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Greece, 2011, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Dark Comedy, Drama, Medical/Health, Psychological
Program: Contemporary World CinemaLanguage: Greek English Subtitles
DIRECTOR: Giorgos Lanthimos
Producer: Giorgos Lanthimos, Athina Rachel TsangariEditor: Yorgos MavropsaridisScreenwriter: Efthymis Filippou, Giorgos LanthimosCinematographer: Christos VoudourisPrincipal Cast: Stavros Psyllakis, Aris Servetalis, Johnny Vekris, Ariane Labed, Aggeliki Papoulia
A paramedic, a nurse, a gymnast, and her coach provide an unusual service: standing in for the deceased by so that friends and family can more easily let go of their loved ones. Their self-declared leader is the paramedic (Aris Servetalis), who names the group “Alps.” He in turn decides to call himself Mont Blanc—after the tallest of the Alpine peaks—and instructs the others to choose their pseudonyms from the lesser mountains.
Despite Mont Blanc’s attempts to impose order upon the group, the nurse (Aggeliki Papoulia), taking advantage of her hospital job, begins to recruit clients on her own. When she subs for a recently deceased teenage tennis player, she becomes so consumed by the role that her reality blurs with that of the dead girl. Her ruse does not go unnoticed by Mont Blanc, and the discovery sets off a series of unnerving events.
Alps is the latest feature from writer and director Yorgos Lanthimos (the Oscar-nominated Dogtooth), and his experience shows, from the plot-twisting screenplay to the striking camerawork to the stirring performances. Lanthimos questions the very idea of reality itself, and does so with dry, wickedly dark humor. The film’s absurd and intertwining plotlines develop in a way that allows viewers to arrive at their own conclusions, making for a compelling cinematic experience.
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