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Dogtooth and uncle Oscar

The news spread today that Dogtooth has been nominated for an Academy Award and that has filled me with joy for two reasons: first of all, because the film is Greek. And secondly, because my first ever Sticky Note (if you don’t count the introduction) was written about it.

You can read the postΒ here. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, you should definitely give it a go although you should be warned that the themes can be disturbing at times.

I love the fact that this particular film is nominated as it’s certainly a very different cultural product to be exported from our troubled little country. It’s time to show that despite everything, there is talent and potential in Greece and it’s not simply Eurovision singers and long-haired football players. Let’s hope that the publicity that this nomination has brought is going to be positive for Lanthimos but also for a young generation of film makers that might want to follow in his footsteps. Maybe this will be the opportunity for the country to develop a film industry of its own instead of providing only a backdrop for Hollywood’s ‘escape-in-the-sun’ extravaganzas. No, I didn’t like Mamma Mia.

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A tale of a dysfunctional family

I watched Dogtooth today. I first read about it in October when it was playing during the London Film Festival. Unfortunately I couldn’t get tickets back then as it was sold out. Presumably because it was so hyped – the reviews were excellent and every critic was urging you to go watch it.

I do admit I’m a sucker for good reviews but the fact that it was a Greek movie made it impossible for me to resist seeing it. It was kind of weird when the film started and Greek words filled the dark room. It got even weirder when the subtitles appeared on screen – for a moment there I started reading them, unsure why.

Anyway, not because I’m Greek and all, but it’s really worth watching it. It’s not an easy film and it can be quite disturbing but it’s very smart and poignant at the same time. Re-reading the different reviews tonight, I do realise that it is indeed a film open to interpretations.

Does the house simply reflect the familial life in a close-d circle or is it a projection of society in general where power imposes the norms and everyone out of the circle is an outsider? Is it an allegory of the nanny state that consorts to violence to maintain the much treasured social order?

If you go watch it, you’ll probably have your own ideas about it.

For me (being Greek and all) certain things had a particular resonance. I think it’s the sort of cultural territory I’m so familiar with that I can tap into it in a different way than a non-Greek that might have been watching the movie at the same time as me.

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