TIFF 2017: WAVELENGTHS. ALIENS BY LUIS LOPEZ CARRASCO

This entry was posted on September 12th, 2017

By José Sarmiento Hinojosa

After his fantastic first feature The Future, Luis López Carrasco returns to deal with the aesthetics and memory of the eighties with his portrait of singer, artist, and extra-terrestrial wannabe Tesa Arranz, a true enfant terrible of a decade marked by excess, drugs, experimentation and celebrity. Filmed in Mini DV and VHS to add to the experience of the decade (and in words of López Carrasco, also an attempt to use the domestic format in this personal dialogue about memory), Aliens  is not only a document of the ex Zombies’ co-singer, but also a testimony on the result of a life that has always been alien to the behavior structures of society, a life of excess that after a wild fire, is ready to be extinguished.

Tesa has made over 500 portraits of aliens, says the film synopsis. In the film, we’re witness to the vast majority of her creative drawing and writing, this obsessive behavior that seems to be in order with her intimate desire to leave this earth. It seems Tesa has done everything a human being can do on earth: fell in love, had an offspring, been a celebrity, done drugs, fucked, cried, lied and been lied to, among other things. Now, her portrait as a person suffering with a bipolar disorder who wants nothing to do with life is unsettling, and raises some questions about the viability of existence after everything has been said, or done. If a decade depleted oneself in terms of exhausting the means of experience, is death really a sin? Nightmare and paradise on earth. Everything has been said.

Questions apart, Aliens stays as an invaluable document and magnificent documentary about one of the most characteristic figures of the eighties in Madrid, and about this decade, its figures (Almodóvar, Zulueta, Berlanga, nobody escapes the memory of Tesa) and this necessity of López Carrasco to construct new narratives from Spain’s contemporary history. Is a fantastic endeavor that wants to rescue the fundamental discourses of a generation that is “now in power, trying to manipulate and control any dissident discourse”. This articulation of the personal portrait and the testimony of the social array, is what makes the Spanish filmmaker so special. A VHS treat in 2017.

Director: Luis López Carrasco
Cast: Tesa Arranz
Producer: Luis López Carrasco
Cinematography: Ion de Sosa
Screenplay: Germán Pose
Sound: Manolo Marín, Jorge Alarcón
Editing: Luis López Carrasco, Sergio Jiménez
Production:De Sosa PC
Spain, 2017