Amid a global pandemic causing sudden amnesia, middle-aged Aris (Aris Servetalis) finds himself enrolled in a recovery program designed to help unclaimed patients build new identities. With daily tasks prescribed on cassette tapes so he can create new memories and document them on camera, Aris returns to everyday life and meets Anna (Sofia Georgovasili), a woman who is also recovering. Through deadpan, bizarre and surreal images, Greek director and screenwriter Christos Nikou proposes a seductive reflection on memory, identity and loss, exploring how a society might manage an irreversible epidemic through one man’s story of self-discovery. . Are we the sum of the images we compile and display of ourselves, or are we something richer and deeper?
For deep reflections on applessee my colleague Devin McGrath-Conwell’s review of its original theatrical release here.
apples It comes to Blu-Ray in 1080p presentation in its unique 1.33:1 aspect ratio which is truly a beauty. While the world may be in a dour state due to the pandemic, this is a visually rich film with gorgeous shots of the city in which an incredible amount of detail can be seen. As Aris goes from one place to another, you feel like you can almost reach out and feel the texture of the room. Despite an overall desaturated palette, certain colors really pop on screen, including clothing tones and certain lighting options. White levels are handled beautifully along with intensely deep blacks that don’t seem to suffer from any compression artifacts. There are no instances of intrusive digital noise on the presentation. Skin tones look very detailed and natural all over. Cohen Media Group has delivered a thoughtful presentation with this one.
The film arrives on Blu-Ray with an immersive DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track in the original Greek. This movie is far from an action movie, but there is a constant stream of ambient activity that comes through particularly well. Dialogue and sound effects are well balanced with the soundtrack where nothing is lost on the track. The surround channels get surprising activity during some sequences that liven up the track. The score helps a lot in the surreal tone of the film as it flows with impeccable fidelity. The lower end of the track is not very active, as subtle ambient sounds show up more in the surroundings. As with the video, audiences shouldn’t have a problem with this track.
- Director Christos Nikou in conversation with Taika Waititi: An excellent 34-minute virtual chat between Waititi and Nikou discussing their mutual friendship with Executive Producer Cate Blanchett, their involvement with her production company, some of their previous jobs before embarking on this feature debut, how technology It has impacted our memory, the layers of the narrative, the actors in the film, the art of creating a film on an aesthetic level, and more. Waititi brings his normal light-hearted sensibility to the conversation that keeps things lively.
- Director Christos Nikou in conversation with EP Cate Blanchett: A wonderful 28 minute virtual interview moderated by journalist Anne Thompson in which Blanchett talks about what led her to back the project, Nikou talks about the place of technology within the narrative, how the pandemic has added new layers to the resonance of the film, influences on his work, the impact of working with Yorgos Lanthimos and more.
- Trailer: The two-minute trailer is provided here.
apples is a truly thoughtful and inventive first feature film that provides punctual commentary on modern society within the confines of a science fiction narrative. The ambition of the story occasionally trumps the execution, but there’s a lot to appreciate on both a craftsmanship and narrative level. There are sections of this movie that will positively shift your emotions and keep your mind racing for days to come. Director Christos Nikou is a very promising filmmaker who we can’t wait to see develop for many years to come. Cohen Media Group and Kino Lorber released a Blu-Ray featuring a stellar audiovisual presentation and some incredible interviews. Recommended
apples is currently available to buy on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital.
Note: The images presented in this review do not reflect the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: Cohen Media Group and Kino Lorber have provided one copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.