Archiv der Kategorie: Yorgos Lanthimos

Festival: Around the World in 14 Films 2018 (part 2)

Short reviews of selected films from this year’s festival

By Sascha Krieger

The Favourite (UK, Ireland, United States / Director: Yorgos Lanthimos) – Venice Film Festival

Yorgos Lanthimos, the creator of bitter, biting, often very cold allegories on the perversion of (post)modern humanity, has made a costume drama. Two hours later, the most conservative, rule-ridden, comfort-zone-seeking genre will never be the same. The celebrated and much hated Greek film maker tackles it with the force of a hurricane, leaving no stone unturned. On the surface, everything is fine: the sets are as elaborate and injected with a great love of detail as are the costume, the atmosphere of the claustrophobic powder and wig-heavy indoor society that is Baroque England so expertly covered one can almost smell the sweet stench of decay. The story is fictional, some of the characters are not. It takes place in the court of Queen Anne, the forgotten queen between the first Elizabeth and the only Victoria. In the film, she builds around herself a circle of female friends and confidantes: first the resolute, tactically relentless uber-politician Lady Sarah (with biting force: Rachel Weisz), later the fallen former Aristocrate and now servant (though not for long) Abigail (quickly turning from innocent to witty to coldly scheming: Emma Stone). Together they fight the patriarchy by mirroring it: they’re tougher, more ruthless, less scrupulous and a lot more radical than their male counterparts. So much so that ultimately they turn against each other in one of the more epic and brutal battle of wits, minds and bodies you’ve ever seen in film.

Image: © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox


Where the Monsters Are

Film review: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Director: Yorgos Lanthimos)

By Sascha Krieger

The ancient Greek king Agamemnon was a mighty man. But compared to the gods, he was nothing. Long before he would die at the hands of his wife and her lover, the beginning of the final chapter of his family’s pre-destined downfall, while he was on his way to lead the Greek troops in the Trojan war, he killed a deer. A sacred deer, it turned out. Artemis, goddess of hunting, didn’t quite like that, so she manipulated the winds so that the Greek fleet was stuck where it was. in order to free it, she demanded a sacrifice of Agamemnon: that of his daughter Iphigenia. Being the dutiful king, general and subject he was, Agamemnon complied. And even though many later attempts have been made – some unknown ghostwriter seems to even have added such a turn to Euripides‘ original play – to have Iphigenia survivor, this is how the original story ends. Greek film maker Yorgos Lanthimos no doubt knows his Greek mythology. And he likes this ending. Be4cause it gives his a great blueprint to explore motives of guilt, sin and redemption in a world only seemingly far removed from ancient Aulis. And he does so in a film as cold as the hearts of the gods – and as radical in its constistency, as brutal in its straightforwardness as the Greeks consider faith. A film you’ll either love or hate. There is no in-between.

Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell (Image: Alamode Film)