Dogtooth

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    Dogtooth

    Kynodontas

    Directed by

    Greece

    2009

    96 min

    • Greek

    Drama

    From the director of THE LOBSTER presented at CinemartNominated for Best Foreign Film - Academy Awards

    Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could very well be on another planet. The trio spend their days listening to endless homemade tapes that teach them a whole new vocabulary. Any word that comes from beyond their family abode is instantly assigned a new meaning. Hence 'the sea' refers to a large armchair and 'zombies' are little yellow flowers. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the über-controlling parents terrorize their offspring into submission. The father is the only family member who can leave the manicured lawns of their self-inflicted exile, earning their keep by managing a nearby factory, while the only outsider allowed on the premises is his colleague Christina, who is paid to relieve the son of his male urges. Tired of these dutiful acts of carnality, Christina disturbs the domestic balance.

    Awards

    Show All Awards Show Less Awards
    • Un Certain Regard Prize,Youth Prize, Cannes IFF
    • Special Jury Award, Best Actress, Sarajevo FF
    • The Bronze Horse Award for Best Film, Stockholm IFF
    • Great Award, Estoril IFF
    • Louve d'Or, Montreal FF
    • Best Director, Best Film, Best Script, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film Editing, Greek Film Academy Award

    Credits

    Cast
    Christos Stergioglou
    Michele Valley
    Aggeliki Papoulia
    Mary Tsoni
    Hristos Passalis
    Anna Kalaitzidou
    Screenplay
    Efthymis Filippou
    Yorgos Lanthimos
    Cinematography
    Thimios Bakatakis
    Editing
    Yorgos Mavropsaridis

    Director's Statement

    The idea for DOGTOOTH came from speculating about the future of family. How would it evolve in the future (if it evolved at all), and what would happen if this social organism ceased existing as we know it? What would someone do to preserve it at any cost, and what would that do to the people involved? How distorted can bodies and minds become after being confined and shaped? We tried to make it the opposite of a claustrophobic film. That's why we placed it in a big, expensive house with a swimming pool and a big garden. There are many scenes that take place outside in the beautiful garden, which of course is surrounded by a tall fence. It’s an openly claustrophobic film. We worked with the actors more physically and verbally rather than intellectually. We were trying to figure out what would happen to the most fundamental and basic things, like language and words and common sense, if they were put in this very specific and different situation — where would that lead, and what practical problems would be faced? The world of Dogtooth takes place whenever you imagine it to be. There are no factual elements that tell you if this happened today or sometime long ago or in the future.

    Sales
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    Production
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    Production
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    Press

    …the Greek helmer's sophomore pic does exude a strange fascination throughout.

    Variety

    Winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes, it will be branded by some as a highly significant statement and by others as a laborious, long-winded cerebral allegory.

    Dan Fainaru, Screen Daily

    The movie is a cool, eerie commentary on family dynamics and the dangerous power of adolescent sexual curiosity

    Entertainment Weekly

    Dogtooth is a darkly comic and imaginative film and a deserved winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.

    The Time

    Somewhere up in the heaven he didn’t believe in, Buñuel is doubtless smiling approvingly

    Gavin Smith, Film Comment

    The geometric framing and odd, almost robotic performances place this in the realms of science fiction more than human drama, but its insights into the anomalies of power, influence and manipulation are penetrating to say the least. Highly recommended.

    Time Out London

    Yorgos Lanthimos

    Yorgos Lanthimos

    Greece

    To me, it looks fake if you try to be too involved in the way you film things and if you ask your actors to get really emotionally involved.(..) I prefer to keep the film open to allow people to get engaged in their own way.

    Yorgos Lanthimos (1973, Greece) directed a series of videos for dance theatre companies throughout the 1990’s. Since 1995, he has directed a number of TV commercials, in addition to music videos, short films and stage plays. In 2011, he staged Chekhov’s ‘Platonov’ at the Greek National Theatre. His second feature film, KINETTA (2005), screened to critical acclaim at the 2005 Toronto IFF and the 2006 Berlinale. His third feature, DOGTOOTH (2009), won the Un Certain Regard award at the 2009 Festival de Cannes, followed by numerous awards at festivals worldwide. The film was also nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar in 2011. ALPS (2011) premiered in competition at Venice FF, where it won the Osella Award for best screenplay. THE LOBSTER (2015) was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize. His 2017 film THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER was selected in competition at the 70th Festival de Cannes where it won the award for Best Screenplay.

    Selected Filmography