Esteban Sapir – La antena AKA The Aerial (2007)

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An impressive example of the vitality and the formal potential of silent cinema, the long-awaited second feature by Esteban Sapir is also welcome proof of the continuing attraction it has for contemporary film makers. Inspired by the cinema of Murnau and Lang, of Eisenstein and Vertov, La Antena is nevertheless a very modern film. Not only in the theme – monopolisation, consumerism, cultural dulling – is there talk of an update, also the form, the editing and the techniques used reveal that La Antena is a film of our own time. Continue reading

Marco Berger & Martín Farina – Taekwondo (2016)

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In a picturesque country house in Buenos Aires, Fernando gathers his mates for a boys-only vacation. Free from work, responsibilities and their girlfriends, this close-knit gang of bros kick back by the pool, sunning their impeccably toned bodies and sharing pot-fuelled stories of sexual conquests. The guys have known each other for years, only this time Fernando has brought with him newcomer Germán, a friend from his taekwondo class, who neglects to tell the group that he’s gay. As the lazy summer days disappear, the connection between Fernando and Germán grows and slowly the boundaries of their relationship begin to blur. A veritable masterclass in will-they-won’t-they suspense, this gloriously protracted, beautifully nuanced tease is both wantonly titillating and disarmingly sweet. Working with co-director Martín Farina, Marco Berger’s inquisitive camera luxuriates in the homoerotics of this male-centric milieu, lingering longingly over the semi-clad bodies with unapologetic gay abandon. Continue reading

Edgardo Castro – La noche (2016)

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Gritty journey through the sexual underbelly of Buenos Aires, with graphic depictions of the highs and lows in one man’s quest for intimacy.

The story tells, from an accentuated hyper-realistic aesthetic, the life of Martin, a man in his forties who is desperately lonely and seeks, through sex, some company, to spend that time of which nothing seems to be expected. Under this constant desolation, he finds in cocaine, alcohol and in some other orgy a state of momentary pleasure every night. Continue reading

Mariano Cohn & Gastón Duprat – El ciudadano ilustre AKA The Distinguished Citizen (2016)

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After refusing big and prestigious awards all over the world, Mr. Mantovani, Literature Nobel Prize winner, accepts an invitation to visit his hometown in Argentina, which has been the inspiration for all of his books. It turns out that accepting this invitation is the worse idea of his life. Expect the unexpected when you have used real people as characters in your novels! Continue reading

Marco Bechis – Garage Olimpo (1999)

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Chili-born Italian director Marco Bechis’s second feature is a political drama based on his experiences with the military regime of Argentina (1976-1980) when he lived there. Maria (Antonella Costa) is a militant activist in an organization that is fighting the oppressive dictatorship. She teaches reading and writing in the suburbs of Buenos Aires in an area of shantytowns. She lives in a decrepit rooming house with her mother Diane (Dominique Sanda), who rents out some rooms. One of the lodgers, a shy young man named Felix (Carlos Echeverria), is in love with Maria. He seems to have come from nowhere and is supposed to be working in a garage. Continue reading

Carlos Jaureguialzo – Matrimonio AKA Marriage (2013)

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Argentine director Carlos Jaureguialzo offers a fine take on the challenge with Matrimonio (Marriage), which will have its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival this Sunday. By focusing on a day in the life of one weary couple he and screenwriter Marcela Silva y Nasute reveal a sometimes grim, often humorous, and ultimately affirming observation of aged love.

Esteban (Darío Grandinetti) and Molly (Cecilia Roth) have been married for over 20 years, and they clearly seem worn out. The film opens with a montage covering the detritus of this couple’s Buenos Aires apartment and, by extension, their life together. Everything is shown in super close-up: details of photos in picture frames, the water-stains on the edges of drying glasses in the kitchen, the top of a perfume bottle and the face of Esteban, staring up at the ceiling, waiting to get up in the morning to face the day. Continue reading