The vision of Lisandro Alonso, the blinding photography of Kaurismäki’s regular cameraman and the use of actor/musician Viggo Mortensen combined to ensure a magic result. A Danish military engineer sets off in 19th-century Patagonia looking for his missing daughter. A mysterious masterpiece. Nominated for The Big Screen Award
The Argentinian Lisandro Alonso, with the poet Fabian Casas, wrote a story about ‘Jauja’, an earthly paradise sought in vain for centuries because everyone who looked for it got lost on the way. In this case, it’s about the Danish captain/fortune hunter Dinessen (Danish-born, reluctant Hollywood star Viggo Mortensen) who, at the end of the 19th century, joined the Argentine infantry with his 14-year-old daughter Inge. When she runs off with a young soldier, Dinessen endlessly roams the pampas of Patagonia on the trail of a very thin dog. Continue reading
In this commentary on cinematic rituals, the star of Alonso’s earlier film, Los Muertos (Vargas), wanders through the Argentine cinématheque in Buenos Aires, Teatro San Martin, searching for the film premiere in which he is the star. In contrast to his other films, Fantasma charts a journey that unfolds almost entirely within interior spaces without diminishing the power of his contemplative style.
A work that links La Libertad and Los Muertos, Fantasma (2006) is a one-hour treasure that marks a new high for the Argentine filmmaker. Set in a multiplex in Buenos Aires, Fantasma ports Vargas and Misael, this time devoid of any fictional trappings, from the lush, impenetrable greenery of the South American forests to restricted, deceptive and equally alien interiors of this concrete jungle. However, the human yearning for locating oneself within the world around remains as intense as ever. The four or five characters that we see in the film wander the empty corridors of the building like ghosts that have haunted an abandoned cinema hall. Continue reading
Vargas, a 54 year old man, gets out of jail in the prvince of Corrientes, Argentina. Once released, he wants to find his now adult daughter, who lives in a swampy and remote area. To get there, he must cross great distances in a small boat on the rivers, scoring deep into the jungle. Vargas is a quiet and self-contained man. He possesses the restraint of those living close to nature. A deep mystery surrounds him, the people he encounters and the places he goes through, all that taking in the unalterable world he finds almost unchanged after his long years of incarceration. (~IMDb) Continue reading
A boat worker, Farrel (Juan Fernandez), spends his shore leave traveling from the port city to a rural community in the mountains build around an old saw mill. Ostensibly traveling to see his mother, Farrel takes his time and drinks enough alcohol along the way to suggest a significant confrontation is brewing. But the result couldn’t be further from the suggestion. Alonso’s single-shot observational style records only dry action—Farrel getting dressed for a night shift, packing his bags, waiting for a ride to the mountains, or pulling yet another swig from his seemingly bottomless bottle of vodka. The result is that the confrontation between Farrel, his mother, and the daughter he left in the logging camp has the same anti-dramatic weight as a shot of Farrel zipping up his handbag or eating a meal.
the original dvdr announce wrote:
This filmic exchange is based on two works that reflect on the way each director films, on the crew and the actors, on the way they see and make cinema. Albert Serra took the characters of Honor de Cavalleria and his regular team of collaborators to follow in the steps of Quixote. Lisandro Alonso returned to La Pampa province to film his work, for which he recalls Misael Saavedra, the lead of his first film, La Libertad. Continue reading