Yorgos Lanthimos Inspirations: Every great innovation is the result of a profound inspiration. When talking in terms of films, every filmmaker follows a unique approach to showcase their directorial vision. The cinematic world is bestowed with many celebrated filmmakers who are known for their impeccable vision and deep understanding of the genre they follow. Each great filmmaker serves as an inspiration to others in the field, and that’s the beauty of art. One of the best and most highly regarded filmmakers of today’s era is Yorgos Lanthimos, whose work shines among the many. 

The filmmaker is known for his incredible work in films like The Lobster, Dogtooth, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and many more. His last cinematic gem was delivered in 2018, titled The Favourite. After that, he went on a considerable gap just to return with an iconic piece, “Poor Things.” The filmmaker is currently engaged in many discussions as his latest feature, Poor Things, has garnered multiple nominations at the Oscars while also picking up other prestigious accolades along the way.

With his incredible filmmaking journey, Lanthimos serves as an inspiration to many filmmakers. However, the bigger question is who inspires Lanthimos?

Yorgos Lanthimos reflects on his inspirations:

During a conversation with Le Cinéma Club, he named the works of pioneers such as John Cassavetes and Andrzej Żuławski while talking about his favorite cinematic masterpieces ever made. However, one name that tops the list of his favorites is the Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Lanthimos shared that Syndromes and a Century is one of those films he highly regards among Weerasethakul’s other great works. 

As described by Lanthimos, the 2006 drama film, Syndromes and a Century, is his favorite pick from Weerasethakul’s work because it features a unique narrative device. The movie is divided into two nearly identical parts but with different outcomes, a creative decision informed by Weerasethakul’s desire to explore the transformative capabilities humans possess.

Regarding Weerasethakul, Lanthimos said, “This man is definitely doing something different with cinema today. It is so delicate and so powerful at the same time.”

Looking at Lanthimos’ work, it can be said that he is a great observer, and if a great observer compliments someone, how can he be questioned? Weerasethakul is undeniably a master of his field. Throughout his cinematic journey, he has delivered some unforgettable gems like  Tropical Malady and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Themes reflected in his films include dreams, nature, sexuality (including his own homosexuality), and Western perceptions of Thailand and Asia. His films display a preference for unconventional narrative structures and for working with non-actors.

During a conversation with IndieWire, Weerasethakul explained: “I always want to relay many feelings via film. It is hard for me to communicate with people – I want to shake my friends, my partner, for example, and say, ‘Look, I am so happy,’ or I feel this and that. But I cannot get the feelings across through only words. So, I made these films to get my message delivered at a certain level. It is hard for me to make a linear narrative because I think our brain doesn’t operate like that.”

Weerasethakul’s incredible work was initially inspired by grand sci-fi works like Steven Spielberg’s movies. To polish his skills, he delved deep into the history of American experimental films and explored how the medium has constantly reinvented itself. His keen observational and comprehension skills helped him to create a wonderfully original form of cinematic expression.

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