Golden Exits (2017)

by Desistfilm

Days two and three in Buenos Aires were pretty intense. We’re still a little hangover from watching so many films, but here are the reviews for days three and four.

Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits is a fantastic work which deals with the morose feeling of modern marriage and the emotional detachment of new generations (hippies, millennials). The desolation shared by this characters of a nostalgic Brooklyn, feels like a constant weight that drags their voices in unending dialogues, like a declaration of unfulfilled intentions, of broken desires, of an emotional manifestation that never takes off completely. Premiered in the last Sundance Festival, this is a film that deserves to be revisited and talked about.

Also outstanding, Alejo Moguillansky’s La Vendedora de Fósforos cements its director as a filmmaker of perfect choreographic timing, where the visual and sound montage achieve oeniric dimensions, setting him as an outstanding director with a universe of his own. This adapted story from the tale by Hans Christian Andersen takes a perspective from four different characters, from a meta-textual and political vision. Through this voices, the filmmaker proposes generational readings on the transformative quality of art, all related to money, which will be a crucial element for the character’s destiny.

The Other Side of Hope (2017)

Following the hat-trick is Aki Kaurismaki’s latest masterpiece The Other Side of Hope. A true tale of our times, Kaurismaki’s caustic humour takes a glance of the immigrant situation in middle east, capturing the difficult life of Khaled, a Syrian immigrant who seeks refuge in Finland, and Wilkström, a salesman that decides to leave his home to look for a new business. The director interlaces the two stories with true mastery: both men are away from home, looking for a new identity, a new place to start anew, a place away from their past. During the film, it becomes clear that this rupture with the past will never be complete, and that there’s an intrinsecal connection with their most intimate side. The Other Side of Hope, is as its title say, a film of hope in difficult times.

Los Niños, a documentary about children with Down Syndrome, is a film from a director (Maite Alberti) who still believes in a form of documentary that shows the real, dispensing of a narrator and hiding the ones who produce images and sounds. A true paradox, since this is the formal way fiction films are made. Los Niños is less of a documentary about an institutional issue and more of a film about the way of being of certain people. It’s not always about showing cases and illustrative situations, but making cinema about human beings.

Cicero Impune (2017)

A sort of compilation of previous motifs and motivations from José Campusano’s very particular kind of filmmaking, is found in Cicero Impune: a fight against the infringement of the female integrity and the take of men as the only saviors of the situation. In Cicero Impune, evil against women takes the form of a fake healer who drugs and rape women who come for help, a man who feeds from fear and benefits from having some friends in the government. Nevertheless, the film lacks this communal, fresh and overwhelming spirit of his previous works.

Finally, Pelayo Lira’s Reinos describes the ambivalent sexual attraction of two university students, a bond that is cemented on violence and domination, in a sutil rather than perverse way. Pelayo Lira describes, through close shots, the environment of this two lovers, a love that dissipates their own doubts about maturity. The film opens a question about the materiality of this sexual encounters, where the filmmaker imposes himself in a very “shoot-from-a-very-close-distance” style.

On to days five and six.