Karlovy Vary 2014: First impressions of Angelos Frantzis’ ‘Symptom’

After watching the short trailer and the clips that have been made available in the ‘Karlovy Vary Works in Progress’ 2014 edition, one may gather that Angelos Frantzis’ ‘Symptom’ – filmed in Amorgos, Tinos and Athens – is a film that doesn’t exalt the Greek light, but instead is focused on ‘Greek darkness’.

Built on striking images, it distorts the landscapes you’d find on posters for the tourist board into something that resembles a pagan nightmare. Based on these first impressions, we could describe Angelos Frantzis fourth feature film after ‘Polaroid’, “A Dog’s Dream’ and “In the Woods’ (Official Selection – Rotterdam International Film Festival 2010) as a mystical, existential thriller, where Pan, or some other horned beast, appears on an island, wearing a black leather jacket to awaken the deepest instincts of a small community.

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Herds of sheep, abandoned mines, a gigantic dump-yard, young children wearing strange masks, a strange innocent girl and an otherworldly horned creature with glowing eyes, are some of the elements comprising ‘Symptom’. They are at once familiar to fans of this genre and also, disturbingly different.

Frantzis’ film looks like an appealing enigma one can’t help but look forward to exploring. We suspect that what each viewer discovers watching the film will depend on what one is looking for. What we can assure you is that ‘Symptom’ will intrigue, enchant and be widely discussed.

Read more about the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.