The film contains: car people, motorbike people, boat people. There are adults (both men and women), children, a man-bear, dogs. There are parking lots, roads, dirt roads, seaside roads, homes. There are musical moments with actors singing songs. There are driving moments on different vehicles. There are gloves, helmets, shoes & boots, leather jackets & jackets with internal linings.
It should come as no surprise that this film comes from the same pen that scribed 'Dogtooth', 'Alps' and 'The Lobster' : Efthymis Filippou. This dark and deadpan comedy shares the same pathos and lack of surface emotion. For those following the so-called 'new greek wave' this shouldn't be passed over.
It might feel, in the moment, like a daring and powerful directorial choice to structure a film using all the established elements of absurdist deadpan comedy, but without any comedy. I can understand how, caught up in that exciting Greek wave, you might convince yourself that it'd be deep meta-commentary, and not insulting, self-indulgent, and of mediocre intellectual merit. I get it. I just wish Makridis had, too.
"Friends, wives and children no longer exist..." Make sure you wear the right shoes. "If he had not been killed by that hunter who mistook him for a bear we would not be looking for a New Driver." Warped Moonlight Sonata nice. "Invisible behind their doors, they kill and they kill." Crawling on the ground. "Let me introduce you. This is my best friend. People think he is a bear but he is a man." What happened?
I always have trouble with dragged out story of some simple but intentionally made ambiguous metaphors. But I'll play: can this be about the radicalisation(car->bike) & subsequently bastardization(bike->bear) of common paycheck to paycheck working class people? And boating is the adventures out of loop? Some cool scenes but definitely can be cut better into <1hr.
Wonderful. Wacky. Totally within its own world. Following the main character and all of his affectations only endeared me to him more. The film understands this and handles the affectations with grace and fully commits to them in a way that the viewer can believe it. The film is a very strong, and perfectly peculiar, film that was a joy to see.
Grek John Hawkes lives in his car, has a patient family, a dead friend who appears to him, some driving gloves and a boss moustache. 2 days after seeing this it hit me that this might be one of the most brutally sad movies I've ever seen that didn't make me sad at all. It's deftly handled with odd moments of surealism.
How do we define ourselves and our place in the world? How should we respond to sudden, drastic shifts in our lives? How do economic woes contribute to familial and societal fragmentation, and even fascism? This abstract, minimalistic film can be difficult to watch, but Makridis is doing seriously interesting things with form; his style fascinates, and there is a lot to wrestle with here. Hope to see more from him.
Dig this apathetic and essential greek “new wave” style of filmmaking (does it even exist?). The characters alienation doesn’t simply juxtapose to a homologated system entitled to set the rules of the paragon, but it carves out a series of conventions that sanction a total dystopia with the relation language-world we are got used to.
Debut feature film co-written by one of the Dogtooth writers, this latest journey in Greek absurdist comedy, a road trip where the driver 'is' the vehicle falls a little short of the mark. There are some truly great and wry moments in here and a swag of interesting ideas but as a whole it lacks in pace and development at times feeling like the same joke told over and over. 2.5 stars