Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Greece, 2005. Haos Film, Modiano Inc., Top cut, STEFI Cine & TV Productions, Kino. Screenplay by Yorgos Kakanakis, Yorgos Lanthimos. Cinematography by Thimios Bakatakis. Produced by Athina Rachel Tsangari. Production Design by Anna Georgiadou. Costume Design by Marie-Christine Polymenacou. Film Editing by Yorgos Mavropsaridis. Toronto International Film Festival 2005.
Yorgos Lanthimos made his solo, feature-film debut as director with this obscure, smoothly filmed look at a Greek seaside town in its fallow, off-season period. A chambermaid at one of Kinetta’s hotels periodically teams up with a BMW enthusiast and an emotionally haunted photographer to re-enact murder crime scenes, which they photograph for their amusement. In between these activities we see them in their own lives, she cleaning rooms, the other meeting with his lover and the third running his business or wandering the empty landscape that the town becomes when it is not teeming with tourists. The experiment would be more satisfying if it had a trajectory, these characters begin and end in the same place and, while that may have been the film’s purpose, it doesn’t result in a film that feels rewarding even if you do find yourself amused by it. Lanthimos would get better at playing his obscure games, moments of this film are expertly achieved but a lot of the bits meant to evoke mystery just feel like filler.