A bearded man with flowers is awakened when his bus reaches the end of the line. He can’t remember where he went or who he is and doesn’t have any ID. And so he is identified as yet another victim of an unexplained pandemic amnesia and taken to an overburdened healthcare facility, who quickly returns the patient 14842 with a series of Heath Robinson’s activities aimed at integrating the “unclaimed patients” Community brings back to society.
A story of isolation, identity and new beginnings seems remarkably appropriate for a first trip to the cinema after five and a half months of absence. And great to sit on the back of the warm and familiar Screen 2 of Queen’s Film Theater. Almost thirty years ago, CSC206 parallel programming lectures by Prof. Ron Perrott took place here in the second year, in which a new programming language was studied every two weeks. Nowadays it is a home for international cinema, with subtitles that overcome any remaining language problems.
Apple’s unusual aspect ratio, captured at 4: 3, accentuates the height of some places, while the lack of width suggests the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped in a world and life that has eliminated identity, agency, and impulse.
Director Christos Kikou peels back the skin of history to expose health professionals who exude indifferent attitudes and leads in a “New Identity” program that often takes advantage of both the patient and those they interact with in the world To deal with them around, take pretty simple steps.
While minute details come back to the patient (played by Aris Servetalis), no one listens as regular examinations have been replaced with a cursory examination of an album of Polaroid photos to prove he completed his mailed assignments. The costume party is surreal; the car task dark funny. Apple’s cityscape dates from a time before smartphones and Instagram. However, taking analog selfies speaks loudly to today’s world.
Servetalis portrays a somber character who deals with his new normal with quiet indulgence and occasional frustration while he chews on his favorite fruit. His encounters with an amnesia colleague (played by Sofia Georgovassili) are credible for the time being, as they find it difficult to find out the new rules of their existence.
Come on let’s spin again / Like we did last summer! … / Do you remember when …
A central disco scene gives an insight into what this man might once have been like. But at some point disguised as a spaceman, we feel his deep loneliness.
Sometimes poignant, sometimes darkly funny, it is a film that stimulates thoughts and demands an internal monologue in your head for the entire 90-minute runtime. It’s about how we treat people with dementia, how health professionals deal with crisis situations and how we adapt to unusual situations.
Apples is a great, gentle reintroduction to the world of post-lockdown and will be showing at the Queen’s Film Theater through May 30, 2021.
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