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Amorgos and the 1988 Cult Film "The Big Blue"- Revisited After 29 Years with "The Authentic Big Blue" Diving Competition


Amorgos, one of the prettiest islands in Greece Authentically blue!
Amorgos, one of the prettiest islands in Greece
Authentically blue!


If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Amorgos, one of the prettiest and unspoiled Greek islands, do yourself a favour; before you go, take time to watch the 1988, cult film:

 "The Big Blue"




"The Big Blue 1988" Cast : Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno , Rosanna Arquette, Director: Luc Besson
"The Big Blue 1988"
Cast : Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno , Rosanna Arquette, Director: Luc Besson


Wonderful soundtrack Le Grand Bleu  by Eric Serra



1988 "Big Blue" trailer


“The Big Blue”, one of the many  Famous Movies Filmed in Greece and the Greek Islands. directed by Luc Besson, filmed in Amorgos, which shows the amazing monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, perched high on a mountain side, the idyllic Agia Anna beach and Liveros Bay, with the shipwreck of the Olympia (Which inspired Besson to film on Amorgos), is the film which sparked worldwide interest in free diving for extreme sports enthusiasts and, of course, the island of Amorgos.


Now, twenty nine years later, the film is being revived through the fabulous project:

"The Authentic Big Blue" 

Happening in Amorgos, 17 September 2017.


Liveros Bay, with the shipwreck of the Olympia Amorgos
Liveros Bay, with the shipwreck of the Olympia
Amorgos


Amorgos, the small, Eastern-most island of the Cyclades, in the South Aegean Sea, accessible only by boat, has incredible views, (owing to heights of more than 800 meters above sea level), pristine sandy beaches and many archeological remains, especially the walls surrounding Arkesini.



1024px-Acropole_Arkesini_Amorgos CC BY-SA 3.0
Acropolis Arkesini
Amorgos



Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa
Amorgos



Agia Anna  Amorgos Island (Cyclades)  Greece
Agia Anna  Amorgos Island (Cyclades)
 Greece
"The Authentic Big Blue" diving is to take place here, off the Agia Anna Beach,  17 September.2017



 Many famous Dokathismata-style, Cycladic figures, dating from 2700 BC, were unearthed on the island of Amorgos, mainly in the cemeteries of Agios Pavlos and AgiaParaskevi.




Dokathismata figurine, Early Cycladic II, Syros phase (2800–2300 BC)  Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art   Photo;Ophelia2
Dokathismata figurine, Early Cycladic II, Syros phase (2800–2300 BC)
 Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art
Photo;Ophelia2



Amorgos, with its two ports, the main one; yacht-filled Katapola, the second; Aegiali and Chora, the town (known as Amorgos), is not really the place for beach lovers, but is more of a “back to nature” island, the perfect place for walking, hiking, rock climbing and diving.




Katapola, Amorgos Photo: Leoniedas
Katapola, Amorgos
Photo: Leoniedas


Amorgpos Cyclades Greece
Amorgos
Cyclades
Greece


Amorgos island, Greece  Photo @dounazoe
Amorgos island, Greece
Photo @dounazoe



To celebrate thirty years since the making of the original film, “The Big Blue” on Amorgos, in 1988, a documentary, directed by Jerome Espla (To be released 2018), and, again, filmed on Amorgos, is the reason actor Jean-Marc Barr, now aged fifty six, who played Jacques Mayol, twenty nine years ago, is back on the island, to help in production of the documentary, and with team promotion.





Actor Jean-Marc Barr (Center) with Freedivers Association AIDA Hellas president Dimitris Koumoulos and vice president Christos Papadopoulos.  Photo Source amorgos-news. gr
Actor Jean-Marc Barr (Center) with Freedivers Association AIDA Hellas president Dimitris Koumoulos and vice president Christos Papadopoulos.
 Photo Source amorgos-news. gr


Watch the video below, Barr's thoughts on "The Authentic Big Blue"




Interview with Jean-Marc Barr;
Barr talks about the documentary, being filmed on the island of Amorgos, and his experience of filming "The Big Blue" back in 1988, his first major role in cinema.
Courtesy Amorgos News



The Authentic Big Blue Photo: Amorgos News
The Authentic Big Blue
Photo: Amorgos News



 “The Big Blue”, is the heavily fictionalized story (In real life, neither diver reached 400 feet, and neither diver died whilst diving), of two friends, Enzio Maiorca (Jean Reno) and  Jaques Mayol (Jean-Marc Barr ) both free divers, growing up in Greece in the 1960s, until their deaths in the 1980s.

 (Free diving; diving without breathing apparatus, is nothing new, for hundreds of years divers have used this method, diving for sponges, shellfish and pearls).




How it all began. At the beginning of the film "The Deep Blue" Jacques and Enzo challenge each other to collect a coin on the sea floor and Jacques loses.
How it all began.
At the beginning of the film "The Big Blue"
Jacques and Enzo challenge each other to collect a coin on the sea floor and Jacques loses.



