The success of Yorgos Lanthimos’ exceptional Kynodontas (Dogtooth, pictured above), which won the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2009, went on to be a worldwide indie hit and even garnered an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film, signalled the start of a new wave of films from young Greek filmmakers that count as some of the most refreshingly original works to come out of the European arthouse in recent years.
Always markedly postmodern, these films focus on the transformation and dissolution of mores and institutions within contemporary Greek society, often creating offbeat microcosms to explore the individual’s relation to these shifts and providing commentaries that infuse cynicism with whimsicality without sacrificing their bite.
Starting with a preview screening of Lanthimos’ latest film Alpeis (Alps, released in Germany on the 14th of June), which tells of an agency providing surrogate loved ones to the recently bereaved, throughout May the Arsenal is hosting an impressive series of 13 recent Greek films, most of which are all but impossible to get a hold of in Germany. Kynodontas producer Athina Tsangarai will be present for the German premiere of her own Attenberg, another cult favourite. Other highlights include L (pictured above), which takes the deadpan absurdism of the above titles to a whole new level in its story of a man who lives in his car and whose raison d’être consists of each day delivering a single jar of honey to his employer.
Neues Griechisches Kino (04.05 - 30.05.2012) | Arsenal, Potsdamer Str. 2, S+U-Bhf Potsdamer Platz
Alpeis - May 4, 20:00, and May 7, 20:00. In Greek with English subs, with director Yorgos Lanthimos in attendance
Kynodontas - May 5, 19:00, and May 19, 21:00. In Greek with English subs, with director Yorgos Lanthimos in attendance
Attenberg - May 10, 20:00. In Greek with German subs, with director Athina Tsangarai in attendance
L - May 12, 21:00, and May 18, 19:30. In Greek with English subs
Full programme here.
Originally published in the May 2012 issue of Exberliner