I saw L with director Babis Makridis in attendance a few days ago which got me thinking about the films…
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…
I really liked this.
And I'm not sure why people keep thinking that she directed Dogtooth as well, when she didn't. Maybe because Yorgos Lanthimos was in it and co-produced.. or because Athina produced Dogtooth.
But a lot of people on netflix apparently went into this expecting the same thing as Dogtooth, hey guys! News flash! Greek cinema is more than Dogtooth.
30 Countries, 30 Days.
Day 13, Film 12
Time Period: present
Theme: sexual exploration
Style of Subtitle: Super thin white font, little black border.
Funniest / Oddest Subtitle: The. ?he "Piston"
What did I learn about the country: There really are white buildings everywhere
Coincidental relation to last country I watched: Norway is a pioneer in same-sex marriage being legalized (second country behind Denmark to do so).
I heard there's an American remake planned: Directed by Miranda July (with magnets on a fridge of pin up woman while narration plays taking the place of nudity)
I picked movies for this challenge by going through my Netflix queue, to ensure I could acquire the movies I picked and because…
Greece is proving to be a hotbed for filmmaking talent with Attenberg being the next breakout indie hit from the region. Unfortunately it pales in comparison to its native competition with a story that attempts to explore the big themes of love, sex and death but ultimately says very little.
In many ways it reminds me of a Miranda July film albeit less irksome but just as self-aware. You have the typical quirky lead characters who have never quite grown up or found a place in the world and the seemingly incongruous scenes of random dancing and a strained archness. July’s films make me want to smash shit up so it is to Attenberg’s credit that all it evokes is…
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…
Deadpan like Godot, shoulder blades like Videodrome.
Oh, and this started off so promisingly, like a companion piece to another recent Greek movie, Giorgos Lanthimos's excellent black comedy shocker Dogtooth. Marina & Bella, the weird best friends at the centre of Attenberg, have a lot in common with Dogtooth's naïve sisters - the virginal, possibly asexual Marina in particular - and the perpetually overcast factory town is almost identical to one of the earlier film's locations. But the quirky, uncomfortable humour soon dissipates and it becomes clear that Attenberg doesn't have much of a story to tell. Basically: 24 year-old Marina has an odd, almost childlike closeness to her ailing father, and no interest in sex until one day she does. She hates Bella's promiscuity, but each evening…
Interesting character study of a young woman stuck in a dead end town.
The comparisons that most have made to Dogtooth are just. In fact, that particular film struck such a nerve with so many people that, for better or for worse, the foreign approach to all contemporary Greek films will be discussed within the lexicon of post-Dogtooth Greek cinema. But Attenberg is a much more personal, grounded work. Despite its blunt sexuality – characterized by its madcap crotch-grabbing and tongue-licking – the film touchingly tells the story of a woman becoming conscious of her own body while her father’s slowly withers away. The title refers to a mispronunciation of Sir David Attenborough, and throughout the film his nature documentaries provide context for the protagonist’s own deviant sexual awakening.
"Attenberg" is a film that is intensely convoluted regarding the characters and the plot itself. But since I always write in each review, once you watch films like these kind of type. You're forced to combine all of the film's imaginers in your mind and to execute them into your own reality."Attenberg" is ambitiously audacious and hard to dig at first. It's difficult to understand what happens scene after scene. The viewer either will be stunned or will be confused.Cinema is meant to be complex and confusing and a great film is a film that constantly challenges the viewer, to exhibit how courageous and ambitious it is. "Attenberg" is such a film.
I really like the way this uses Marina's perspective to make the human body and the things we do with it profoundly wierd. Marina, Bella and Sypros' exaggerated "animal" imitations are repeated so frequently that they become normal and seemingly regular human interactions become strange.
From DOGTOOTH's producer, another Greek provocation. There's something cool going on in Greece's film (although I'm afraid it's really only a handful of films, seen by the same stale hipster cineastes), not A1 perfect or fascinating but promising enough. Lanthimos's 2009 DOGTOOTH was meh but ok, but 2011's ALPS was pretty lame.
I mean, ATTENBERG is really very insufferable, if it's the good kind of insufferable. Sex and stuff, you know.
Penises can be disembodied creatures?, this asks, totally unattached to men? A game of foosball by yourself could happen? A nature documentary from Sir David Attenborough could be on the TV? Two girls could run in funny choreographed dances together? "If I drive too fast," a driver could ask…
What shoulder blades!
Mildly interesting, especially the scenes with the main character and her lover, but for the most part this felt very shapeless stylistically and very aimless. It felt like there was a lot of filler. I really really hated those stupid little walking/animal mimicry interludes.
- Boy Eating the Bird's Food
- The Turin Horse
- Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
- Holy Motors
- The Master
Just what it says on the tin: a rough ranking of 2012 commercial film releases in the US (market for…
- Brutti, sporchi e cattivi
- Animal House
- Mysterious Object at Noon
- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives