.
Maria: Yes, Greek pop music has, in recent history, been dominating the charts in contrast to classic Greek music.
Iro: Of course, Greek music and traditional folk songs are still favorites of the older generation. And you can also see that influence in modern pop.
Maria: How would you describe Greek pop music, Iro?
Iro: Well, we Greeks love an upbeat rhythm to dance to, so you get a lot of that.
Maria: But the hip-hop scene and rock scene have been growing in popularity in recent times as well, right.
Iro: Definitely.
Maria: Who is your favorite pop star?
Iro: I like Élena Paparízoy. She is half Greek and half Swedish, and she made her big international break in 2005 when she won the Eurovision Song Contest!
Maria: Well, I’m quite the sucker for male singers so I have to say I am partial to Sákis Royvás. I think he’s pretty cute. I even learned to sing his hit song "Shake It!"
Iro: Shake shake shake it mi amore. Yes, he is an institution! A very popular pop icon.
Maria: Yeah, he’s kind of the top of the top at the moment. He is mainly known for very sexualized images, his elaborate stage shows, and his popularity with the ladies!
Iro: He’s famous for pop, dance, acting, composing...
Maria: Yeah, and he used to be a pole-vaulter!
Iro: But you will see him everywhere.
Maria: Yes, on practically every fashion and music magazine in Greece!
Iro: And on television, and of course, the silver screen. He is a television presenter as well as an actor.
Maria: Yes, and he entered the Eurovision Song contest twice! He got third place in 2004 with "Shake It," but didn’t do so well in 2009 with "This is Our Night."
Iro: Wow, you sure have read up on him.
Maria: Of course! He is one of my main sources to study Greek!
Iro: I guess he isn’t too bad.
Maria: And, he is a presenter on Greek X-Factor! Awesome!
Iro: Yeah, X-Factor has basically become a national pastime.
Maria: Yes, for both the young and old. Even though it only started airing last year!
Maria: Okay, now another big thing that people like to do is, of course, movies.
Iro: Yeah.
Maria: Like many European countries, the top movies on the billboards today are Hollywood movies.
Iro: But, Greek cinema is still dear to the Greeks, and many classics are still shown.
Maria: Greek film production seems to have slowed down in the past years.
Iro: Yeah, films from "the good old days" have yet to be topped by any modern Greek cinema.
Maria: Yeah, I’ve noticed that when talking about films with Greeks, people are most of the time referring to the old classics, or the Golden Age (1950-70s).
Iro: But the industry is not completely dead yet; even though many people are replacing the cinema with a television, people are still making films.
Maria: And as we know, a lot of the films have been very well received abroad as well.
Iro: Yeah, "Zorba the Greek," starring Anthony Quinn, or "Never on a Sunday," with Melína Merkoýri, and so on.
Maria: True. "Zorba the Greek" is what kind of made me inspired to learn Greek.
Iro: I think everyone associates Greece with the theme music from that film.
Maria: A timeless classic! But what about more modern cinema?
Iro: One of the biggest contemporary icons right now must be Vasílis Charalampópoylos!
Maria: He is really popular for his films.
Iro: Yes, he’s both an actor and a writer.
Maria: I think everyone loves this guy because he’s really funny!
Iro: And well…he can act.
Maria: I saw his "Bank Bang" (2008) about those two brothers robbing banks to pay their debt to the Mob! It was Hilarious!
Iro: Yes, that movie was a best seller and topped the rankings for a long time.
Amber: Oooh, yeah. Okay, now what about television.
Iro: Television is taking over for cinema these days, especially American shows.
Maria: Yeah, whenever I turn the TV, "Friends" seems to be on! Oh, and the news.
Iro: There are other types of shows that are really popular too, and have been for a long time.
Maria: Yes, everyone loves the dramas!
Iro: And there are a lot of variety and game shows.
Maria: Oh yeah, many of the big American ones have been adapted, such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and "X-Factor!"
Iro: But we have many good television makers still!
Maria: Like who?
Iro: Like Lákis Lazópoylos!
Maria: Who?
Iro: Well, he’s the guy who adapted Disney’s "Hercules" into Greek, and was awarded by Roy E. Disney for it!
Maria: Really! But that’s a movie though.
Iro: Yeah, but what about his live satire show Al Tsantíri News!
Maria: Oh yeah! That show makes fun of everything and everyone!
Iro: Haha, he’s funny.
Maria: I found it a bit tricky to understand though.
Iro: Yeah, I guess Greek television can be very speedy!
Maria: They talk so fast sometimes I think their tongues will pop out of their mouths!
Iro: Haha, yeah.
Maria: So are there any famous Greeks abroad?
Iro: Well, as you know from watching "Friends," every time you switch your television on, Jennifer Aniston.
Maria: Oh yeah! She’s Greek-American isn’t she! And internationally known!
Iro: Yeah, but I personally like an even bigger Greek icon.
Maria: Who?
Iro: Director Theódoros Angelópoylos!
Maria: How could I forget him!?
Iro: He is one of Greece’s most internationally acclaimed names. And he has won many film awards.
Maria: He has been around for a while though hasn’t he.
Iro: Yeah, he started his career in the 70s when he became famous for his first film "Anaparástasi." It won an award at Festival d’ Hyres!
Maria: And he did a huge historical trilogy didn’t he!
Iro: Yes, "Méres tou '36" (1972), "O thíasos" (1975), and "Oi kynigoí" (1977). And his most recent film, "The Dust of Time," starred Willem Dafoe and Bruno Ganz.
Maria: Wow!
Iro: He is considered by many international critics to be one of the world’s greatest living directors.
Maria: That’s big! Now let’s move on to the next topic!
Iro: Sure! One of my favorites, sports!
Maria: So what would you say is the biggest sport in Greece?
Iro: Football (also known as American soccer).
Maria: Football IS huge!
Iro: Yeah. Ever since it became popular in the 1920s, it has played a big role in Greek sports history.
Maria: Especially after winning the World Cup in 2004!
Iro: Yeah, and one of the greatest sport figures in Greece is football player Ntémis Nikolaídis.
Maria: I’ve seen him on television as the president of AEK Athens F.C!
Iro: Yeah, He debuted in 1995 and was the main Greek goal scorer in the 2002 World cup. He has had a great career as Greece’s "born goal scorer."
Maria: He has contributed greatly to the Greek football world.
Iro: Yes, and he is loved for not only his skills as a player but also for his work ethic and enthusiasm.
Maria: Okay, so that wraps up our pop-icon lesson!
Iro: It’s always interesting to see how a country’s pop culture develops, and I’m sure Greece has plenty more to give!
Maria: Until next time, Bye!
Iro: Geia sas!