Greek love: The films of Athina Rachel Tsangari come to town

Jonesing for art film post-FNC? Quebec film journal Séquences launches a screening series with award-winning and eye-catching films from Greek director Athina Rachel Tsangari.

Venerable Quebec film journal Séquences has teamed up with the fine folks at the PHI Centre to bring a series of special screenings to town. The series launches Tuesday with two films from Greek filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari, presented by Séquences editor (and professor of Greek film at UdM) Élie Castiel.

The program gets going with Tsangari’s 35-minute film The Capsule, starring Ariane Labed, who hardcore arthouse fans will remember from her intense performance in Giorgos Lanthimos’ Alps (which Tsangari also produced, along with Lanthimos’ previous, Oscar-nominated Dogtooth). In a very loose storyline that also seems to be a feminist parable of sorts, Labed plays the mistress of a mystical finishing school, who summons several young women to be subjected to various trials.

Full of surreal imagery, copious nudity, random animation and the weirdest version of America’s “Horse With No Name” ever committed to any media, the film packs more into its short length than many features. It also spotlights several remarkable creations by various fashion designers, including Montreal’s own Ying Gao.

The evening’s feature attraction, Tsangaris’ Attenberg, also stars Labed along with her Alps director Giorgos Lanthimos. Labed, whose performance won her a prize for best actress at the Venice Film Festival, plays a 23-year-old, Richard Attenborough nature doc-obsessed recluse in a small coastal town who, according to the film’s press materials, “investigates the unfathomable mysteries of the human species.” Cult MTL was unable to view the film in advance, but if Tsangari’s short is any indication, it’s bound to be interesting. ■

Attenberg and The Capsule screen Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the PHI Centre (407 St-Pierre), 7:30 p.m.

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