After debuting his whacked-out Dogtooth at Cannes last year, a boatload of critics took Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos to the woodshed for his “clinically shot claptrap,” (Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News) while others praised his dark, violent tale of a pathologically dysfunctional family. Our own Editor-in-Chief had it in his Top 10 of 2010. Lanthimos had the last laugh: an unexpected Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
Lanthimos has no such ambitions for his planned next film, Alps, which will make Dogtooth “look like a kids’ film.” [LA Times] Apparently the film is about a group of people standing in for each others’ dead loved ones and relatives, duplicating their mannerisms to help facilitate the grieving process.
Last year, Lanthimos told The Playlist:
It’s mainly about death and substitution in a way. If you can substitute people that have died with other people and how difficult that can be. It involves the stories of many people, and I guess it has similarities with Dogtooth in its tone, because it’s quite dark as well, but is also funny and violet. It’s contradictory, like Dogtooth is.
And in the here and now he says:
“[Alps] is darker and funnier. It goes to each extreme a little bit more.”
In a world full of dross, reboots and a CGI Easter Bunny voiced by Russell Brand, why criticize a filmmaker for an over-abundance of daring? Lanthimos is having the same polarizing effect on critics and audiences as Lars Von Trier – like them or not, there’s always room in the world for dark and edgy.
Have you seen Dogtooth? What do you think of the story behind Alps?
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