29 septembre 2005

El Perro (2004/Sorin)

Bombon El Chien / El Perro / The dog (2004/Carlos Sorin/Argentina) ++

Carlos Sorin (Historias Minimas) repeats once more the minimalism of uneventful lives with non-actors who give the full emotional truth to this picture. Characters are named after the real people playing them, even if their conditions are slightly fictionized. Juan Villegas, in the film, ends up unemployed at 52 after 30 years spent as a gas station helper. This lonely widower sells hand-carved knives and lives in the house of his married daughter. Illiterate and introverted his social obligated reinsertion is difficult to deal with. After a couple of friendly encounters on the road, rural portraits of argentine faces, one good deed of his adds company to his solitude. Helping a woman stranded with a broken car in the middle of nowhere, he's granted a large purebred Argentinian Mastiff, Bombon, el chien, el perro. This odd, unexpected present is a problematic burden that will make him feel more important overnight. Everybody notices him in the street now, he's admired and considered. Soon introduced to a circle of dog breeders, he will try his luck with the dog show/semen business. Juan teams up with Walter Donado, an enthusiastic dog educator who takes him to his first show. A road-movie visiting the back country and exposing the untold existentialist errance of little people secretly waiting for good fortune.This understated non-actor, dwarfed by his immense dog, successfuly conveys genuine states of mind because they are his very reactions on the shooting location. The allegory of dog training routine echoes with the access of this simple man to a higher society, and maybe to the big city. Juan instantly transfers on his companion who talks as little and express his mood through faces and postures, both discomfit with romance and instinctive.

(s) ++ (w) ++ (m) ++ (i) ++ (c) +++

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