Yorgos Lanthimos on How to Shoot Surrealist Film

Masterful advice for budding surrealists, from one of the genre's greatest living directors.

If you've seen any of Yorgos Lanthimos' films, then you know the Greek director isn't afraid to put anything on the screen. Like many famous surrealists, Lanthimos isn't interested in exploring stories where things go right, he wants his audience to see what's wrong in the world. 

To him, nothing is off limits and any dark side of the human psyche is worth exploring. In surrealist film, any image can be too much or too little. It's a delicate balance, but one that Lanthimos has truly mastered with his latest film The Favourite.

A period piece set in early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne Olivia Colman, occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, however, her charm endears her to Sarah and a competition to be the queens favorite emerges.

In this interview, Lanthimos is joined by screenwriter Tony McNamara to discuss how commercial work early in his career ended up steering him in the complete opposite direction, not conforming to filmic norms, and breaking every possible rule you can.

The Favourite is in theaters now.

Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.

Please subscribe and rate us on iTunesSoundcloud, or the podcasting app of your choice. You can play all of our No Film School interview episodes right here:

This episode was edited by Jon Fusco.

Your Comment

1 Comment

You don’t need to make films about women just idealizing them. As for me, this is a summary of the films with her participation. I love her incredibly much. Still, she would take part in kids shows my daughter would also be delighted.

December 1, 2018 at 5:07AM


Never the same high twice. One day one joint gets me but the next day its five bowls & many joints/blunts. But I love the high. white widow cannabis seeds

April 2, 2019 at 4:33AM, Edited April 2, 4:33AM