Alps, the new film by “Dogtooth” director Giorgos Lanthimos will be participating in Venice festival which starts today and the first teaser hit the web, also the press notes containing “The 15 Rules of the Alps” and some bizzare artwork
Starring “Dogtooth” actress Aggeliki Papoulia, the film will tell the story “a group of people who agree to stand in for the lost loved ones of others, replicating their behavior and gestures, ostensibly to help with grieving.”
“Greek film blog AUEB Film Club has revealed what folks can expect to be flipping through and as you might have guessed, it’s pretty enigmatic and intriguing. What we know so far about the film is that it’s “darker and funnier” than “Dogtooth” and centers on a group of people who agree to stand in for the lost loved ones of others, replicating their behavior and gestures, to help with the grieving process. The title of the film refers to the name of the group/organization under which the characters of the film work, and Lanthimos has come up with fifteen rules they must abide by.
Ranging from logical to amusing to creepy, if anything they confirm that Lanthimos wasn’t kidding around when he said this next effort will push things a bit further than “Dogtooth” did. Also adding an extra element of curiosity are these images which make up the bulk of the press kit. And no, we have no idea what they are all about either. Check out the fifteen rules below and if you want some more, head over the AUEB Film Club and check out the Alps poem. Seriously."
THE 15 RULES OF THE ALPS
1. Must declare in advance the things they are unwilling to do by filling out Form (e.g. kissing, lifting weights, travelling etc.)
2. Must declare in advance the things they are good at by filling out Form (e.g. dancing, waterskiing, discussing etc.)
3. Must have some basic knowledge of psychology and sociology.
4. Are obliged to support, under all circumstances, the interests of the Alps group.
5. Must respect each other.
6. Have the right to change their nickname only twice. They cannot choose a nickname belonging to another Alps member. The nickname must strictly be the name of a mountain in the Alps, and not something general or irrelevant (e.g. Blonde, Master, Dragon etc.)
7. Can never talk about Alps activities with non-Alps members.
8. Are obliged to take the Gymnastics Club Test, if necessary.
9. Must be over 14 years of age.
10. Should always be smart, clean, punctual, and in complete control.
11. Must never get emotionally involved with clients, or have intimate relations with them.
12. Cannot change their physical appearance without the Leader’s permission (e.g. dye hair, lose or gain weight, wear coloured contact lenses etc.)
13. Must be able to make convincing facial expressions (sadness, happiness, despair etc.)
14. Must honour the title of their membership, and be ready to kill or die for it.
15. Must never attack one another, and must believe in teamwork.
Mont Blanc, Leader of the Alps group
Could go either way.
i’m not getting excited about it, because Dogtooth wasn’t as good the second time around, and Lanthimos is coming off like a bit of a gimmick director to me(concept films involving ‘social experiments’, weird institutional/ organisational arrangments featuring strict arbitrary rules that produce extreme behaviour etc)
And am i the only one that is suspicious of a director that will deliberately gloat about the fact that he is taking things to new levels of extremity? As if somehow this is a desirable and noble artistic goal in and of itself?
yeah, i’m cynical, but you already knew that.
Well I think that teaser trailer is pretty good, and pretty funny.
I dont know if he is gloating, or selling, Joks, but either way I’d take his comments pre-release with a pinch of salt. I wouldn’t waste time with a director talking about their film when its pre-release, its always gonna be selling.
^^I take everything directors like him say with a grain of salt!!! ;-)
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a grain of truth either.
I wanna see it – I wonder if it’ll ever come to Atlanta?
It’s not a bad film. Clearly the work of a talented director. I’m mad that I missed “Dogtooth”. I sat through about the first quarter of the film at a festival then had to leave because of other commitments.
“I’m not getting excited about it, because Dogtooth wasn’t as good the second time around, and Lanthimos is coming off like a bit of a gimmick director to me”
Yeah, I skipped Alps at AFI Fest for much of the same reason. I liked Dogtooth enough but reading the synopsis for his new film, he’s coming off a bit like the Greek M. Night Shyamalan.
Teaser made me laugh.
I saw Alps at the Toronto Film Fest. It has a lot in common with Dogtooth, stylistically and formally. I think it would be much better to watch the film without knowing a thing about it, since part of the reward of the film is unraveling just what it’s doing. I thought it was very good (it’s certainly in my top 10 for the year), but there was a Q+A with the director afterwards, which I wish I had skipped – the film was far more interesting than the director’s comments about it.
Haha I can imagine! I started watching the interview on the Dogtooth dvd last night, and he only had to say about 10 words before I turned it off! Sometimes hearing directors talk about their films makes it a lot worse.
