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Lanthimos’ ‘Poor Things’ Premieres at Venice Film Festival

Ramy Youssef and Emma Stone in POOR THINGS.
Ramy Youssef and Emma Stone in POOR THINGS. Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2023 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos will be premiering Poor Things at the 80th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, which kicks off in the historical Italian city on Wednesday.

Described as a “creepy gothic thriller” and starring Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, and Ramy Youssef, Poor Things is based on the novel by Alasdair Gray and is expected to be equally controversial as earlier work by the director.

Lanthimos is one of the most provocative filmmakers of the past decade, who has made a name for himself with films like the psychologically dense The Killing of The Sacred Deer and the thought-provoking dissection of human connections and solitude in The Lobster.

He received the most widespread acclaim and success of his career for his 2018 period drama The Favourite, which went on to be nominated for ten Academy Awards and led to Olivia Colman winning her first Oscar.

The Favourite also won the award for Best European Movie of the Year in 2019 at the European Film Awards which took place in Berlin, Germany.

Lanthimos Poor Things is a gothic thriller

Poor Things follows Bella, a young Victorian woman who, after being crudely resurrected by a mad scientist following her suicide, runs off with a debauched lawyer to embark on a surrealistic odyssey for self-discovery and liberation.

Bella is brought back to life by Dr. Godwin Baxter. Initially naïve, Bella is eager to learn about the world around her, albeit under Baxter’s protection. Wanting to see more, she runs off with Duncan Wedderburn, a slick and debauched lawyer, and travels across continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella demands equality and liberation.

Principal photography was completed between August through December 2021 at Origo Studios in Hungary.

Besides Poor Things , Lanthimos is currently also working on a second upcoming feature film, titled And. The latter is already in post-production, but no synopsis has been released yet.

After rising to fame with his Greek-language film Dogtooth in 2009, Lanthimos became a sought-after filmmaker in the US and UK.

His next films, The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, set the tone for a filmmaking movement that film critics have termed the “Greek Weird Wave.”

Recently, Lanthimos joined a campaign to save three historic cinemas in Athens that are under threat of closure.

Campaigners said that redevelopment may result in their demolition and replacement with office complexes and luxury hotels.

“I would also like to add my voice to those who have recently expressed their concern about the disappearance of the historic cinemas from the center of Athens,” Lanthimos said in a video message.

“We should be able to understand the value of the historical cinemas of Athens for society and culture. I plead with those in charge and those with real power to do what is necessary,” Lanthimos added.

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