I don’t do psychoanalysis, I do cinema. —Athina Rachel Tsangari
This week, over on the Criterion Channel, we’re kicking off Meet the Filmmakers, an exclusive new series of encounters with directors we’re excited to champion. For each program, we’ve enlisted a filmmaker to create a documentary portrait of another filmmaker, a format that allows us the unique opportunity to bring together likeminded artists in exploring the creative process. Our first installment captures Greek director Athina Rachel Tsangari earlier this year on the island of Hydra, where she was working on her latest project. The documentary, directed by David Thompson, premieres tomorrow, alongside all of Tsangari’s films to date, including Attenberg (2010) and Greece’s 2016 Oscar submission, Chevalier, in addition to rare early works and short films.
Over the last decade, Tsangari has become one of the leading figures in the “Greek Weird Wave”—a cinematic movement characterized by its fascination with human behavior, bitingly absurdist humor, and arresting visual style—both as a director and as a producer for contemporaries such as Yorgos Lanthimos. But her films showcase a singular vision that has made her one of the most interesting voices in international cinema. Although Tsangari began her career in the 1990s American independent film scene in Austin, Texas, working for Richard Linklater on such films as Slacker and Dazed and Confused, she now works mainly in her native Greece.
In the latest episode of Observations on Film Art, scholar David Bordwell examines the deeply strange horror film Vampyr, which uses popular material as a springboard for innovations in mood and technique.