Greek filmmaker Giorgos Lanthimos has won praise from prestigious film festivals and critics, as well as from some of our own Playlist staffers, for his Oscar-nominated “Dogtooth” and the recent “Alps.” However, a key component to the success of both films (and their outrageous concepts) has long been co-writer Efthymis Filippou, who’s lent his pen to both of Lanthimos’ acclaimed works.
Now Filippou looks to help foster the recent wave of Greek cinema even further, as a co-writer of the Babis Makridis-directed “L,” which is now receiving its first teaser ahead of its debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. While the teaser is brief but effective, the synopsis provides a little insight into Filippou’s mind and feels like an extension of his style of humor, which permeates Lanthimos’ work as well. It becomes increasingly apparent where some of the stranger elements of “Dogtooth” and “Alps” may come from.
A man lives in his car. He's 40 and separated from his wife and kids, who live in a different car. They meet in parking lots. A professional driver, the man delivers honey to a narcoleptic man and often dreams of his friend, who was killed when a hunter mistook him for a bear. Frequently late delivering honey, the man is fired, and his driving skills are questioned. Thrust into existential uncertainty, he abandons "car life" and joins a rogue motorbike gang.
From the trailer, this in-competition film looks to be a wry blend of awkward and uncomfortable humor, as a man has a quirky little birthday party within his small four-door automobile. Also worth pointing out is that Lanthimos and “L” director Babis Makridis have more than Efthymis Filippou as a co-writer in common; if the look of “L” feels familiar, it’s because Makdris is also making great use of “Dogtooth” cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis. It’s clear from this teaser and their previous work that these three minds share some similar sensibilities.
We’ll have to wait until we catch this at Sundance, but as for now we’re certainly intrigued by “L.” [Twitch]