After his startling debut Dogtooth, Greek filmmaker Giorgos Lanthimos continues to shape a new kind of cinema in this conflation of dreamlike ritual and profound emotional underpinning. Careful with its secrets, the film unfurls a series of seemingly unconnected scenes, moving from a disgruntled rhythmic gymnast to paramedic staff asking peculiar questions of accident victims, and a moustachioed leader of a mysterious group he names ‘Alps’ because it gives no indication of what they do.
All does become clear as we get the hang of the characters’ play-acting and the rules they set for themselves, but is their purpose really to bring comfort to the bereaved by substituting for their loved ones, or are there more personal agendas involved?
Tackling universal questions about our own social conduct and the roles we play, this is a slightly mad, richly rewarding and wholly unusual film. (Notes by Trevor Johnston)
This screening will include the IFB-supported short film, We, the Masses, directed by Eoghan Kidney. (11 minutes, 2011, Colour.)