For the most part, press notes for a film are usually a dull affair. A bunch of stapled pages with rehearsed quotes from everyone involved, a synopsis and maybe a few images from the flick. They are a handy tool, but ask anyone who comes back from TIFF or Cannes, almost 90% will end up in the recycling bin. However, every now and then there will be something that will you will want to hang on to. Last year's hardback book for "Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall Past Lives" was a standout, but even something with striking imagery or a memorable presentation will be enough for us to file it away. Which brings us to "Dogtooth" director Yorgos Lanthimos’ new film "Alps." With a premiere in Venice and TIFF just around the corner, attendees will once again be overloaded with marketing material for the films hitting the Lido but they may want to hang on to the pages for "Alps."
Greek film blog AUEB Film Club has revealed what folks can expect to be flipping through and as you might have guessed, it's pretty enigmatic and intriguing. What we know so far about the film is that it's "darker and funnier" than "Dogtooth" and centers on a group of people who agree to stand in for the lost loved ones of others, replicating their behavior and gestures, to help with the grieving process. The title of the film refers to the name of the group/organization under which the characters of the film work, and Lanthimos has come up with fifteen rules they must abide by.
Ranging from logical to amusing to creepy, if anything they confirm that Lanthimos wasn't kidding around when he said this next effort will push things a bit further than "Dogtooth" did. Also adding an extra element of curiosity are these images which make up the bulk of the press kit. And no, we have no idea what they are all about either. Check out the fifteen rules below and if you want some more, head over the AUEB Film Club and check out the Alps poem. Seriously.
THE 15 RULES OF THE ALPS
1. Must declare in advance the things they are unwilling to do by filling out Form (e.g. kissing, lifting weights, travelling etc.)
2. Must declare in advance the things they are good at by filling out Form (e.g. dancing, waterskiing, discussing etc.)
3. Must have some basic knowledge of psychology and sociology.
4. Are obliged to support, under all circumstances, the interests of the Alps group.
5. Must respect each other.
6. Have the right to change their nickname only twice. They cannot choose a nickname belonging to another Alps member. The nickname must strictly be the name of a mountain in the Alps, and not something general or irrelevant (e.g. Blonde, Master, Dragon etc.)
7. Can never talk about Alps activities with non-Alps members.
8. Are obliged to take the Gymnastics Club Test, if necessary.
9. Must be over 14 years of age.
10. Should always be smart, clean, punctual, and in complete control.
11. Must never get emotionally involved with clients, or have intimate relations with them.
12. Cannot change their physical appearance without the Leader's permission (e.g. dye hair, lose or gain weight, wear coloured contact lenses etc.)
13. Must be able to make convincing facial expressions (sadness, happiness, despair etc.)
14. Must honour the title of their membership, and be ready to kill or die for it.
15. Must never attack one another, and must believe in teamwork.
Mont Blanc, Leader of the Alps group