Movies that are slightly off.
Marina, 23, is growing up with her architect father in a prototype factory town by the sea. Finding the human species strange and repellent, she keeps her distance. Instead she chooses to observe it through the songs of Suicide, the mammal documentaries of Sir David Attenborough, and the sexual-education lessons she receives from her only friend, Bella. A stranger comes to town and challenges her to a foosball duel, on her own table. Her father meanwhile ritualistically prepares for his exit from the 20th century, which he considers to be "overrated." Caught between the two men and her collaborator, Bella, Marina investigates the wondrous mystery of the human fauna.
A comparison with Haneke is, in my humble opinion, absolutely out of the question.
My hypothesis is that Athina Rachel Tsangari comes as a hybrid of Giorgos Lanthimos' Kynodontas (2009) and Chantal Akerman's Les rendez-vous d'Anna (1978), the first one thematically, the second one visually.
The thematic connection can be drawn from the condemnation of the 20th Century as a "remnant of toxic modernism of post-Enlightment"; Kynodontas condemns the post-industrialist current reality almost as much as Attenberg does. The concept of a family isolated from civilization and unleashing uncommon behaviors as an integral part of their personalities is another similarity. All of these elements play part in an absorbing environment of dredd and hopelessness.
The visual connection, on the other…
This film is really fucking seductive. It's perfectly shot, and the performances are impeccable, completely flawless, and yet there's not really that much substance: that's okay though, this is a film that doesn't need substance. It holds itself together in its' own very sexually assertive way.
Between the two Greek films I've seen - this and Dogtooth, it's safe to say these filmmakers love their weird and off-the-wall cinema.
A very quietly, cynically devastating piece of work.
Marina kind of hates other people. She gets her friend to teach her about kissing while her dad is preparing for death since he's bored of the 20th century. The opening shot it a long take of Marina and her friend Bella basically licking each other for five minutes. Typical Greece, really. What did you expect from the country that brought us Dogtooth? Attenberg is a solid film that's entertaining and quirky without having too much to say. Marina is a strange but cute character that's fun to hang out with and her sexual development is good fun to experience. The film's an easy watch, not a vast amount of substance but it's a good 90 minutes. Eww shoulder blades.
A very strange movie from Greece. In this one a 23 year old lady is taking care of her ill father. During the course of the movie we watch as she ventures into a relationship with a man for the very first time. The storyline involving her father is easy to understand. The storyline involving her boy friend is strange but kinda of makes sense. The storyline involving her best friend is just weird. The movie repeatedly cuts to the two friends doing some strange dancing. If you take a look at the cover...you see that the main character is double jointed...I read on IMDb that lots of people find that really sexy....like this movie I found watching her do her shoulders this way....difficult to watch.
Since everyone is comparing this to Dogtooth, I'll join in and declare allegiance to #teamattenberg. Less obviously directed--the world isn't quite as bizarro or contained--but better for it, because it's more subtle and more devastating. Whereas DOGTOOTH worked purely on abstract levels, ATTENBERG successfully straddles the line between observational unease and a more conventional narrative through-line. Case-in-point: the obsession with Industrialization--there is only once scene in the entire movie to broach the topic, but it rears its head everywhere, especially during the car rides that seem to want desperately to get away from all the smoke and industry. But no underlining, strictly background, until it comes to the forefront for the ending--voilá, subtle political edge. I'll throw in a mention…
The New Greek cinema is becoming one of the craziest, downright unpredictable movements in world cinema recently. From the same collaborators of that batshit insane absurd drama Dogtooth (which I loved) comes this unique but distant coming of age drama Attenberg by Athina Rachel Tsangari. Attenberg flows in a more conventional structure than Dogtooth believe it or not. The story centers on a bizarre, young woman trying to be friendly to the world. She thinks that people are vile creatures and tends to isolate herself except with the company of her dying father and her female friend.
The story is intriguing enough to engage me. But I felt that it could’ve been more experimental or edgy in terms of its…
For a movie that begins with the most disgusting kissing tutorial I've ever seen, it's actually a sweet, almost tender coming-of-age-type film. It feints toward the kind of into-the-abyss perversity of other recent Greek films (Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos makes a rather prominent cameo), but it's really more grounded in realism and recognizable human emotions than the other ones I've seen.
To call this a coming-of-age tale would be ill-fitting. This is a tale of adult resignation, a resignation that life is ruled by sex and death. And the fact that you may not like either but you’ll have to live with them forever. Attenberg is a dark comedy of behavior, something typical of modern Greek cinema these days. It centers around Marina, a young woman caring for her dying father in an economically desolate seaside area. In the weeks readying for her father’s departure, Marina struggles with the fact that she finds sexual activity revolting.
Interrupting Marina’s trajectory to adult resignation are vignettes of Marina’s and her friend Bella’s childish frolicking hand-in-hand. These vignettes are reminiscent of Chytilova’s Daisies, illustrating…
need to rewatch
Loved it from the first scene of that especially tender kiss to the last. One for the ministry of silly walks.
It has some scenes the feel unnecessary, but overall I really enjoyed this one. Some really unique characters, weird conversations, and a nice charm.
With her father's mortality taking center stage, Marina continues to take solace in the nature documentaries of David Attenborough and in her friendship with Bella. She learns a bit about sex from Bella, and even more from an engineer who comes to town. As her father's health fades, Marina's life blooms and she must find a way to accept this. "Attenberg" is a unique coming-of-age tale that's part performance art and part nuanced commentary on death and living with it.
All the pre-release stuff I saw and heard about this, all the clips of the two women doing their Ministry of Silly Walks thing, left me thinking it would be annoyingly quirky without much in the way of substance. So it was a pleasant surprise to discover that it's a touching story about life, death, family and friendship with the occasional quirky interlude. And the interludes are short enough that they punctuate the drama rather than get in its way.
Ariane Labed is the funniest kisser around.
What a sweet and quiet coming of age dramedy that elicited many a sharp laugh. Labed's Marina is a young woman thrust into adulthood, much like the Greek farmers thrust into the modern world. It does get a little slow at times, but Marina and her friend's constant silly-waking through the courtyard develops its own pleasing rhythm.
Quite subtle in its way, dealing with a father-daughter relationship and with death, but also totally its own film. Really assured direction I thought, and the little recurring sequences of Marina and Bella doing silly walks are delightful.
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
movies directed by women,
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