Jacques Mayol (1927-2001), played by actor Jean-Marc Barr, a free diving legend and author of "Homo Delphinus, The Dolphin Within Man( His philosophy on whether humans have hidden aquatic origins, awakened by physiological and psychological training), of French nationality, born in Shanghai, China, was already an experienced diver when he first met Enzio Maiorca.




Enzo Maiorca und Jacques Mayol
Enzo Maiorca und Jacques Mayol



Maiorca was the first to dive below 50 meters, Mayol reached 60 meters and in 1976 Mayol broke the 100 meters record, with a no-limits dive, of the coast of Elba, Italy.

 Tests during the dive showed that, amazingly, Mayol's heartbeat dropped from sixty to twenty seven beats per minute, a characteristic of “Mammalian diving reflex”, more noticeable in whales, seals and dolphins!




Jacques Mayol 1990
Jacques Mayol
1990


Mayol’s last dive in 1983, at the age of fifty six was to a depth of 105 meters.


In 2001, suffering from depression, Mayol hung himself in his villa in Elba.


Enzo Maiorca (1931-2016) born Syracuse, Sicily, learned to swim at the age of four and despite his fear of the sea, entered into the world of diving, beginning with spear fishing, which he abandoned in 1967, to concentrate on free diving.



Enzo Maiorca
Enzo Maiorca


When the two divers; Mayol and Maiorca, reached 76 meters in 1970, the International Diving Federation ruled the depths too dangerous and refused to acknowledge any further records.

Dare-devil Maiorca, defied medical experts by swimming to a depth of more than 91 meters in one breath, and in 1988 set his final record at 101 meters.

Maiorca managed to block the release of the film “The Big Blue” in Italy until 2002, a year after Mayol’s death, he thought the film portrayed him as an uneducated Sicilian, and ordered certain lines of dialogue removed, before the film debuted in Italy



Jean Reno (Enzo) and Jean-Marc Barr (Jacques)  "The Big Blue" (1988)
Jean Reno (Enzo) and Jean-Marc Barr (Jacques)
 "The Big Blue" (1988)



Friends; Enzo and Jacques and the Fiat 500 used in the film "The Big Blue" 1988
Friends; Enzo and Jacques and the Fiat 500 used in the film
"The Big Blue" 1988


"The Authentic Big Blue", paying tribute to free-diving legends Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca, is the biggest event to hit Amorgos for the last three decades, set to take place on Sunday 17 September until Sunday 24 September 2017.

 Winners of the competition will be awarded specially crafted “Jacques Mayol” and “Enzo Maiorca” medals in memory of the two heroes.



Free diving  "The Big Blue" 1988
Free diving
 "The Big Blue"
1988
.

Surreal poster for the film:  "The Big Blue" 1988
Surreal poster for the film:
 "The Big Blue" 1988


This is the first free diving competition, approved by AIDA (International Association for the Development of Apnea); to be held at Agia Anna beach since death- defying Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo (Jean Reno) competed there, twenty nine years ago, in 1988, during the filming of “The Big Blue”.



Sneak peak of things to come with;
 "The Authentic Big Blue"
Amorgos, Greece
17-24 September 2017



Coinciding with this unique event; “The Authentic Big Blue”, is “Amorgos Gastronomy Week” so, it’s going to be all go on the island, if you’ve been considering paying a visit to this beautiful Greek island, what better time is there than now?



Amorgos Gastronomy Days Amorgos September 2017
Amorgos Gastronomy Days
"The Authentic Big Blue"
Amorgos September 2017



And who knows, maybe someone will break the current world record for free diving, held by Austrian Herbert Nitsch:

“The deepest man on earth”




Herbert Nitsch, World Record Holder Freediver
Herbert Nitsch, World Record Holder Free diver


 Herbert Nitsch, with his best dive of 214 meters (328 ft), the world record, also has another sixty nine official world records to his name!



See details of this wonderful event at the official website:

 "The Authentic Big Blue"  .




3 comments:

  1. Great blog which brings back memories of our holiday on Amorgos.
    We swam at Agia Anna beach and visited the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa at sunset.
    I was so thrilled with the island and the film THE BIG BLUE that I gave my friends video copies of the film for Christmas.
    Thanks for bring ing back all the memories
    Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely to find an unspoiled island, I can just imagine the views from the monastery sunset.
    And what a brilliant film, of course the location helped, I never tire of watching it.
    Susan. x

    ReplyDelete
  3. I found the blog some what interesting in its content wise and easier to understand what they had said. I love if you publish the blogs often.
    Thanks,
    Kristina

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for reading my blog, I am always absolutely delighted to hear your thoughts, ideas or suggestions.
They make all my efforts worthwhile,.

Please do check back, after leaving a comment, as I make every effort to answer all your remarks promptly.
Thanks,
Susan.x

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