Cole Smithey - Capsules: Alps
 
FILM REVIEWS
CAPSULE REVIEWS
INTERVIEWS
FILM BLOG
ARTICLES
TECHNOLOGY
SUBSCRIBE

« Ice Age: Continental Drift | Main | The Apartment — CLASSIC FILM PICK »

Alps

AlpsAfter the failure of his insufferable last film “Dogtooth,” Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos refines his minimalist approach to absurdist satire. However confounding on first blush, “Alps” is a provocative think piece about the nature of loss, memory, DIY psychotherapy, and emotional fulfillment.

Inside an empty gymnasium, a group of four hands-on therapists — a nurse, a paramedic, a gymnast, and her coach — take turns practicing to act as surrogates for recently deceased people, whose personalities they will mimic during visitations with bereaved family members. The group name themselves “Alps.” They take their work very seriously. This is piecemeal method acting gone wild.

The talented ribbon gymnast (Ariane Labed) pleads with her coach (Johnny Vekris) to allow her to dance to modern music.

The stern coach snaps back, “You’re not ready for pop.” "Raise your voice at me again," he says calmly, "and I'll take a club and crack your head open. And then I'll break your arms and your legs." An uncomfortable strain of father-daughter substitution runs through their relationship. The film’s humor comes in a glass of ice-cold water.

The nurse (Aggeliki Papoulia) loses herself too much in her work. Monte Rosa — as she calls herself — starts to carry out her own freelance proxy work to satisfy an emotional void. The coach also crosses a line of emotional sharing in his encounters with clients.

“Alps” is a backhanded commentary on the ways in which people exploit chosen occupations to fulfill personal fantasies. It also refers to the fetishized aspects of relationships and their limited scope of sexual necessity. Anyone can be a surrogate.

Not Rated. 90 mins. (B) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)

Click Here to Visit the FilmBlog for Artwork, Movies, Music, News, Photos, Politics, Posters, Reviews, Trailers, Videos, and More

submit to reddit

 

Posted by Cole Smithey on July 29, 2012 in Experimental | Permalink
Save to del.icio.us | Digg This

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c2b7953ef016768e63d3b970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Alps:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Post a comment