I first learned about her when I was a little child, at the 80’s, during her days as a politician and Minister of Culture in Greece.
I remember her characteristic, steady voice on television, always with a great smile on her face. Actress, singer, an incredible human being according to everyone that met her, lovely wife of the director Jules Dassin, since 1966.
She collaborated with the most important Greek composers of that period, from Manos Hadjidakis to Stavros Xarhakos, and from Mikis Theodorakis to Vangelis Papathanasiou. As for her filmography, “Stella”, “Never On Sunday”, “Phaedra”, “Topkapi” are among the greatest films that the Greek cinema gave to the audience worldwide.
“Love You Have Turned Into A Double-Edged Knife” (“Αγάπη που ‘γινες δίκοπο μαχαίρι”) is one of her most famous songs, coming from the original soundtrack of “Stella”. The song was heard everywhere in Greece again for the last two months, 60 years after it’s first recording, thanks to Papercut’s remix and the new compilation that was released from Minos-EMI and Melina Mercouri Foundation.
“Playing with Melina” is an interesting collection of tracks that influenced or were re-imagined by new Greek artists and dance producers. Marsheaux, Nteibint, Olga Kouklaki, K.Bhta, Cayetano, Monsieur Minimal and French producer Kid Loco are among those who contributed, with much respect to the first original versions and a fine result. Melina I’m sure would love it.