Yorgos Lanthimos premieres new short Nimic at Locarno
by Laurence Boyce
- Greek director follows up The Favourite with a burst of weirdness starring Matt Dillon
After coming off a critically lauded 2018 thanks to the success of The Favourite [+see also:
film profile], Yorgos Lanthimos has made something of a low-key return with the premiere of a new short film at the Locarno Film Festival (7-17 August). While his multiple award-winning 2018 feature is often noted for being one of the Greek director’s most mainstream films to date, Nimic sees Lanthimos return to the weird and off-kilter examination of modern society that brought his early films such as Dogtooth [+see also:
interview: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile] to international attention.
The film follows a cellist, played by Hollywood actor Matt Dillon, who finds a woman (Daphne Patakia, European Film Promotion’s Shooting Star in 2016) following him home after a chance encounter on the subway. Is she there to insinuate herself into his life? Or is he the true imposter all along?
The 12-minute film, co-written by the director with his long-time collaborator Efthymis Filippou, is a surreal and sometimes disturbing piece of work that offers few answers to the many questions about identity and belonging that it posits. With many of the traits that have become associated with Lanthimos throughout his career — from the almost nightmarish feeling that ripples throughout the film, to the occasional use of fisheye lenses that enhances the sense of strangeness — Nimic feels like an attempt by the director to get back into a more impressionistic mode of filmmaking, after the relatively straightforward The Favourite.
Lanthimos’ name will mean this will most likely become a fixture at some major festivals — both specifically short film focused and those with a short film element — over the coming months.
The short was produced by Rekorder Berlin, Superprime Films, and Merman London in association with creative agency Droga5 London. International distribution is being handled by Salaud Morisset.
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