TIFF 2013: The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas Review

The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas

The Eternal Return of Antonis Paraskevas

City to City

Director: Elina Psilkou

Branded by the festival as this year’s new-wave of Greek cinema entry, Antonis Paraskevas isn’t as high concept as Dogtooth, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as bizarre or unforgettable. Sombre and psychotic, the strange tale is best described as The Shining, but funnier.
Antonis Paraskevas is escorted to an abandoned resort, full of functioning luxuries and empty rooms. Dictated by the televisions he begins surrounding himself with, Paraskevas, a vetted morning show host, is believed to be kidnapped, and the waxing nostalgia and compliments from his co-workers do not seem to bring a millimetre of a smile to his bearded face. Tortured by deducing the best strategy for a comeback and an attempt at molecular gastronomy, Paraskevas’ isolation drives him mad, a mental crisis expressed through violence and song.

Paraskevas deteriorates as much as his hotel surroundings, sounds of wind and weather pummel the quiet getaway. As he reviews material reviewing his life, there’s evidence that he’s not the only one falling apart, but his country, a memorable facetious gag clip of Paraskevas celebrating Greece as the first country to use the Euro. While the film does struggle to wrap itself up, the experience is brilliant, and full of golden moments, particularly a pop song interlude during the revving of Antonis’ madness. (Zack Kotzer)

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