Monday, March 25, 2019

DO IT YOURSELF (2017) DVD review

Do It Yourself (2017) d. Dimitris Tsilifonis (Greece) (98 min)

From the land of legendary gods, heroes, monsters, and olive oil comes this clever, self-aware crime drama about a third-rate criminal, Alkis (Konstadinos Aspiotis), who makes a deal for early release – agreeing to a recorded confession exonerating a corrupt businessman, Daniel Bezerianos (Christos Loulis). The “shoot” goes off without a hitch, renting out a studio space at the local porn flick factory, but when it becomes clear that it’s much easier for the crooks to start with a blank slate (with their songbird dead), the bargaining stops and the battle of wits begins.

Writer/director Tsilifonis works overtime to boost the “clever” quotient, achieving both with his labyrinthine script (packed with unsavory morally ambiguous characters spouting double-crossing double-talk) and his creative and dynamic shooting style. Using inspired Go-Pro camera angles, overcranked and undercranked sequences, onscreen graphics laid over the master shot (primarily cell-phone screens), and plenty of creative narrative devices that call attention to themselves, the sheer bravado on display should inspire many an appreciative grin. Our self-described antihero also spends a lot of time looking up solutions on the internet, so you might pick up a few new MacGyver stunts on your own!

While the screenplay never delivers a “NO WAY” plot twist on the level of, say, The Usual Suspects or Inside Man, it definitely keeps audiences on their toes and elicits deeper appreciation on repeat viewings at all the clues in plain sight.

Tsilifonis’ commentary evokes an even deeper appreciation for the young auteur’s DIY approach as he reveals numerous VFX shots that we might never have known were there (blanking out the Athens skyline, “twinning” one of his bit players rather than hiring another extra, etc.), the various cost-cutting techniques employed, and the many cinematic references contained within. Aspiring indie filmmakers would do well to give a listen.


Audio commentary with director Dimitris Tsilifonis (in English)

“The Way of Styx” – 2014 short filim from Dimitris Tsilifonis (14 min)

“How It Was Shot” – making-of featurette on the “elevator with no elevator” shot (1 min)

“Visual Effects Breakdown” featurette (2 min)

“Storyboard Comparison” (2 min)

NOTE: There are no “Deleted Scenes (4 min)” on the disc, despite being advertised on the DVD back jacket.

Do It Yourself is available now on DVD from Artsploitation Films and can be ordered HERE:


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