Hot on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis and spearheaded by Yorgos Lanthimos’s Dogtooth, the Greek ‘weird wave’ has been one of the more unlikely cinematic movements of the 21st century. Whilst the Athenian has been its most successful cog in the new wave, he is by no means alone. Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenburg and Chevalier, as well as Alexandros Avranas’ Miss Violence, all became festival favourites and secured international releases. Apples is set to join them.
Aris (Aris Servetalis) is a middle-aged man living alone in Athens, unhappy with the hand life has dealt him. However, he lives in extraordinary times. An epidemic of amnesia has struck the Greek capital and when he awakens on a bus with no memory, he’s taken to a specialist institution. Aris becomes part of a program and is reintegrated into society with helpful audio tapes to guide his daily actions.
Apples is a studied meditation on grief, loss and memory. Whilst the thought of erasing painful recollections is something we can all empathise with, what if those moments also have a flipside? Director Christos Nikou and cinematographer Bartosz Swiniarski do their best to conjure-up an eerie and off-kilter atmosphere. Their minimalist approach exudes a wrongness. The paranoia of doubt. It’s a film which leaves its audience with more questions than answers, but more importantly makes you think. Apples is a fascinating and assured debut. One which plays long on the mind.
Apples will be available exclusively on Curzon Home Cinema from 7 May.