Friday, May 15, 2009

My Life in Ruins GreekBoston Premiere!

Some of our long-term viewers may remember way back when GreekBoston hosted a private screening of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. We were the first in the country to promote the movie and we even did a great interview with stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. We're happy to say Nia is back with another movie based on her Greek heritage and filmed in Greece! We are giving away free tickets to the GreekBoston sneak preview so click here to get your tickets now!

My Life in Ruins is an upcoming romantic comedy film set amongst the ruins of ancient Greece, starring Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis, Rachel Dratch, Harland Williams and British comedy actor and impressionist Alistair McGowan. The film is about a tour guide whose life takes a personal detour, while her group gets entangled in comic situations among the ruins with a series of unexpected stops along the way. The film, which has been given a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for sexual content, is scheduled to be released June 5, 2009 in the United States, and May 7, 2009 in Greece.

Georgia (Nia Vardalos) is a Greek American tour guide, who leads an assorted group of misfit tourists who would rather buy a T-Shirt than learn about history around Greece. In a clash of personalities and cultures, everything seems to go wrong, until one day when tourist Irv Gordon (Richard Dreyfuss), shows her how to have fun and take a good look at the last person she would ever expect to find love with: her Greek bus driver (Alexis Georgoulis)

The Acropolis will soon become the backdrop for a big-screen comedy after Athens gave the green light for the glory that was Greece to be used by Hollywood for the first time.

Breaking with a no-go policy, applied without distinction to the great and good of modern cinematography, Greece's powerful archaeological council (KAS) has permitted the classical masterpiece to feature in the movie - known for the moment as My Life in Ruins, and produced by Tom Hanks.

Filming of the comedy, a life-long dream of its star, Nia Vardalos, who shot to fame with the autobiographical hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding, is expected to begin in Athens next month. Ms Vardalos, who plays an archaeologist tour guide whose groups get entangled in comic situations among the ruins, struck lucky after convincing KAS that the movie would strengthen Greece's appeal abroad.

Despite persistent requests from some of the world's most acclaimed directors, Greek officials had always rejected the idea of the site, dating from 500BC, being filmed - on grounds it would degrade a monument regarded as sacred.

The actor reportedly spent months explaining the fine details of the comedy.

The movie will be produced by Play Tone, the firm run by Hanks and his half-Greek wife Rita Wilson, and will also feature Delphi, Epidaurus and ancient Olympia. An official at the Greek culture ministry said the 2004 Athens Olympics' successful impact on tourism had "most definitely" helped win the deal. "Ultimately it was decided that a Hollywood film shot in situ after the Olympics would promote ancient Greek civilisation and have long-term benefits for the country."

Hanks, who with Ms Wilson did much to promote Vardalos, a stand-up Los Angeles comic before she was discovered by the Hollywood couple, has a holiday home in Greece and regularly visits.

The decision is all the more startling since My Big Fat Greek Wedding, a low-budget film that became the highest grossing independent feature ever released, also irritated many Greeks who were unhappy at the way they, and their ethnic cousins in the US, were portrayed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mithia Ouzata Recipe

by Paul Delios
Everyone thinks “white wine” when deciding how to prepare mussels, but this dish imparts the classic Greek taste of ouzo in a surprising way. Here, mussels are steamed in a savory broth and topped with Feta cheese for a new take on a true New England dish.

Mussel’s freshness tip: Before steaming, toss any mussels that are open. After steaming, toss any that remained closed.

  • 2 lbs. mussels, wild or cultivated, scrubbed of excess grit and “beards”
  • 1 small white onion, sliced in half, then sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely, and one extra left whole and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ cup clam broth
  • ½ cup ouzo
  • ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb. feta cheese, cubed (roughly ½ inch cubes)
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, rough chop
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. In a large sauté pan, toss the white onion, garlic, and the pepper flakes into the oil and brown.
  2. Add mussels and tomatoes, parsley, clam broth and ouzo. Cover, and cook on high heat until the mussels open, anywhere from five to 10 minutes.
  3. After mussels are open, remove them individually with tongs or large spoon; place on serving plate or shallow bowl. Toss all remaining ingredients into the pan liquid with the butter and swirl on low heat until combined. Once hot, pour mixture over plated mussels so that broth fills or partially covers the shells.
  4. Serve with bread of choice for sopping up the broth (even day-old bread works great). For a crisper addition, slice bread, brush with olive oil, rub with garlic and broil until golden.
Wine Pairing:
Greek Wine
2007 Assyrtico, Santo Winery, Santorini
Sug. Retail: $19.99

2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine, Domaine du Rin Dubois
Sug. Retail: $12.99