Entering its last days, the 23rd edition of the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival He gave course to his Argentinian Competition through four new titles. Three of them are made by filmmakers who have already presented some of their previous works in different sections of this same festival, in previous editions, and the rest belong to an absolute newcomer, Lucía Seles, who enters the history of Bafici in a big way, presenting three films at the same time.
smog in your heart is the first part of the so-called Tennis Trilogy, to which this edition of the festival gives continuity, schedule the next episodes, Saturday Troubles Yes Weak Rangers, in the “Comedies” section. The fact constitutes a rarity. The three films too. Its five characters work in a complex of tennis courts. The owner, who runs the place as if it were a unique space in the universe (he is). His best friend from adolescence, a slightly jealous accountant who takes care of the logistics of the sports center, and his best friend from childhood, a boy from San Juan who is also the one who directs the strange written account that organizes ( disorganizes?) the story. Lujan, a sensitive girl who would be something like the owner’s secretary (or something else). And Marta, a tennis player hired to teach tennis, but doesn’t want to be called a teacher. She is a tennis player.
It is not wrong to define smog in your heart like a psycho movie, as his actions could take place at this tennis complex as well as a mental institution. The dialogues, the gestures, the narration written in the first person, the way in which the link is built between the characters and the one they maintain with the world: everything refers to an altered mental state. Due to cinematic distortion, it is customary to relate psychosis to danger (Hitchcock, shame on you!). But in reality, most psychotics are harmless, although they may inadvertently cause harm to others or themselves. So are the creatures created by Seles; that, yes, he has the surname of a tennis player. smog in your heart it is an absolute irregularity not only for Argentine cinema, but universal (or at least that of this galaxy). His sense of humor ranges from the absurd to the ridiculous, passing through the cruel and the naive. When this key is accepted, then it is possible to begin to think of the protagonists no longer as lunatics, but as children, who, as someone has said, are nothing more than lunatics who heal with l ‘age. If you are able to break through this barrier, then it will be impossible not to love these five big boys.
The absurd and a playful innocence are elements that smog in your heart share with Nancy Sport LaundryAgu Grego’s solo debut, who directed two feature films as a member of Grupo Humus (both programmed in previous Bafici). Its action also takes place in an enclosed space, only that instead of the tennis club here it is a small mountain town: Junín de los Andes. The murder of the town’s ice cream parlor, bananas that turn black when touched, sentient machines capable of communicating, interdimensional journeys and hiatus love stories make up this fantastical comedy, which festival programmer Agustín Masaedo is right about. compare the spirit of the works of filmmakers like Javier Fesser and Stephen Chow. Shot in a pandemic, the logic of Nancy Sport Laundry it operates like a bubble, isolated from the rest of the known world. Grego, who directed but was also responsible for the photography, camera, editing, sound, sound effects (and more), exploits in particular certain resources such as animation or the clip, reaches very high peaks of humor and many times runs into dead ends. As it should be, Grego emerges from it as from a labyrinth: from above.
Fantastic story too. The mountainby Sebastien Caulier, builds a mystery on the edge of the mountain of Formosa from the distant bond between a father and a son. The first leads a hermit’s life in a dilapidated country house. The second arrives one afternoon to see what is happening, after years of absence, worried about the lack of news. The father not only became a brooding man, but also lost much of his touch with reality, maintaining an obsessive relationship with the surrounding forest. The mountain can be considered a monster movie without a monster, which depicts nature as a presence with a thousand heads capable of penetrating inside people until they lose their minds. Caulier articulates moments of great tension by taking advantage of this proximity full of barriers that separates the son from his father (Gustavo Garzon, extraordinary), but also in the relationship he has with this disturbing natural entity. At the end, the film allows itself certain conventions that lead it to more familiar territory. Every viewer will know whether it seems appropriate or not so much.
Soon to celebrate its 160th anniversary, the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires is the most prestigious secondary school in the country. in the documentary The NationalAlejandro Hartmann makes an incursion into the heart of this school where past, present and future are equally important. With great freedom, the director presents the Nacional Buenos Aires as a space of contradictions, some of which are found at the very center of its structure. For example, that their students are educated in the consciousness of equality between people (teaching that the students turn to activism), but that from the first day of class they are hammered with the idea that they are different, ” specials”. Euphemisms to tell them, without saying it, that they are better, promoting an elite consciousness: we are all equal, but some of us are less equal than others. A very valuable document that manages to capture the many layers of meaning that make this school what it is: a model of Argentina. Or will he only come from Buenos Aires?