'Jauja' - Review

Source: Noticias de la Semana

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The new film by Lisandro Alonso is the best Argentine movie of the year. We clarify - because it is necessary to do so - that it is not an "easy" film, that it forces its audience to an exercise of contemplation and imagination, even if it´s a western shot in Patagonia. A Danish man - an impressive Viggo Mortensen -, lost in southern Argentina, goes in search of his teenage daughter, who has fled with a soldier. He confronts the desert and labyrinthine landscape, cruel men, murderers, true adventure. Alonso creates moments of absolute beauty, where in a single shot - square, like in the oldest and most noble films - suspense and horror are manifest (see the man, frightened and alone, see how a murder takes place at the end of the shot.) He doesn´t reject humour (some phrase by the character sliding down some rocks, some hand surreptitiously entering the frame) nor the Borgean turn for the fantastic, or even, in a remarkable and mysterious epilogue, the fairy tale. But all this requires the audience participation. The film rewards you with an artistic beauty unique in cinema, not only Argentinian. At times, the images resemble the paintings by Cándido López; at times, the best moments by John Ford. Alonso has all cinema in his head and he uses it skilfully, without yielding to any kind of demagoguery. A UFO, a rarity: Jauja is almost a masterpiece.

Rating: ****½
Last edited: 29 November 2014 08:08:39
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