Best of weird Greek New Wave Cinema
written by Souranath Banerjee
Probably the most intriguing moment for a film enthusiast is when he manages to notice a certain mutation in the films produced from a specific country over a short period of years.
And then, be able to link this transformation of cinema with the contemporary social and economic scenario of that nation!
But recently, say over the last five-six years, most of the Greek films interesting enough to grab the attention of the international festivals are not only very unusual (both in form and content) but also pretty dark, often sexually abusive and above all exceptionally weird.
Keeping in mind that Cinema has always been the true reflection of a country and it’s socio-economic scenario, and Greece obviously still reeling from a recent global financial crisis, i have no doubt that these weird yet unapologetic, low budget films directly mirror the awkward uneasiness of a post-recession society.
But then, most of these films are also a great insight to human psychology, it is no surprise that the contemporary avant-garde style of the alternative Greek New Wave is having such a shocking effect on the global audience!
Some call it the ‘Greek Weird Wave‘, here is a list of films that contains the Best of weird Greek New Wave Cinema.
10. Boy Eating the Bird’s Food (2012)
To agori troei to fagito tou pouliou (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mdrg7jGZKY
A boy who has a bird as his beloved pet, all caged up. But other than that, he has no company; neither he has any money/job nor any food to eat.
Directed by Ektoras Lygizos, this film depicts three days in the life of this lonely boy; how he manages to survive and more importantly how he desperately tries to feed his pet canary and keep it safe.
9. Wasted Youth (2011)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdAN7MMU4gU
The film simply mirrors the life of the general day to day life of the young crowd of Athens through the aimlessness of a young boy and the overall frustration of the low income middle aged men through the cop character.
8. Knifer (2010)
Macherovgaltis (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ4EA97XNhY
A man comes to the city and takes up a new job to guard the dogs at his Uncle’s place. But then the relationships start changing and things get difficult as he gets too close to his Uncle’s wife!
Directed by Yannis Economides, this is a visually stylized film made in black and white, a great drama that feeds on injustice; somehow it relates with the current socio-political scenario of the country.
7. Alps (2011)
Alpeis (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i2xl_vo88w
An unique business conceived by a group of people who is ready to impersonate a recently deceased person for the benefit of their loved ones (their clients), basically to help them go through the grieving process with ease.
6. A Woman’s Way (2009)
Strella (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNP6IeO8cDw
Directed by Panos H. Koutras, probably the weirdest in the list.
A man released from prison have sex with a young transsexual prostitute and they soon fall in love, only to find out later that they are related to each other in more ways than just lovers!
Brilliant performances and great cinematography that makes this weird film work.
5. What If… (2012)
An… (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbCFqWL_YuQ
A simple choice made by a man leads him to his love of life! Now what if he didn’t make that choice?
Directed by Christopher Papakaliatis, this unique film shows both sides of the man’s life (if he made that choice or not) and how much his life alters because of it.
Most importantly the film also comments on the impact of a severe economic crisis and it’s effects on the people of the country.
4. The Enemy Within (2013)
O ehthros mou (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4lTTQu0LYE
A sudden act of violence from some unknown intruders disrupts the peace of a family and now it is up to the man of the house to bring back things into proper perspective. But how?
Directed by Yorgos Tsemberopoulos, this is one terrific film that deals with the social instability of Greece and also touches the sensitive subject of immigrants and refugees and their effects on the country.
3. Miss Violence (2013)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dFFN0igjJY
An eleven year old girl jumps off her balcony on the day of her birthday, she dies with a smile on her face!
Apparently a case of suicide and the family insists it to be one but as the investigation proceeds some dreadful facts comes to surface.
Directed by Alexandros Avranas, an insanely weird family drama.
2. Attenberg (2010)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2582qyfXOSs
Directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari, this is the strange story of a girl who at one side deals with her father’s illness and on the other tries to learn to become more affectionate to other human beings (physically as well).
Awkward yet direct, shy yet explicit, uniquely distant yet deeply bounded with love – and obviously weird. A film that will be with you for a long time but not entirely for the right reasons.
- Dogtooth (2009)
Kynodontas (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFtDzK64-pk
Locked up, overprotected and completely unaware of the outside world, three teenagers are being brought up by their authoritative parents in an isolated house, where incest and violence is a natural day to day affair!
Yorgos Lanthimos creates this uniquely disoriented world where even the regular vocabulary looses it’s sense.
and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most effective one. A must watch)
+1. Worlds Apart (2015)
Enas Allos Kosmos (original title)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Czt-FCxp4I
Directed by Christopher Papakaliatis, this is a film that tells us three different stories, each one is about a love affair between a Greek and a foreigner, and how these stories entangle themselves into one by the end of the film.
All the tales are of different generations, and their attitude towards the recent socioeconomic calamity in most of the South European countries including Greece.
Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com