The 23 Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival is once again opening its arms to screenings in cinemas, after an aborted edition in 2020 and another in 2021 limited to a few face-to-face sessions, sheltered from the pandemic conditions of online viewing. The International Official Competition in this new episode of the Buenos Aires meeting, it maintains the structure repeated last year. This means that unlike the Bafici tradition since its creation in 1999 and until very recently, feature films share space on an equal footing with shorter formats in a section made up of thirty and one title in total. Sixteen feature films (including two out of competition) and fifteen short films are in the game, with durations ranging from 2 to 30 minutes. A decision that more than a regular described as imprudent, but which last year bore unexpected fruit: the winner of the Grand Prix in the International Competition was the Argentinian short film my last adventureby Ezequiel Salinas and Ramiro Sonzini.
It will be a question of seeing what decision will be made by the quintet in charge of tasting the 29 titles in competition and deliver the winners, after discussion and deliberation, if applicable. The jury is made up of Spaniard Javier Angulo, founder of the magazine cinemania and director of the Valladolid International Film Week, the Chilean composer Jorge Arriagada, responsible for the soundtrack of more than forty films by Raúl Ruiz, the French actress and director Pascale Bodet, to whom Bafici devotes a special section to programming , Argentine screenwriter and director Sofía Mora and Israeli documentary filmmaker David Fisher, whose retrospective promises to be one of the discoveries of this edition. As has been customary since the seminal times of Abasto, seat of Bafici during its first fifteen years of life, the titles come from the most diverse places on the planet: Germany, Bolivia, Chile, Spain, United States, Philippines, France, Hungary. , Ireland, France, Japan and Mexico, among others, in addition to the Argentinian participation, which this year includes no less than four feature films and as many short films.
The kick-off of the International Competition corresponded to german satire the state and meby director Max Linz. No, that’s not a mistake: the original French title is ostensibly linked to one of its central themes, the relationship between citizenship, the state and the law. Linz is not a rookie at Bafici. His previous feature film, Music and apocalypse, had been part of this same official section in 2019, and in this new work he returns to venture into similar ground, at least on a formal level. If in aquel entonces los dardos iban directed al sistema educativo universitario, ahora los blancos están dispuestos sober el telón de fondo del sistema penal, in a report that cruza tiempos y espacios y utiliza a la misma actriz, la austríaca Sophie Rois, en dos papeles main. On the one hand, Kings is Hans List, a music composer (the German term composer is constantly confused with Communist) who leaves his time, at the time of the Paris Commune in 1871, and wakes up in a museum in contemporary Berlin. The same interpreter is responsible for playing, on the other hand, Joséphine Praetorius Camusot, the judge in charge of convictions for disturbing public order and attacking the authorities.
Thousands, millions of kilometers from any naturalist advance, the state and me intertwines the 19th century with the 21st (in Berlin-Mitte, tanks race and jackets and ties alternate with frock coats), and the tone of the performances is deliberately marked by exaggeration, even the grotesque, with a few burlesque comedy steps (the young lawyer in love with a cellist can’t help but stumble and fall with every step). It’s not a soft nut to crack, nor was it Music and apocalypse, and in the blood of Linz runs some of the political absurdity of the more radical Alexander Kluge. How much of the film’s satirical poison manages to touch the viewer? This will depend to some extent on the interest and knowledge of laws, their discretionary application to different social strata and the functioning of judicial mechanisms.
Coincidence or not, the second feature film presented in competition also mixes and mixes deliberately two temporalities, and humor, although it is of a calmer nature, is also part of its narrative folds. Fanny takes a walkco-directed by director Ignacio Masllorens (Atlas, Santiago’s theorem) and theater director and stage manager Alfredo Arias – the first local bet of the section, although with French co-production contributions –, is close to the figure of the actress Fanny Navarro, star of Argentine cinema of the 1940s and the beginning of the 1950s and very prominent president of the Cultural Athenaeum Eva Perón. After the 1955 coup, due in large part to his loyalty to the Justicialist Party, his career suffered all sorts of bruises and blows, entering a period of professional ostracism interrupted by a few film roles and, later , in the emerging television.
The filmmaking duo is in no way trying to create a conventional biographical film; On the contrary, the bet is to build a legendary and phantasmagorical space, in which the relationship between Navarro and Evita (among other real and imaginary characters) is illuminated from a present that is nothing more than a resurrected past. , a space-time continuum. . The photography, in ultra-stylized black and white, only reinforces this feeling of a universe parallel to reality, pure artistic creation although linked to the country’s past and present. With Alejandra Radano in the title role and presented last year at the Biarritz Festival, Fanny takes a walk is a particular cinematographic creature, critical but deeply in love with a space that is both real and mythological: the Argentina of the first Peronism.