Posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 by Russ Fischer
A couple weeks back we presented the teaser trailer for a movie called L, which is directed by Greek filmmaker Babis Makridis and co-written by Dogtooth and Alps writer Efthimis Filippou, and shot by Dogtooth cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis.
The teaser trailer was appealingly odd (well, appealing to me, anyway) but word about the film has been pretty quiet out of Sundance. Now there is a full trailer, and it does not make the film look any more squarely ‘normal.’ In fact, if this trailer is an accurate representation of the movie, L is pretty out there. Check it out below.
So…yeah. That’s a movie. It looks great, at least.
As mentioned above, I haven’t seen too many reviews of L yet out of Sundance, but one from THR sums up the movie with “the too-cryptic Greek import makes Dogtooth look like a Lifetime movie.” That almost frightens me. The review isn’t all that favorable, and anyone who watched this trailer thinking that it only promises a deliberately weird, but ultimately empty movie might find that prediction justified by the review that includes lines like these:
A dry-as-dirt Greek allegory about mechanized transportation — or is it about bears and whole-food diets? — Babis Makridis’s L will surely click with some devotees of difficult art cinema but will strike most as a largely unrewarding, if skillfully made, endurance test.
Oof. But there is some praise. Faint praise, but still:
Director/cowriter Makridis shoots L with a fixed camera that only moves when attached to Man’s car (or the cycle he later adopts); his precise, offbeat compositions have a cold appeal. His actors read lines without inflection, and the dialogue’s non-sequiturs are occasionally funny in an Aki Kaurismäki sort of way, though they never achieve critical mass.
But I can’t lie and say I won’t take a look at L first chance I get, even if I don’t expect it to be in the same league as Dogtooth and Alps.
Here’s the synopsis, via Twitch:
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.