Manhood-measuring contests — in every imaginable sense of the phrase — are taken to brazenly literal extremes in “Chevalier,” the long-awaited third feature from Greek multi-tasker Athina Rachel Tsangari. Markedly different in focus and emotional temperature from her 2010 breakthrough, “Attenberg,” this committedly deadpan comedy of manners, morals and men behaving weirdly boasts a contained conceit seemingly ripe for unfettered absurdism: On a luxury yacht in the Aegean Sea, six male acquaintances embark on a rigorous series of personal and physical challenges, mercilessly grading each other to determine who is “the Best in General.” That Tsangari resists escalating the conflict, counting on subtle political insinuations to emerge as these perplexing social Olympics wear on, will leave as many viewers enervated as amused, but it’s an expertly executed tease. Continue reading
The story of 50-something Pavlos unfolds in an unspecified modern-day Greek city, portraying the man’s midlife crisis with a light and gently ironic tone. Pavlos takes over custodial duties from his aging mother and immediately has to deal with a disaster involving a sewage pipe. The fix-it job becomes complicated and creates an apt parallel to Pavlos’s increasingly complicated personal circumstances. At heart Pavlos is gracious and kind, and he tries to be a good husband, son, and building manager. But the ensuing state of affairs turns him into a morose and angry man whose nerves sometimes snap. Will Pavlos succeed in fixing the broken sewage pipe before he can fix his own “broken” life? Director and screenwriter Periklis Hoursoglou, who plays the lead role, has shot a drama with comic touches and gentle socio-critical accents. Hoursoglou succeeds in creating a faithful, entertaining, and even touching portrait of “ordinary” interpersonal relations. Continue reading
A director in existential and creative crisis tries to find the script of his new film. Thus he invents a story about a successful man in an existential crisis, who separates from his wife. He then meets another woman, lives with her a possible love affair and seeks the continuation of their love story on a trip with disappointing results. Continue reading
In a striking and courageous lead performance, Angeliki Papoulia plays Maria – a woman who started her adult life with the best of intentions but, ten years later, feels her world falling out from under her.
Unwilling to reconcile with a reality of unreturned care, lost dignity and a broken-down desire to live, Maria attacks. She attacks herself, her past, the people she loves, her country and the perception of her sex in a relentless battle to find truth.
Only a day before, she was a caring mother, a loving wife and a responsible daughter. Today, she has gone rogue… Continue reading
Katina, an impoverished Greek woman, tries to arrange the marriage of her shepherd son, Thanos, to Despina, the daughter of a wealthy landowner. But when Despina’s father, Vlahopoulos refuses to give his blessings and wants Despina to marry a more wealthy gentleman, named Yankos. The wealthy and spoiled Yankos plots to break up the romantic union between Thanos and Despina any way possible while the young lovers plot to run away in a futile attempt to being a new life for themselves. Continue reading
A boldly conceived assemblage of diverse and seemingly random fictional materials, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg is concerned with nothing less than those hardy perennials: sex, death, and modernity. And coming of age a little too late. Ariane Labed stars as Marina, a twentysomething naïf living in a small Greek city whose inexperience in all matters sexual is mirrored by her disgust for the act. In the film’s semi-notorious, heavily stylized opening sequence, Marina’s only friend, the sexually frivolous Bella (Evangelia Randou), teaches her how to kiss. As Tsangari frames the pair perpendicular to the camera against an abstract background, the two engage in a display of excessive tonguing so comically exaggerated that it only furthers Marina’s disgust. “You’re all slobbery. I’m going to throw up,” she says, before the young women give in to a round of improvised and manic play, spitting and blowing raspberries at each other, then squaring off in a mime of feral cats. Continue reading
During the dictatorship, a young man goes to Paris, where he seeks help from a solitary and almost misanthropic distant relative who works as a furrier. The young man carries with him the photograph of a singer whom he presents as his sister, thus causing a series of misunderstandings which trap him in a vicious circle of lies and fantasies. An allegory in the form of a modern-day tragedy of the “misunderstandings” and deceits of modern Greek History, as seen through the eyes of a Greek of the Diaspora. Continue reading