But if you’re willing to get past the look of Kinetta (which isn't even an issue as far as I'm concerned), you’ll see that it literally planted the seeds for all the recent stuff we love like Dogtooth, Alps & The Lobster. It is my opinion that Kinetta, Dogtooth, Alps & The Lobster all take place in the same universe. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the characters from Kinetta knew some of the characters from Alps. There’s a strong continuous thread that connects everything in the cinematic world of Yorgos Lanthimos. Kinetta has very little dialogue. For those of you who haven’t noticed (or are only familiar with The Lobster) minimal/spaced out dialogue is a common characteristic of Lanthimos’ pre-Lobster work. Both Dogtooth & Alps contain a lot of empty space as far as talking goes when compared to "conventional movies". Loneliness (The Lobster), identity (Alps & Dogtooth), awkward dryness (Lobster, Alps & Dogtooth) and deadpan expressionism (Lobster, Alps & Dogtooth) are embedded in to the fabric of Kinetta. Even the basic plot of Alps sounds like a light reworking of the plot to Kinetta...
|The emphasis on music: Kinetta/The Lobster|
I immediately related to the ambiance of Kinetta having went to college near Virginia Beach. I’m not sure if you know this but during the late Fall & Winter seasons, Virginia Beach is a (sometimes) strange, empty, desolate place depending on where you are. And that isn’t an insult (I know it sounds a little harsh). It’s just strange seeing such a popular tourist spot so empty for an extended period of time (I'm really talking about the main strip in Virginia Beach to be quite honest). Actually, the vibe of Kinetta kind of feels like staying on a college campus during Christmas or summer. On one hand – it’s incredibly lonely & isolated. But on the other hand, depending on your personality, there’s something calm & soothing about isolation (and it goes without saying, but when you find yourself isolated & lonely you don’t say much, just like the characters in Kinetta).
Kinetta kind of comes off like Antonioni’s Red Desert except with a slight tinge of dark/dry humor that one would expect from Yorgos Lanthimos.
|Loneliness: Kinetta/The Red Desert|
|Desolate landscapes: Kinetts/The Red Desert|
But Yorgos Lanthimos is tough to read. He’s very much like his films in that he’s a little deadpan and sometimes expressionless. So who knows what he’s really trying to convey at the end of the day. All I know is that all his movies are great and they bring out some kind of emotion in me.
Revisiting Kinetta also brought me to the realization that there’s an incredibly strong parallel between the works of Rick Alverson & Yorgos Lanthimos (two PINNLAND EMPIRE favorites). Both directors have four features under their belts with the same progression & growth from one movie to the next. Look at the bookends of their careers so far - Kinetta & The Builder (Alverson) are both raw, “natural-looking” films, while The Lobster & Entertainment (Alverson) are a lot more polished-looking and feature better known actors (John C Reilly appears in both the aforementioned movies). Lanthimos & Alverson also challenge the idea of “humor” in the same non-pretentious yet provocative way (when you watch movies directed by these two contemporaries you find yourself wondering if it’s OK to laugh or not).
If you’re a fan of Lanthimos it’s important that you seek out Kinetta. Not just to see where it all started, but because it’s a solid film. I understand that up until recently it was a tough film to come by (I was lucky enough to see a screening of it at The Museum Of The Moving Image a few years ago) but there’s finally a multi-region DVD available courtesy of Second Run DVD that I highly recommend seeking out.