The film that started it all. Lanthimos' recipe uses most if not all the following ingredients: compulsive & recursive re-enactments, deadpan robotic dialogues, sadism & perversity, manipulation & copulation, control & abuse, Ballardian & Augean non-places. Inter nos, I'm glad Lanthimos dropped the Dogma 95 style (handheld camera, no make up, no studio lighting, improvisation etc.) in his subsequent films.
The enigmatic Lanthimos creates a concept that requires more than a little patience much like a Diaz or Ceylan film. At first glance, this post-structuralist thinkpiece may seem like watching paint dry, but like every great avant-garde auteur, it forms the foundation for his subversive oeuvre and filmmaking portfolio. Like a seemingly banal piece in a modern art gallery, there is more than meets the eye.
After an auteur/director first successful movie, it's hard not to think about his previous works as a bit surpassed. 'Kinetta' has some WTF moments and bizarre characters, but something is missing - something that Lanthimos has found in 'Dogtooth' and has masterfully developed till 'The Lobster'.
Austere, opaque, awkward and somehow absolutely beguiling. Lanthimos excels at reinventing cinematic conventions, using non-narrative stasis and non sequitur to construct a world of anti-meaning. Brilliantly challenging.
This film is exactly what the current abuse debate is all about. It could have been called ‘Homage to Harvey Weinstein’. It is extraordinary the efforts the cast put into trying to get the young actress to take her top off
First we have her attacked and beaten. Then she is injured and commits suicide. I don’t think this effort enriches anyone and no amount of intellectualising reduces the harm.