Toronto: Christos Nikko on the inclusion of Charlie Kaufman in the offbeat ‘apple’

The Greek Helmer’s first film imagines a digital-free world where people lose their memories due to an epidemic.

Christos Nico was at the beginning of the Greek Weird Wave as an assistant director on the dark comedy of Yorgos Lanthimos. Dogtooth (2009), the film that triggered the absurd cinema movement, partly inspired by the chaos in Greece, led to the global financial crisis. MAfter more than a decade, Nico has added his own twist to the movement with his directed direction.

Apple There is a bizarrely fictitious story – affecting Nico Spike Jonze, Leos Carax and Charlie Kaufman – set in a completely analogue world where a new epidemic is causing widespread amnesia. A morose man (Aris Servetalis) slept on a tram car and was diagnosed as an epidemic victim. Sent to the troubled memory department of the Neurological Hospital, he is enrolled in a program to help rebuild new memories. This involves re-enacting specific memorable moments, such as riding a bike or getting into a car accident, and then documenting them by taking a polaroid picture.

Apple, Which opened the Oredzonti section of the 2020 Venice Film Festival, will screen in Toronto as part of TIFF’s industry selection sidebar, a virtual marketplace for global buyers. Alpha Violet is handling international sales of CAA film along with domestic sales.

It is a strange coincidence that your film before COVID-19 also has an epidemic, which is amnesia.

that was weird. We did our final test from a screening of the film which took place in Greece the previous day before the lockdown. When we came out of the cinema we were told that the country is in lockdown – A.n strange coincidence. We know that the film has a lot of similarities with the story and people are living under lockdown right now. Such as dealing with loneliness, or uncertainty about the future, or loss. Those are the elements we are in Apple And that people are working nowadays. but on the other hand, Apple Is a story.

On festivals like Venice and Toronto, where people have to wear masks in the cinema, how does it feel to bring your film into a real epidemic?

It is strange, and we all know how badly the film industry has been hurt by this epidemic, so many theaters closed down and production stopped. But I am optimistic, because film people, we cannot really separate our lives from our work of making films. We are all in the beginning, film fans and we want to find a way to get back into theaters, so that cinema can go again.

Apples are a metaphor, perhaps several metaphors in the film. What do you think when you think of apples?

There are different reasons for choosing this fruit. First of all, it is a fruit that can improve your memory. And then, there is a special personal story. I always thought that my father had a very strong image of eating an apple. Because my father used to eat seven to eight apples every day. And he had a great memory.

And when he passed away, this was the moment when I started thinking about the film. Because I was trying, in a way, to deal with my loss. But I could not. And I was trying to understand how people forget so easily, and how selective our memory is, and how we can erase something that hurts us and in the end, those things can happen Which we cannot forget.

There is an irony in the title, I think most people today are using Apple devices to store our lives and our memories. Instead of saving them in our minds.

It is not clear when the story takes place…

He was intentional. I didn’t want it to be fixed for a certain time, but to be timeless, like a story, or a Spike John’s or Charlie Kaufman film. So we set the film in an analog world. If you notice, there is no internet or mobile phone in the entire film. We use elements that are almost forgotten, such as polaroids, such as hand-written characters, such as tape recorders.

I believe that the widespread use of technology has made our brains lazy because there is no need to save anything in your brain anymore. Even if we have to walk somewhere, we use Google Maps. We do not remember the experiences we had a few days ago or a year ago.

Your main character discovers amnesia and is put on a program to help her make new memories. This involves him doing odd acts, such as doing a one-night stand or being involved in a car accident and then taking a picture of him.

Yes, it was a way of looking at social media, how people use platforms like Instagram. Where it seems that the important thing is not what you do, but rather the picture you have. And where everyone is trying to do the same challenges, to do exactly the same things, to get exactly the same kind of photos, and have absolutely accurate memories. Even like these things, in the film, which seem to be events that will be important in everyone’s memory – learning to ride a bike, falling in love – somehow becoming normal and priceless.