July 16, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

There is rape and cannibalism in the new film by G. Lanthimos: "Don't you think there's something wrong with the world?"

G. Lanthimos's new film “Kinds of Kindness” starring Briton Joe Alwyn includes scenes of group sex, cannibalism and violence, and Alwyn has to rape the heroine, played by Oscar-winner Emma Stone, with the help of drugs.

The 33-year-old actor, who was previously known as Taylor Swift's ex, was caught in the spotlight at Cannes this weekend, the Guardian reports. But he also had to survive being caught in the director's whimsical imagination “Poor things” George Lanthimos.

Alwyn said the best way to prepare for Lanthimos' disturbing and revealing screen world is to “trust him, trust him, trust him.” “He's weird and weird and crazy and special,” Alwyn added, “but one of the reasons I love his films is because you feel them first and then you try to understand them. You have to try not to make things too big, Otherwise it gets stuck in your head,” Alwyn said on Saturday, May 18th.

Inspired by the life of Caligula

Speaking after the premiere of Kindness on Friday, May 17, the Greek director, known for The Favorite and The Lobster, said his film was inspired by the tyranny of the Roman emperor Caligula. “I was inspired by reading about Caligula and thinking about how one person could have such power over other people, – he said. – And I began to imagine what it would be like in our modern world if someone had such absolute control over other people, deciding when they would eat and who they would marry.”

Willem Dafoe, who starred with Stone and Alwyn in the bloody thriller, agreed that “it's not always clear”what Lanthimos wants, but on set clarity is achieved thanks to “call and response” (pp “dialogue” between director and actor, allowing the actor to freely interpret directives), which allows actors “find beauty in the power of these things”that they are asked to do.

Dafoe, 68, plays three characters in the anthology version of the film, including a sociopathic businessman and a sex cult leader, and said he was delighted to be accepted into Lanthimos' cast of regulars after starring opposite Stone in last year's film “Poor things.”

What Emma Stone said

Stone, 35, said she now has “very comfortable” in front of Lanthimos' camera. “I trust him more than any other director, and I've worked with some great directors, – she said. – I feel like I can do whatever I want with it. We just have something.”

Last year, the American actress won numerous awards for her role as Bella Baxter, a woman with the mind of a baby, in the film “Poor Things”, which also featured controversial sex scenes. On Saturday, Stone reiterated her personal feminist stance, but explained that it doesn't always dictate her film choices: “These are stories that I find interesting. I just find the characters and the world interesting.”– she said.

How can you shock the Cannes audience?
If a director wants to surprise or shock the Cannes audience, he has to look for new ways, and the independent Lanthimos in his film “Types of Kindness“did everything possible.

It may not rank high on the list of the festival's most unpleasant films – say, along with Lars von Trier's 2009 Antichrist, which also starred Dafoe, or Gaspar Noah's acclaimed Irreversible (2002), but it is decidedly strange and its extreme content rivals 2021's Benedetta, co-written and directed by Paul Verhoeven, or Michael Winterbottom's Nine Songs (2004), which was criticized for its use of real-life sex scenes.

Despite the shock value “Kinds of Kindness”it is already among the films that could compete for an Oscar in 2025.

There is no kindness in “types of kindness”

Kinds of Kindness has very little kindness and a lot of cruelty and delusion as it tells three dark stories with the same actors and loosely connected nihilistic themes.

Among the most disturbing are a foursome sex scene with Stone and Margaret Qualy as consensual spouses, and a scene in which Jesse Plemons encourages Stone to cut off her liver. Lanthimos defended his vision by saying that the real world around him was “crazy and sad most of the time.” “Don't you think there's something wrong with the world?” – he asked representatives of the Cannes press.

“Probably more than the films I make… It's also ridiculous and funny, so that has to be part of what we do.”. The director co-wrote the script with Efthymis Philippou, who previously worked with him on the film “Fang” 2009.

Kvali, the 29-year-old daughter of the star “Four Weddings and a Funeral” Andie MacDowell agreed with Alwyn that self-confidence was vital to Lanthimos's acting, as well as allowing for “a kind of free fall.”

According to Plemons, the rehearsal period helped him “bypass the intellectual approach” to the script. “The story kind of invades itself, without you asking for it. It’s a very unsettling place to have it in your head without being able to place it somewhere at the very beginning.”– he said.

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