EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|ATTENBERG (director/writer: Athina Rachel Tsangari; cinematographer: Thimios Bakatakis; editors: Sandrine Cheyrol/Matt Johnson; cast: Ariane Labed (Marina), Vangelis Mourikis (Spyros), Evangelia Randou (Bella), Yorgos Lanthimos (the Engineer); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Maria Hatzakou/Yorgos Lanthimos/Iraklis Mavroidis/ Athina Rachel Tsangari /Angelos Venetis; Strand Releasing; 2010-Greece-in Greek with English subtitles)|
|"Works somewhat as a perverse
droll coming-of-age film."
by Dennis Schwartz
The sophomore outing of Greek
filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari ("The Slow
Business of Going") works somewhat as a perverse droll
coming-of-age film that pauses in its weirdness to
slap around the Greek government planners for their
lack of vision and that they couldn't face up to the
recent economic meltdown that has the country reeling.
It also covers the dread of first-love for the heroine
virgin girl, her dying father's fear of being buried
where worms can eat his corpse, and the obsession of
killing time for the bored young heroine who spends
her leisure time watching a Brit TV nature series and
listening to a punk rock group named Suicide.
23-year-old virgin Marina (Ariane Labed)
works for a taxi service and lives in a
depressed backwater industrial town by the sea, and is
repulsed by sex with either a man or a woman. Her best
friend is the sexually active Bella (Evangelia
Randou), a waitress, who teaches her how
to French kiss by actual demonstrations in the hopes
of settling down her aimless friend. The eccentric
Marina routinely watches the nature show that's
written and narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The
show has an anthropological bent, as in one show apes
reveal the same sexual impulses as humans. Marina gets her
kicks by imitating the animals in silly childish
dance routines with Bella. The title
is cutely derived from Marina's mispronunciation
of Sir David Attenborough, the star of the nature
is pre-occupied with visiting her dying cancer-ridden
dad Spyros (Vangelis Mourikis) in the
hospital and listening to his funeral requests. On one
visit she confides in him that she met a man, a
visiting engineer (Yorgos Lanthimos, ,
director of Dogtooth) working on an industrial
project and living in the temporary aluminum
shelters her architect father designed.
her protective dad dying, her friend not someone she
feels comfortable in confiding in and her new
world-weary intellectual boyfriend interested in
sex, the undeveloped Marina must immediately learn
how to assume adult responsibilities or else face an
uncertain future (much like the Greek government).
The pic, though pleasant enough, was too overwhelmed with weirdness for me to pay its maturation lessons more attention. Offering only slight insights into human or animal nature, or the malaise in Greek society, the pic goes down as a curious cult work that should gain favor with an audience willing to accept its playfulness and idiosyncratic way of getting across its points about modern society.
REVIEWED ON 3/1/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