365 Films in 2017 #4 Chevalier (Faliro House Productions, 2015)

Chevalier is Greek writer/director Athina Rachel Tsangari's third fictional feature, filmed after her 2010's Attenberg won a number of international awards. Chevalier was selected  for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards but not nominated   She co-wrote this absurd, yet life-affirming film, with Efthymis Filippou, known for writing the absurdist The Lobster with Yorgos Lanthimos. This beautifully shot film captures the beauty of the voyage, but often shows the claustrophobic nature inside the ship through over the shoulder shots and extreme close-ups. Christos Karmanis' cinematography adds another dimension to the dark, humorous actions of the characters.  Chevalier tells the story of six men on a fishing trip in the Aegean Sea who decide to play a game to determine which is the best and win a coveted Chevalier signet ring. Each man comes up with a competition to challenge the others. The game leads to bizarre moments and even fighting at times as the men try to best each other, learning something about each other and the world in the process. Dimitris'(Makis Papadimitriou) lip-synch performance of "Lovin' You" with his brother Yannis (Yorgos Pirpassopoulos) dancing behind him on the dock waving sparklers is one of the stranger scenes I have ever seen in a film. It's worth the price of admission. 


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