Deadpan Greek comedy "Chevalier", directed by Athina Rachel Tsangari, is a "buddy movie without buddies" that won top prize at the recent British Film Institute’s London Film Festival Awards. Focusing on the way obsession can lead to chaos, the film follows the machismo rivalries of six men aboard a yacht and unfolds as an absurdist comedy about virile behavior reduced to a primal state.
It is also a grim study of competitive spirit and of "masculine prowess and anxiety though the eyes of a brave and original film-maker". Tsangari, together with Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, 2009) are the two filmmakers who’ve acquired the highest international profile in Greece's recent cinematic revitalization, sometimes called the ‘weird wave’ movement.
Lanthimos’ latest film "The Lobster" is set in a world where being single is a sign of societal failure and people have a choice between finding romantic partners or be transformed into beasts and sent off into the woods.
According to the Guardian, "The Lobster" balances jet-black humour with a hint of horror and a smidgen of satirical sadness, asking what we really want/get from love and relationships. Starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz in what is described as possibly ‘the greatest bad date movie ever made’, "The Lobster" is now on release in theatres across Europe, whilst its U.S. release is slated for 2016.
It has been noted that the Greece’s economic crisis is to a degree connected with the upsurge of creativity in filmmaking: during this period, Greek cinema has produced many "fearless, exciting, and wholly original cinematic works", like Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel's "Wasted Youth" (2011), Ektoras Lygizos' "Boy Eating the Bird's Food" (2012), and Babis Makridis' "L" (2012), to name a few. Moreover, whilst most of the initial “weird wave” films were self-financed, the Greek Film Center became involved in the production of both "The Lobster" and "Chevalier" and has just revamped its Financial Regulation Program.
Read more: Short Guide to the Greek “Weird Wave”, The Lobster, Chevalier and the importance of New Greek Cinema