Greece

Yorgos Lanthimos confounded and excited fans with Dogtooth and he returns to theaters this summer with Alps – the story of a group that begins a business where they impersonate the recently deceased in order to help the mourning cope. In this interview with Landon Palmer, Lanthimos discusses toying with identity and death while giving an eye into his filmmaking process (and describing the difficulty in marketing a movie while trying to maintain its mysteriousness). Download Episode #140

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Alps Movie 2012

Yorgos Lanthimos’s Alps, like his previous Academy-Award nominated critical favorite Dogtooth, is a movie that feels like a puzzle. Not an Inception or Lost-style puzzle where answers to mysteries are teased and delivered with thunderous revelation. Alps is a quiet, restrained work of artistry that’s cryptic in its approach to detail, ambiguous in its construction of characters, and deliberately distanced in its psychological, emotional, and visual landscape. Lanthimos and co-screenwriter Efthymis Filippou have once again created a film whose idiosyncratic microcosm is manifested through short scenes that reveal brief and often puzzling bits of information until those bits gradually accumulate into a more full understanding of what the hell is going on. Lanthimos’s films require a significant amount of work from the viewer, and should be credited for it. Alps opens with a striking image of a gymnast (Ariane Labed) performing rhythmic dance to a classical composition who is then verbally abused by her stone-faced coach (Johnny Vekris). We subsequently see a bloodied young woman in an ambulance being cared for by a paramedic (Aris Servetalis) who later informs a nurse (Aggeliki Pappoulia) that this woman is a tennis player whose favorite actor is Jude Law. I’ll save the details of what comes after for you to experience yourself (though many reviews have revealed much more than I will), but we come to find out that this unlikely quartet of characters (whose real names are never revealed) refer to themselves as “Alps” and are engaged in a strange and dangerous […]

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Imagine a world where everything you knew came exclusively from two people. Your entire life spent confined within the outer walls of your home and yard, never allowed to leave, never allowed to interact with the world outside. The grandfather you’ve never met speaks to you in song from the record player. The brother you don’t remember exists silently on the other side of the ten-foot-tall fence where he lives in constant fear of the most dangerous animal alive… house cats. And your mother is pregnant with twin girls and a dog. Welcome to Dogtooth.

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The third match of Round One finds the insane Western The Good The Bad The Weird going head to head with stirring drama Brides. Both films are set in the early 1900s, and both are critically acclaimed, but Korea has the edge here because of it’s status with those who obsessively import Blu-rays and DVDs.

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my_life_in_ruins01

We sat down with Nia Vardalos at a roundtable interview for My Life in Ruins, her first film in five years.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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