The goalkeeper of a little-known soccer team is kidnapped by a Argentinean government squad and sent to a detention center. After months of torture, he plots his escape with three other young men.
If American moviegoers have plenty of reasons to feel icky about government-sponsored kidnappings and hidden prisons, “Chronicle of an Escape” gives them another good one, by viewing a fact-based Argentinean story through the stylized lens of a horror film. Laced with dread that builds to a thoroughly gripping third act, it should do well with art house audiences who like their history lessons to come with a shot of adrenaline. Continue reading
Nicolás lives in a small town in the Argentinian province of Entre Ríos. His father Jorge is a respected doctor who claims the privilege of leading a double life with two families. Seen through the eyes of Nicolás, his oldest son, Jorge is a man who will not allow himself be called ‘Dad’ and who, after a day they spend together, returns to his other family which he has privileged with much greater financial support. Nicolás takes on the role of a father: he looks after his siblings, comforts his mother and takes care of financial matters. The inconsistency of these parallel worlds becomes even more evident when Jorge calls upon Nicolás to follow in his footsteps. He is to become a doctor, too, and to take over the ranch his father inherited and manages in a colonial manner. Unperceived by the people around him, the boy starts to nurse rebellion against his father’s authoritarian ways and machismo, and against the open secret which everyone knows but which everyone ignores.
(from berlinale’s cat.) Continue reading
Skater musical from Buenos Aires suburb. In this silent black-and-white 4:3 format film, the hypnotising soundtrack drives the images. Love, desire, drama, faces. Perrone, the godfather of Argentine independent cinema, reinvents it in his 35th film.
Argentinian director Raúl Perrone calls P3ND3JO5 (‘pendejos': slang for teen, but also idiot or worse epithets) a ‘cumbia opera in three acts with coda’. Cumbia is rhythmic Columbian music that became immensely popular in Latin America during the 1940s.
A father and daughter journey from Denmark to an unknown desert that exists in a realm beyond the confines of civilization.
There’s more dialogue in the first reel of Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja” — his first film made with a professional cast and a screenwriting partner — than in all four of the young Argentinian director’s prior narrative features combined. Yet this hallucinatory head-trip Western remains unmistakably Alonso’s film from first frame to last — a metaphysical road movie in which origin and destination are markedly less important than the journey itself. Continue reading
In the calm and luxurious estate’s La Maravillosa, a murderer raised his employer, Peter Chazarreta. The news comes in all media. Chazarreta, a powerful businessman, is the only suspect of murdering his wife simulating a silly home accident. To cover the shocking news, The Tribune, one of the leading newspapers of the country, calls Nurit Iscar, famous writer of detective novels that takes years hidden in a creative and voluntary ostracism. The economic plight of Nurit’s forced to accept the proposal to settle in La Maravillosa and write from there a series of notes on the journalistic event of the year. Continue reading
In 1965, a man named Matías is admitted to a psychiatric clinic after being found on the street “in the company of homosexuals and intoxicated by alcohol and drugs.” His papers indicate that he is 41 years old and Polish. He claims that his mother was an aristocrat. His arrival will shake up the institution and, in particular, the life of one of its doctors.
This is an adaptation of one of the most important novels of Argentine literary modernism, Roberto Arlt’s El juguete rabioso (1926). Similar in many ways to Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1917), this novel (and the film) chronicles a young man’s journey through a life of poverty on the margins of society in Buenos Aires among anarchists and gangsters during the first years of the 20th century. The novel is essential reading for an understanding of subsequent Argentine literature, yet it is little known outside of Argentina. In El beso de la mujer araña AKA Kiss of the Spider Woman (1976), Manuel Puig was very consciously drawing the whole conceit of the homosexual ‘traitor’/’lover’ and the political prisoner directly from this book.