Director Yorgos Lanthimos, who put the Greek 'Weird Wave' on the map with the biting black comedy Dogtooth (2009), and also produced Athina Rachel Tsangari's acerbic and offbeat Attenberg (which screened in SFF's 2011 Official Competition), returns with another warped vision of lives on the periphery of a society in decay. Alps (co-produced by Tsangari, and co-starring Attenberg's Ariane Labed) follows a secret club whose members are paid to act as replacements for the recently deceased - going into their homes, impersonating them, getting uncomfortably intimate with the bereaved. It's part therapy, part theatre, with more than a hint of prostitution. Aggeliki Papoulia plays a young member who takes her awkward roleplaying perhaps too seriously, while quietly rebelling against the group's sadistic leader (Aris Servetalis). Though the morbid transgressions at the film's heart are presented with characteristic icy clinical detachment, and acted in a deadpan way that's both amusing and creepy, Lanthimos finds a strange kind of beauty and haunting undercurrents of grief amidst the absurd. Alps posits a surreal world where human connection is a commodity, but real, painful emotion lurks between the lines. It's a disturbing imitation of life, but a fascinating one.