Indulging in the thrill and heartbreak of the artistic process, this unabashedly avant-garde take on the iconic works of Godard, Mendieta and Farocki explores cinema as both a political and playful act.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2020
Join us deep in the Argentine woods for a mesmerising cinematic tour de force.
In Jazmín López’s dazzling and disorienting second feature, four friends gather at a vast, run-down mansion in the middle of nowhere to film re-enactments of three key activist artworks of the late sixties/early seventies: Jean-Luc Godard’s Marxist playdate La Chinoise (1967), Ana Mendieta’s gender-bending performance piece Untitled (Facial Hair Transplants) (1972), and Harun Farocki’s deadpan napalm exposé Inextinguishable Fire (1969). Bertolt Brecht and Kate Bush also get roped into the fun and games. (Don’t worry, no prior knowledge of any of these works, nor of the Pascale Petit poem from which the film draws its title, is necessary!)
The decay of the estate looks sensational in extreme widescreen and slinky, exploratory long takes as the camera slides and dances through the maze of the house and its surrounding estate. Lead actress Carmen, however, is haunted by a recently ended relationship, and her distraction slowly infects the project and her fellow filmmakers. Time starts to slip, and the characters’ own lives seem to become re-enactments too. What might look on paper like a dry exercise in esoteric film geekery soon turns into something richer, stranger and much more playful: a one-of-a-kind cocktail of self-reflexive movie-movie, architecture porn, Slow Cinema eye candy and ghost story. — Andrew Langridge
About the Filmmaker
Jazmín López is a Buenos Aires-based visual artist and filmmaker. As a director and screenwriter, she made three short films before debuting with the feature Leones (2012). Her visual artworks have been exhibited at MoMA, Lincoln Center, Centre George Pompidou and KW Institute Berlin, among others.