Thursday, 19 January 2012


Just another silly walk!

Athina Rachel Tsangari was the producer on another brilliantly innovative and startlingly different Greek film, Yorgos Lanthimos’s award winning Dogtooth (2009) on this occasion she is the director, co-producer (with Lanthimos) and writer of the screenplay. Attenberg (2010) takes its title from the misspelling of the main protagonist’s favourite natural history TV presenter David Attenborough, the film, which, amongst other things, demonstrates the relationship between its characters and the animal kingdom! A strange statement I agree, but one that fits the aesthetics of the movie.

Whats this slug in my mouth?

The director made the following statement about her coming of age/black comedy/drama: ‘I made a film about four people who happen to be in the same place for a short period of time. Three people who become four and then two. Three of course, being the perfect number in any relationship’ I will attempt to try and explain the statement by giving you some idea of what the films about. Marina (Ariane Labed) is a virgin with a mental age somewhat younger than her 23 years. She lives with her father Spyros (Vangelis Mourikis) with whom she has an unusual relationship, one which is non sexual but leaves no room for a mother figure. Spyros, an architect who does not appear to have any friends, is receiving treatment for a non-specified disease; we learn that he does not have very long to live. Discussions take place between him and Marina about his funeral arrangements that are complicated because his wishes include being cremated and Greece does not allow this. They also spend time discussing Marina’s sexual naivety. The third person is Bella (Evangelia Randou), Marina’s sexually active best friend with whom she has a somewhat erotic relationship and who is giving her sex education lessons, which as the film opens we observe an hilarious lesson in kissing with tongues! Both, dressed identically, take part in what can only be described as ‘silly walks’ Monty Python style.  Marina’s sex education is very much advanced when she meets the fourth person in our quartet, a visiting engineer (Yorgos Lanthimos) at the local industrial plant.

A 'hands' on sex education lesson. 

With its simplistic camera movements and shots, abrasive soundtrack provided by the electro-punk duo Suicide, and its quirky 1960’s feel, it was shot in Aspra Spitia a town in the Corinthian Gulf which was architecturally designed and built in the sixties, there is something very appealing about this minimalist movie. A wonderful wee film that wet’s your appetite for further works from both Lanthimos and Tsangari.

No comments:

Post a Comment