TIFF20 REVIEW: Mila [Apples] [2020]

I don’t remember if I like them. Amnesia is a tragic ailment. To wake up and find yourself unable to remember your name or any other aspect of your life is nothing short of a nightmarish scenario. We fear diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s precisely because losing our memory is akin to losing our very identity and by extension our sense of purpose. So it’s only natural to see the conceit behind director Christos Nikou‘s and co-writer Stavros Raptis‘ film Mila [Apples] as one steeped in horror. It’s unknown why…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: Entwined [2019]

I long for the old ways. The death of their father triggers Panos (Prometheus Aleifer) and half-brother George (John De Holland) to take stock. The latter wants to stick together and move forward while the former chooses to start anew. Panos is a doctor who now recognizes the delicacy of life too well and wants to hit the country in Alyti so his services can do some real good away from the city. George incessantly calls in the hopes of persuading him out of this altruistic dream he assumes will…

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REVIEW: 4.1 Miles [2016]

“Did Dad get on the boat?” While Trump’s administration unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims from countries he doesn’t do business with, heroes are risking their lives to protect those who need protecting. One of these is Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a Greek Coast Guard captain from the island of Lebos who goes out into the choppy waters of the Aegean Sea to rescue refugees braving the four-mile distance from Turkey. He says that they go out every hour to pull in about two hundred innocent survivors of war, the numbers adding up to…

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REVIEW: L [2012]

“From your blood, reckless car drivers!” A bankrupt nation suffering from severe depression that’s ripe for surrealistic cinematic escape, Greece has spawned some wild films lately. Whereas Dogtooth possessed a plot you could dig into as an outsider, however, I’m at somewhat of a loss with Babis Makridis‘ L. There’s definitely a strain of social and economic commentary at play courtesy of an emotionless tone and weirdly stringent views on human interaction, but I’m drowning underneath the artifice with nothing to securely grab hold of save the quirkily dystopian aesthetic.…

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TIFF15 REVIEW: Semele [2015]

“Out of the way, kid” As children we crave time with our parents—especially when quality family outings prove few and far between. The titular Semele (Vasiliki Kokkoliadi) in Myrsini Aristidou‘s short film will do anything to force some face-to-face, even going so far as hitch-hiking her way to the carpentry plant where her father works to acquire his signature on a school form. Mom’s nowhere to be seen and who knows how long it’s been since Semele and Aris (Yannis Stankoglou) were even in the same room together considering a…

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REVIEW: Κυνόδοντας [Dogtooth] [2009]

“Soon your mother will give birth to two children and a dog” Sometimes a film comes along that disarms you by its originality while completely disturbing you to the point where watching again may be too much to handle. The Greek Κυνόδοντας [Dogtooth] is just such a work. Co-writers Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos—who also directs—take us into the isolated world of a nameless family forsaking society for its own experimental existence. Beginning with a look at the three children living inside a fenced in estate whose borders hold dangers…

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