Two very interesting films were revealed in the last few hours at the International Competition of the Mar del Plata Film Festival, which is going through its sixth day of screenings at a very good pace as it heads towards its closing, with the award ceremony on Saturday and End of show on Sunday.
Last night the Brazilian film had its premiere “Saudade purple fez in here”from Bahian Harold Borges that with fine sensitivity spies on the community life of a small town near San Salvador while recounting the situation of a child who is losing his vision and his way of coping with blindness.
While this morning it was the turn of “There’s There”great cinematographic experiment of the North American Andrew Bujalskishot in times of pandemic and with excellent performances by Lili Taylor, Lennie James, Jason Shawartzman, Y Molly Gordonamong others, for a story “about the struggle involved in getting to know each other”according to Bujalski -who accompanied the film to these latitudes- at the end of the screening.
Borges proposes a film without professional actors, with children, adolescents and adults from a Bahian town to establish a story in dialogue with today’s Brazil, since, as he told before the screening “Ours is a country that in recent years seems to have gone blind”in relation to the election and the government of Jair Bolsonaro, which is coming to an end and lost the possibility of a second term in a tight ballot against Lula Da Silva.
“Perhaps my country needs to relearn how to look”highlighted Borges, who went up to the stage of the Auditorium theater with part of his film crew (some Argentines) and with a red PT T-shirt and Lula’s face stamped in black.
In a 37th edition in homage to Leonardo Favio, the Brazilian film is the closest thing to the cinema of the great Argentine author of “El dependent”, “Gatica, el Mono”, and “Chronicle of a lonely child” for the textures to explore popular views and enter the networks of recognition of stories of common people.
The film, which begins with some small difficulties, soon manages to connect with the audience and immerses it in its climate, by telling the story of a boy who loses his vision until he is completely blind and how his sensations, his relationships, his life and that of his close people in that context.
Particularly beautiful are the climates that Borges manages to establish in relation to night parties, meetings where music is played and danced, as well as to carry without prejudice or teaching a simple story won by proximity and distance and where the interpreters did not agree to a written script but rather the director was transmitting the scenes and the story to them and the film was built in a partly collective way, with improvisations and resources obtained from the very territory where the story takes place.
Of a different type and of immense cinematographic quality and the ability to delve into the interior of the links is “There There”, a betting feature film, which, before its screening, its director defined as “strange and perhaps small for such a large room like this”, by the Teatro Auditorium.
“There There” is a granite film of dialogues and performances. Different scenes, separated by the incredible music of Jon Natchez, who delivers delicious performances as separators, are woven, always in pairs, but with the particularity that the actors never shared the set.
“The actors didn’t see each other during the shoot or bond, and this was very attractive because it forced them to do an exercise in imagining the other they’re interacting with in the film,” Bujalski remarked about the film in the talk with the public after the screening.
Thus, the small stories proposed by the film present an ex-alcoholic (Lili Taylor) and the owner of a bar (Lennie James) the morning after an occasional nocturnal encounter of high sensual and affective combustion when the doubts of the past seem to come to an end. destroy the possibility of the future.
The former alcoholic’s subsequent meeting with her “godmother” and protector of Alcoholics Anonymous and a strange account of what happened to her that morning and about her former “godmother.”
This godmother, now at her son’s school chatting with the language teacher (Molly Gordon) who does nudes on a porn site; then the producer of the porn site in dialogue by zoom with her lawyer (Jason Shawartzman); the lawyer before a ghostly appearance of her father while he is alone in her house in the middle of the night and finally, the language teacher who after her day at school drunk in the bar in a wild ending for a day of terror.
There is something in the film that seems to refer us to “Coffee and Cigarettes”, due to the episodic dialogues that follow each other but with a clearly different treatment and with an iron script masterfully sustained in the performances.
Bujalski’s film, one of the flags of the independence of North American cinema, which investigates dark, painful, permeable areas of people, without appealing to tragedy but knowing how to introduce the stiletto to the deepest nerve and with surprising results.