Alps (2011) is an absurdist, darkly funny exploration of mourning and performance by Yorgos Lanthimos, director of Oscar-nominated films Dogtooth (2009), The Lobster (2015) and The Favourite (2018). Alps won Best Screenplay Award at the 68th Venice Film Festival.
The protagonists of the film are a group of four people (made up of two hospital employees, a gymnast, and her coach) who form a secret society that sets out to ease the grieving process for those whose loved ones have died. For a fee they will act the part of the missing family member, performing their habits, hobbies and eccentricities in order to help the customer adjust to their loss. As methadone is to heroin addiction, so are the Alps, as they call themselves, to the mourning process. But when the nurse known as Monte Rosa begins to attach too deeply to her characters, their project spirals out of control into violence and confusion.
Gretchen Egolf is an actor, director, teacher, and co-director of The Chekhov Collective UK, a network of artists who are inspired by, and working with, the ideas of Michael Chekhov.
Adam Chodzko is an acclaimed contemporary artist who uses a wide range of media, including video, installation, photography, drawing and performance.
Film duration 1h 33min + introduction. Book tickets via the Barn Cinema box office here
Join Adam and Gretchen after the screening in the Roundhouse Café to talk informally about the film together and get some lunch.
This screening is presented as part of Embodiment and Performance, a weekend of activities with Gretchen and Adam that considers physical performance and the development of character in body and voice. A performance workshop, an artist talk and a cinema screening draw on the legacy of actor, director and teacher Michael Chekhov. Chekhov lived and worked at Dartington for three years on the invitation of Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, founding the Chekhov Theatre Studio in the building that now houses the Barn Cinema in 1936.