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also known as Alpeis

Alps2011

  • 3.7
  • passes the bechdel test
ALPS is a mysterious and moving investigation into the process of mourning, a stunningly original follow-up to director Yorgos Lanthimos' Academy Award®-nominated debut, DOGTOOTH. An oddball group of four people (made up of two hospital employees, a gymnast and her coach) form a secret society that sets out to ease the grieving process for those whose loved ones have died. For a fee they will act the part of the missing family member, learning their hobbies and eccentricities, in order to help the customer accept their loss. As methadone is to heroin addiction, so are the Alps, as they call themselves, to the mourning process. But when the nurse known as Monte Rosa (Aggeliki Papoulia, also in DOGTOOTH) begins to attach too deeply to her subjects, their project spirals out of control into violence and confusion. Winner of the Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Film Festival, ALPS proves that co-writer and director Lanthimos is one of the most talented and provocative filmmakers working today.

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Member Reviews (5)

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Yorgos Lanthimos' follow up to Dogtooth is not quite as successful, but almost just as fascinating. Lanthimos is essentially taking an inverse perspective on what he examined in Dogtooth. In Dogtooth we saw a family struggling to form identities within a false or fake reality.

In Alps, we follow a small group of people hellbent on escaping their own real identity to a fake one. A group of people form a secret society designed to sneak individual into the world of another in a surrealistic approach to the idea of "surrogates"

In Lanthimos' world, as in reality -- any group of more than 3 individuals, there will always be a seemingly inherent need to find ways to express roles of leadership and superiority. This is only one angle of struggle facing these Reality Surrogates.

Humor is dispensed in odd and deadpan manner. When a surrogate expresses her desire to perform a gymnastic number to a popular tune, those who have positioned themselves as "leaders" look at her purely devoted performance with disdain. The leader dismisses her fake reality desire with a harsh judgement: "You're not ready for Pop music!" --- the result is both funny and off-putting.

As desired reality is no longer a satisfying option, one of the members of these recently formed society rebels. This individual is rebelling against the rigid rules of her own society to force her way into the "reality" she desire.

The desire and need for escaping real identity into an unreal one proves to a problematic challenge in more ways than one. Ultimately, the characters are blocked by cultural and society from all angles as the need for rebellion grows.

An interesting follow-up to Dogtooth, but not as cohesive and less thought provoking. The insular family in Dogtooth provides a better setting for conveying the message. In this film, the number of characters introduced that interact with the main character is a distraction, and sometimes difficult to follow-up. I believe though that the relationship of the coach and student who is also part of this secret society could have been more fully realized. This relationship provides a powerful conclusion to the film.

Very disappointed. I expected much more from the director of Dogtooth, which I totally enjoyed.

I will say that Angeliki Papoulia who also acted in Dogtooth is a very skilled actress. I love both of her performances.

Lanthimos is proving to be a true idea machine as his work continually seems to exist in an alternate universe.

Kind of a quirky film, but interesting. Will probably have to view again to to experience its full impact.