You’re Not Ready for the Teaser Trailer for ‘Alps’

By  · Published on August 30th, 2011

Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth is decidedly divisive cinema. The film played on the festival circuit back in 2010 (I took it in at SXSW in a tiny screening library room, via DVD on a tiny television) and ended up garnering a surprise Best Foreign Film nomination at the Oscars, but all that certainly doesn’t mean that the film is fit to be enjoyed (or possibly even consumed) by everyone.

The film focused on a Greek family with three adult children who had been isolated from the world by their parents (namely their father) and taught to fear not only other people, but nearly everything else, especially cats. To further their isolation, the kids were taught incorrect meanings for words, leaving them essentially unable to express themselves to others, should they ever encounter them. There was also an incest storyline. Sound heavy? It was ‐ and wasn’t. Dogtooth is wonderfully unsettling cinema, littered with humor darker than coal, and more messages about family and society than you could count on your fingers and toes. I loved it, but I also absolutely understand why other people don’t.

Now Lanthimos is back with a new film, Alps, which will premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Much like Dogtooth, the film looks to imagine an alternate sense of reality within the regular world. In the world of Alps, members of the titular group perform a service ‐ they “stand in” for deceased people for their grieving loved ones. And, like Dogtooth, that serious plotline doesn’t hint at the real bones of the film ‐ black as night humor. While the first teaser doesn’t show much plot, it does show some Lanthimos style humor. Check out the teaser trailer, and a mountain of other Alps information, after the break.

The team over at /Film thoughtfully provided some further insight into the film by way of the film’s press kit. Apparently, members of Alps have fifteen rules to obey, which read as follows:

Alps members:

Mont Blanc, Leader of the Alps group
January 2008

While these rules are all fine and dandy, previous synopses have hinted that at least one member of the group doesn’t follow them to the letter. That, my friends, is conflict ripe for the Lanthimos treatment. [IndieWire]