Alps Screen 5 articles



Alps Poster
  • Both a companion piece to and in many ways a reversal of Dogtooth, Alps finds Lanthimos building on that film's surreally terse style and notions of communication and identity without diluting its singularity or concentration. Working with cinematographer Christos Voudouris, he composes his images... to conjure up an atmosphere of dread that hangs over even the most deceptively tranquil scenes.

  • His spell cast, Lanthimos immerses his viewers in a defiantly strange tale about a secret society... that hires itself out to bereaved families to stand in for deceased relatives. That’s all you need to know going in, save the fact that Lanthimos’s talent for off-kilter framing and delayed-laugh nuttiness... builds on that unsettling opening to a degree that will frustrate as many as it will enthrall...

  • Director Lanthimos (“Dogtooth”) keeps the pace deliberate and the camera stable as he pushes people to one side of the frame, frequently while someone watches hungrily, out of focus and out of time. That all this would come with costs quite apart from whatever fee the group charges is also predictable. The movie focuses tightly and obviously on role playing, but the most unsettling observations concern how fragile it all is — our health, our minds, our denial of death.

  • [Examining a sex scene:] Reverse angle reveals similar formal elements from the sex scene in Dogtooth. The woman’s body is cropped, emphasizing her presence as a body. But her body language, the briskness with which she disrobes, suggests a willingness to follow his instructions. The man’s orders are based on his past experience with his ex-lover.

  • Alps is an extraordinary work, disturbing and deeply moving in part precisely because of its defining phoniness. It's as much an investigation into the various flubs, compromises, and half-truths that define the rhythm of human interaction as a towering testament to drama's rudimentary yens to entertain, affect, and most fundamentally, beguile.

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