(Argentina 2013 90m) Village Recoleta
p Tetsuo Lumiere, Sergio Alejandro Palma d/w/ed Tetsuo Lumiere c Gabriela C. Chirife, Sergio Nemirovsky
a Tetsuo Lumiere, Germán Da Silva, Natasha Ivannova, Ángeles Olleta, Luis Sosa Arroyo
It might’ve not been the best film I saw in the festival, but I’m sure that I didn’t see so much energy, passion and laughter inside a film (and the theatre in which it played) in all the festival of Buenos Aires. And you have to applaud the festival to put something like this in the show, between other films from sacred directors, and even forgiving the fact that the film is almost 2 hours long when it was promised that it would be an hour and a half. It’s still, not a slow movie, it’s surely a long movie, it feels like that, but if it was my decission, I wouldn’t cut one frame of it, it’s just among those films that are perfect at the moment that they are, and they are at the same time the perfect thing that you need for your animosity. For that same reason, let’s keep this fun, quick and short, just as the movie wishes it could’ve been and only achieves at certain particular times.
Taking inspiration from genre cinema of all times, periods and countries, specially and most clearly the silent cinema of the 1910 and 20’s, with a particular emphasis on the genre works of that age, particularly the german expressionism and the russian silent cinema, with inclinations towards Griffith due to its parallel way of editing. I can see the influence of films like ‘Aelita’ (1924) in terms of its relation between the extraterrestial beings and the planet Earth (in this particular case, the city of Buenos Aires), as well as the films directed and starring Paul Wegener (Tetsuo Lumiere, the director of this film, also directs and stars in the films, and in this film he has a clear resemblance to the german actor/director). Then there are the more later references, like to the whole kaiju genre when the final battle for the destiny of Earth (or just Buenos Aires, who knows) is in the hands of two giant robots who battle in the midst of buildings. There’s a whole aroma of ‘do-it-yourself’ that makes it charming and wonderful.
Faulty in its technicalities to a point where it becomes a style, the repetition of actors and the long shots of reactions in the city towards the attack of a race of aliens (hey, I didn’t put up the plot, because it’s better enjoyed/discussed/get confused by it live), but it has some genuine funny and deeply emotional moments, this might not have been the best film of the festival, but if it ever went on the competition, I’m sure it would’ve got the prize for the audience. Cheers and may this get seen!