"Historias extraordinarias" & "Una semana solos" en el Los Angeles Film Festival (Critic's Pick - Los Angeles Weekly)

CRITIC’S PICK EXTRAORDINARY STORIES (Argentina) “Extraordinary” is by no means an immodest moniker for this incredibly audacious first dramatic feature by Argentine director Mariano Llinas, which suggests a telenovela co-scripted by Thomas Pynchon and Jorge Louis Borges, or what a true screen adaptation of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy might be like. The three primary story lines (though there are countless others) concern men known only as X, Z and H, respectively, each of them minor bureaucratic functionaries in nondescript Patagonian towns, who find themselves tossed by circumstance into unexpectedly complicated adventures. The first man witnesses a murder (before committing one himself); the second scours the countryside for clues about his predecessor, an international man of mystery with a possible sideline in illegal wildlife trafficking; the third travels up river in search of the large stone “monoliths” he has been hired to photograph. Each thread is a miniroad movie of a sort, although like the film’s whimsical (and questionably reliable) omniscient narrator, Llinas shows markedly greater interest in the journey than in the destination. Stories give way to other stories — some comic, some tragic, some romantic — which are themselves riddled with dreams and flashbacks, until we no longer care if we will ever reach the end, for so pleasurably intoxicating is the air of elaborate narrative gamesmanship. Don’t let the four-hour running time deter you: There is nary a dull moment here, or one devoid of visual or storytelling invention. This is a work of consistent astonishment. (Italian Cultural Institute, Sun., June 21, 7:30 p.m.; Landmark, Mon., June 22, 7 p.m.) (SF)

GO A WEEK ALONE (Argentina) There’s social commentary percolating in A Week Alone, but thankfully it doesn’t boil over: Argentine director Celia Murga’s film — about a gated community whose adult residents take a synchronized vacation, leading to an upscale (and admittedly fairly gentle) Lord of the Flies scenario — is more focused on domestic textures than national allegory. Certainly, Murga has an eye for the accouterments of affluence, with each house a minimarvel of bourgeois set dressing — all the better for their inevitable despoilment by the home-alone crowd. The child actors are excellent, as is Natalia Gomez Alarcon, as the housemaid who doesn’t so much shirk her caretaking responsibility as watch it slowly slip away. (Regent, Fri., June 19, 4 p.m.; Landmark, Sun., June 21, 7 p.m.) (Adam Nayman)

No hay comentarios.: