Pandemic shootings, troubled children, young people on the threshold of adulthood: constituent elements of the trio of feature films that have just joined the Mar del Plata Film Festival International Competition. Three titles that contribute efforts Argentines, Mexicans and Portuguese to the melting pot of cinematographic races of the main competitive section of the meeting. From portuguese Miguel Gomes, this time co-directing with the debutant Maureen Fazendeiro, arrives Otsoga newspapers, which shares in its title, although read backwards, the same time of year as That dear month of august (2008), the title that made the director of Taboo, possibly his most recognized creation. But this August (sorry, “otsoga”) is not the same as that other: the pandemic forced the film crew to follow strict protocols and reflect on it on screen. None of that is apparent at the beginning, during the 22nd day of filming; It is only from the thirteenth day that the marks of reality in fiction (or of a second fiction that covers the first) begin to become evident.
Shot in a beautiful 35mm that allows the natural and artificial color palette to explode on the screen (those roses!), in what looks like a hotel or a summer house outside the big city, the story / s have a strictly reverse chronology that offer / n a finished example dcinema understood as a space of freedom, in opposition to the forced confinement of quarantines and the use of the chinstrap as a barrier for the scenes where the actors must kiss. As the days go by, in the opposite direction to the natural one (in what order have the scenes been filmed?), Gomes himself appears in the frame with his team and the trio of interpreters, somewhat concerned about the lack of narrative consistency. of what is being shot. What is important in Otsoga newspapers? Each spectator can play to discover it, although here the playful does not take away the lucid And the project is by no means whimsical. There’s more than one scene to remember, but the slow-motion ride on a tractor, building a butterfly house, and a shared soak bath stand out without too much effort, etching themselves into memory.
Part of the second platoon of films in the competition, averaging the ten days of the festival, The other tom, that debuted at the Venice Film Festival and has just won the top prize at the Huelva FestivalIt comes from Mexican lands, but is largely spoken in English. It is that the duo of central characters, a “single” mother and her little son with Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity, live in the United States, despite sharing origin on the other side of the border. Life is not easy for Elena, who must work double and even triple shifts to be able to stop the pot and attend her son’s school every time she is called by Tommy’s fearsome attitudes, which happens quite often. The little one finds it difficult to concentrate and the outbursts of anger are recurrent. It is the moment to resort to psychiatric assistance, although later Elena will leave the place shouting, pronouncing the sentence “this is not a clinic, it is a pharmacy”.
Directed by the Uruguayan based in Mexico Rodrigo Plá (Area, Desert inside) and the until now screenwriter Laura Santullo, The other tom It is the first film in the Mar del Plata competition to adhere to the rules of the realistic drama, although if something the duo of directors does not do is hit below the waist or appeal to remote-controlled crying, beyond the pains that run through the body and mind of Elena and her 9-year-old boy. Medicated with pills that manage to lower the level of intensity and violence of his character but leave him somewhat groggy and unable to sleep at night, the “new” Tom may be a little more manageable than the old one, but it is no less problematic for that. . In his first film role, Julia Chavez he manages to build a complex and contradictory character on the screen, although if the woman is far from being the best mother in the world, she is not the worst either. The geographical transit of the last third adheres to the rules of the road movie minimalist and is also a voyage of discovery, a possible starting point for the beginning of the rest of Elena and Tom’s lives.
Malena Solarz’s solo debut, co-director with Nicolás Zukerfeld of Winter comes after fall and A movie made of, Album for youth it is proposed as another tale of youth in a competition that brings together several titles with protagonists who go through childhood or adolescence, although they are not necessarily intended for that audience. In Solarz’s film, the indirect influences of the cinema of Matías Piñeiro and Alejo Moguillansky are seen between the folds, but in general the director opts for a much more naturalistic style. The center of the narrative orbit is given by Sol (Ariel rausch) and Pedro (Santiago Canepari), two high school classmates who face the necessary step after leaving school. Sol practices piano, recovers old childhood essays and tries to compose a song; Pedro spends his days at the home of his parents, who are on vacation in another country, and almost secretly writes a sketch for a play, while timidly attending a theatrical writing workshop coordinated by a teacher with the face of Walter Jakob. The best moments of Album… must be looked for in certain descriptions and secondary notes, such as the relationship between Pedro, his brother and the latter’s partner (Laura Paredes), but the film, as if it were a sketch without final form, he never finishes giving specific weight to his ambitions to reconstruct the end of one era and the beginning of another.
The other tom It is exhibited on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. in Auditorium Theater and Thursday at 5.15 pm at Cinema Los Gallegos 1.
Album for youth It is screened on Wednesday at 8.15pm at Cinema Los Gallegos 1.
All films will be available online on the website https://www.mardelplatafilmfest.com from 9:00 p.m. on the first day of its face-to-face exhibition and for 72 hours.