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George Lanthimos’ Alps evoked mixed responses in Venice

04 September 2011 / 18:09:13  GRReporter
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George Lanthimos’ film Alps evoked mixed responses at the Festival in Venice: some do not like it, others talk about "the smartest" film screened at the festival ever. The director himself admitted at a press conference that it is particularly difficult to shoot films in Greece, and left open the question of exploring the options that could be offered abroad.

George Lanthimos said the idea for the film was born during a conversation with the scriptwriter Eftimis Filipou about a group of people who wrote letters or phoned relatives of deceased people, pretending to be their loved ones.

"We agreed, however, that we can not make a film about people who phoned or wrote letters. So, we thought why not make them the dead themselves?" asked Lantimos.

Asked whether he intends to leave Greece and to make films abroad, the director replied, "What I would like and I hope to do is to shoot more films in Greece. However, the three films that I shot there were made in very difficult conditions, not only now, when the situation is really difficult."

Lanthimos added that it has always been difficult for young filmmakers to make films in Greece "because of the structure of laws, because of the mentality and the funding."

"At the moment, it is easier to make films in another country, and therefore I would like to explore this opportunity and see what will happen", he said.

As to whether the Alps is a movie similar to Dogtooth, the director said that these are two completely different films for him.

"For me, Alps is the opposite of Dogtooth," he insisted. "There we had the story of a group of people who try to escape from a fictional world while the Alps is a film about people who try to escape from their lives and immerse in another world", added the director.

In Alps, a nurse, a health-officer, a competitor in rhythmic gymnastics and her coach have made a group responsible for replacing dead people.

They are hired from friends and relatives of the dead. The group is called the Alps and its leader, the health-officer, is called Mont Blanc. The group members are obliged to act according to the rules set by the leader. The nurse, however, decides to disobey these rules.

The film seems to split the critics and the audience opinion at the screening at the 68th Film Festival in Venice.

The critic of the British newspaper The Guardian, Jean Brooks writes in Twitter that he lost in the Alps with dignity. A dark story with a twisted humour [...] The smartest film in Venice ever.

Sight and Sound magazine states in Twitter again that George Lantimos’ film Alps is made in an exceptional way and managed to reach if not surpass the level of Dogtooth.

On the other hand, Mark Brown, also an editor of The Guardian, wrote in Twitter that he has just watched the film Alps of George Lantimos in Venice and he is going to drown in a canal.


Tags: Film festivalVeniceGreek filmGeorge LanthimosAlpsDogtooth
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