The impression i’m getting is that critics liked Alps, but not as much as Dogtooth. I doubt it will make the same splash overall, but you never know, Dogtooth took a while to gain momentum. I saw it almost a year before the hype started, and nobody was really talking about it much then. I saw Dogtooth because it was Greek and weird and did not look like the typical film produced in that country. I knew nothing else about it.
I’ll check Alps out though, no doubt. I’m sure it will play at the film festivals here in 2012.
DRUNKEN: Lanthimos comes off as one of those wannabe radical directors to me, in the sense that he enjoys pushing people’s buttoms. kind of like Von Trier, but he isn’t as amusing or talented as V.T.
i’m still surprised at the unanimous praise that Dogtooth received in the U.S. generally U.S critics tend to have mixed feelings about those sort of films, and the oscar nomination was almost surreal.
Isn’t ATTENBERG supposed to be similarly bizarre? That was another one at AFI Fest that didn’t do much for me (incidentally, it won one of the audience awards).
^^Attenberg was well received in the U.K and Artificial Eye is releasing it out dvd soon.
I thought it was pretty ordinary to be honest. She is similar to Lanthimos in many ways, but less cynical. She lived in the U.S for 12 years apparently and was supposedly an extra in Slacker.
Is Lanthimos and Tsangari similar to Antonio Campos and Sean Durkin, where they support and produce each other’s projects and their films have distinct similarities?
Worst film of the year.
Ok, so the verdict seems to be that it’s decent but nowhere near as good as Dogtooth. That has been the ‘universal’ response thus far, not just in the U.S. A common complaint is that it lacks focus.
Anyone else checked it out?
EDIT: Lanthimos claims that he started making Alps with 90,000 dollars and the cast wasn’t really paid. weird. you would think that after all the success of Dogtooth that he would have no difficult raising money for films now. He said that the money came later, as the film was progressing.
Is Alps going to be getting a DVD release soon? I have been dying to see it since I first heard about it.
“Alps” is a pretty shallow and unfocused work which tries to imitate a German film called “Tender Parasites”, but fails to deliver genuine emotions which made that one at least do its topic justice. Having already imitated “Castle of Purity” with his previous work it seems that Giorgos Lanthimos more than anything lacks innovative ideas. “Aps” is not a complete waste of time though since a few scenes were funny in a rather unsettling way and the cinematography is also fine, but there were no doubt countless more worthwhile films that premiered in 2011.
Essay by Kasman and discussion here in Notebook:
Interesting that Kas praised the look of the film because i’ve read in other places that it’s completely flat.
It looks ok to me, but to pull off these conceptual films you really have to know what you are doing. I don’t think Lanthimos is as smart as he thinks he is, and that’s a problem. He seems to be interested in the shock. Directors like Greenaway or Von Trier in their prime could do both. They could deliver films that were shocking, amusing, as well as intellectually stimulating. ‘Dogtooth’ felt clever at first but after watching it a second time it felt empty to me.
However, i agree with Bobby that’s interesting to see these ‘arthouse’ films that don’t conform to the slow cinema model. But i do think it feels like a hybrid kind of film with both American and European influences. It makes sense that Dogtooth was probably bigger in the U.S than it was in Europe. i certainly did not expect the critics to rate it so highly though.
I also appreciated the look of the film. I thought there was a lot of cinematic power and charge to the images. Typically, I don’t care for shock. Transgression for the sake of transgression is very cheap to me.
Expanded program notes on Alps from the Melbourne International Film Festival:
^^Unfortunately i won’t be able to attend the festival this year, otherwise i would definitely go. There are still plenty of tickets available for both of those sessions. ‘Dogtooth’ wasn’t really the ‘hit’ here that it was in other countries.
Kino Lorber is releasing a Region 1 DVD of “Alps” on Dec. 4th. $25, as of now.
coming to streaming netflix in a few days
Looks like it ‘bombed’ eh?
It wasn’t that great really.
Dogtooth also did not hold up for me over time.
Somehow i doubt i’m the only one.
I thought it was great. Much better than Dogtooth.
Tough content but the same style and mood as in “Dogtooth”, which was much better by the way. His way of filmmaking pleases me. My review: http://alwayswatchgoodmovies.blogspot.com/2012/11/alps-2011.html
It’s up on Netflix streaming as of today. I watched it this evening and enjoyed it quite a bit. It wasn’t as good as “Dogtooth” but still a solid effort. Some of the moments of social awkwardness towards the end almost reminded me of “Happiness”-era Todd Solondz.