(2011) Giorgos Lanthimos. Cinema Village.

The Shine Box went to see Alps the weekend that audiences flocked to The Dark Knight Rises, which smash opening was blighted by the Aurora mass killing spree. Alps might provide a corollary to the gruesome events.

In the movie, a group of disparate citizens form a secret group who impersonates dead strangers, in the effort of providing solace to the surviving family members who are not yet ready to accept the loss. The group is not made up of professional actors, but paramedics, gym teachers, and truck drivers. These amateurs reenact key episodes in the life of the deceased, with the participation of the mournful mothers and fathers and boyfriends. It may give a healing feel of eternity.  The families pays for the charitable service after an initial four free sessions.

Monte Rosa dances for father. Alps (2011).

The premise of Alps seems to mimic the news coverage of the events in Colorado. Profiles of the innocents, the grieving reports of family and friends, the assemblage media narrative of biting and bittersweet memory. It is an imperfect reenactment which serves to dramatize the mystery behind the vicious happenstance of life. 

The macabre acting troup calls themselves, “Alps,” after the Swiss mountain range.  According to the head of the group, who goes by the codename “Mont Blanc,” the Alps are a symbol of nature too monumental to be replaced, but powerful enough to replace nature.

Don’t the movies act the same way?

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