Thursday, March 8, 2012
Dogtooth last year (which managed, incredibly, to reach final nomination status) and this year ATTENBERG, which, though better than its predecessor, didn't even make the shortlist -- Greece is a country desperately in need of help. And not simply economic help, which we know from daily newspaper headlines, but psychological, social, and sexual, too. Please: Give this country a life coach. I jest, of course, but not entirely. I mean, don't you sometimes wonder: How did they get from Homer to here? There is something so irredeemably creepy and constrained about these two films, as well as others I've seen from Greece over the past decade or two, that I can only mourn all the more the passing this year of the great Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos.
Athina Rachel Tsangari (shown at left, who also helped produce Dogtooth), Attenberg, takes its name from the mispronunciation of the name Attenborough, as in David, whose British wildlife documentaries appear to be the only staple of TV viewing for our heroine and her dying dad (mom's long gone). This attractive young woman, Marina, is brought to life in believable fashion (which is no small compliment considering how nearly unbelievable the character usually appears) by Ariane Labed (below, right, learning to French kiss) in her film debut. She is greatly in need of help. How she has managed to reach the late teens while remaining clueless-to-the-max is one for the books.
Evangelia Randou, above, left), seems to have a bit of a thing for that sickly dad (Vangelis Mourikis, whose performance helps immensely to ground the film), and later on, Marina attempts to connect the two sexually -- more as a gift to dad than to Bella.
Strand Releasing, the movie opens in New York City tomor-row, March 9, at the IFC Center, and in Los Angeles on Friday, April 6th, at Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex and Pasadena Playhouse 7 -- followed by a limited national rollout.