6 linked films written and directed by Damián Szifron;
Director of photography, Javier Juliá; Music by Gustavo Santaolalla; production design by Clara Notari; costumes by Ruth Fischerman; produced by Hugo Sigman, Pedro Almodóvar, Agustín Almodóvar, Esther García and Matías Mosteirín; released by Sony Pictures Classics. In Spanish, with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 54 minutes.
This is off the clock face
Forget the mores of life as lived in relatively civilized times.
The daybreak hours spent twisting and turning over the compass you use and the nighttime curfew of the soul before the deep sleep takes you into any surreality you may obtain or embrace.
This film embraces the Wild tormented animalistic side of what some people may do when an emotion goes as I say ‘off the clock face’ it is a sextet of monstrous bizarre primordial tales of the unexpected conceived and played for us with amazing brilliant extra tic verberance.
Be prepared to be shocked half a dozen times and then multiply each internal narratives nerve tangling, jarring, comedic black spots and violence aplenty. Be prepared for the metaphors to pour onto you from the shattered glass. Stacked and starred into fragments I seems to one thread each of the otherwise completely separate stories needs to expose our nerve ends.
What a start.
Before the initial credits have arrived we have a story already told. It is superb and from the get go ‘remark’ “do I get air miles with this ticket?” or something of that ilk at the Argentinian airport lounge – it’s all beautifully Spanish in language and coloring.
Shiny bonnets and gloss faced sun kissed with drenches of mostly radiant heat.
Film One. ‘“Pasternak” with : Dario Grandinetti (Salgado), María Marull (Isabel) and Mónica Villa (Professor Leguizamón).
The first story is a group who have never met, meeting at the behest of a former acquaintance they have shared. One or two of them sharing significant relations with the invitee then there are others with a less touching aquaintance. High helped model Isabel (María Marull) is the one who makes the enquiry at the airport departure lounge and she saunters down the aisle of the half full aircraft. She strikes up a conversation after take of and well the plane kicks off into mayhem.
That’s all you are getting out of me! The playing of the actors is full o black comedy, peril and jeopardy with plausible backgrounds implausiblely knitted int a picture of human nature gone ‘of the clock’.
Off the Clock.
I am getting used to this phrase. It’s like a car which has much more than the dial n front of you admits too. It is as humans we are capable of much, much more than the sterility and civilised constraints might decide on our fates disposal or our internal imagination would have resigned to as a moral compass. Off the clock in a Spinal Tap squared way. This is just way beyond a set of frameworks.
####+ 4.Primordial Madness. Up there and may spoil this years holiday if you plan flying.
Rita Cortese and Julieta Zylberberg are Spanish roadside diner workers plot who encounter a diner late at night when their are just idly wishing the wet night to turn the clock to the closing hour. It is a vast empty car-park of a transport cafe. The tumble weed has even gone to rest.
The kitchen is a culinary wasteland with most food packed away and into this scene comes a man from the past. Into it further down the narrative his son turns up off the municipal bus from which he alone alights.
###+ 3. Fright factor low but tale wise and not served cold.
Film three. “Road to Hell” with : Leonardo Sbaraglia (Diego) and Walter Donado (Mario).
Chris Rea had something other than this in mind with his tuneful look at driving alone can do to the mind. This is a molehill turning into an erupting volcano. In fact it would have been no surprise to see the reprise of Mount Croscat, is that one? Take out the road and the road bridge which is and arch too far. The acting and directing in this piece alone is worth the ticket price believe me. The ratcheting up of the opposing forces and their extent of anger is practically unbounded. It is dynamic contorted and black.
##### 5. This is a sock full of stones in which a bruising encounter shows up masculine boundaries set off the clock. None makes sense but the ratchet is the central instrument of this duet of the Sagra to Cayrette road trip which invites road rage between the sunny beautiful valley drive.
Film four. “Bombita” with : Ricardo Darin (Simón) and Nancy Dupláa (Victoria).
This one is back to the city and everyone, well practically everyone is involved. It has a communal feel to it it and it has family life and contemporary problems to deal with. The director and writer has caught the device of a road clamping municipal scam and turned it on its head.
Car parking was never meant to require a clamping compound in a city suburb, handy for visiting and chock a block with the comings and going of a park and ride scheme. Engineer of the municipality. Wise and rule obedient has his limit stepped on so what do he do, well he gets out of his zone and off the clock facecloth his thinking and cleverness. Not before many family anxious moments which make it even more convincing as calamity.
##### 5. Impressive sets, acting, believable, Clarksonesque is a new derivation. I wish uplifting and politically astute as well as a tale for our times. This one was a cut above, there is satisfaction overkill of broken glass and not too much civil harm done and violence. Well listen to a legal Sheila who is apt to hyperbole and you will see what a girl has to do to get a career going. On a personal level you understand, not helpful legal ethics intertwined.
Film five. “The Deal” with : Oscar Martínez (Mauricio) and María Onetto (Helena).
In this one there is the sleaze of ‘business’ politician with the box fresh cashmere cardigan. His son messes up up and being apparently an only child his protection is amplified as there is a strong likelihood his misdemeanor could see him in prison which is not liable to have any sense of right or wrong and seen as a fate which the father will do anything to keep his son away from. The tale involves the family lawyer. He is a piece of corrupt work. There is the prosecutor, immediately on the tail of the young boy or the family at least and he is likely to and willing to cut The Deal. There they are in the picture above. They find a stool pigeon who himself wants in on the deal making franchise once he gains some bargaining balls. It all cuts up a bit decidedly inwardly compromising and it shows up the vagaries and short lived value sets adopted.
Where will it all end.
These actors Argentinas finest give it al and are very good for their fees. The middleman especially has to be sharp and the facial expressions and posturing alone make this little short film great value alone.
It’s portal is different and it too has wild aspect but this time as a family tale is dealt with in a very loving, convincing challenge set before us. The poor man rich man is driven not so much selfishly but has his wider reasons.
Film six. “Til Death Do Us Part” WITH: Érica Rivas (Romina) and Diego Gentile (Ariel).
Into the huge ballroom with six shiny disco balls spin two large families intertwined in a wedding of a couple of thirty year olds whose blend is one of union of love as well as their own past histories.
They are on top of their day enjoying it and a bit of a problem arises when a suspicion of unfaithfulness appears.
Then a spiral up down left right, roof to basement, sends both families into the cruel face off of a certain reality none expected. The colour candour, sex, violencee, recall, recoil is fast and every little twist is full of tension as we watch not believing what we are seeing.
This is a couple who act as though they will not have a future unless they can work out the bit in the middle that set off the mad wedding function.
Lots of flying glass and broken dreams. Beyond repair?
All to be seen from next week at QFT Belfast.
Grab a Groupon ticket for Annual membership next Monday 3p March one day only for £10 pound for one year!!!
26 March 2015