Argentines x 2
THE TRUE LOOK
Of all the national films of 2017, To the Desert and Invisible were the ones selected to represent the country in this Edition's International Competition. Their directors, Ulises Rosell and Pablo Giorgelli share a fictional cinema with a documentary hint. A sensitive cinema with a close camera that understands the logic: the best representation is that supported by the truth.
In To the Desert, Ulises Rosell places two very different characters in the wonderful lonely landscapes of the South of Patagonia. A raid in which the discovery of the other is forced and the hostility of the environment will lead the protagonists to push the limits of their own self-awareness.
Invisible presents the story of Ely, a 17 years old teenager, living her life as is she could escape the look of the others. Invisible is the protagonist in the eyes of the world and the conflict yet to come. In the context of an absent family, a depressed mother and a State that acknowledges its own lack of power, Ely will have to bridge over the mutism that surrounds her.
To understand the genesis of these two films, which enrich the Competition, here is the word of the makers behind them:
Why did you decide to tell these stories?
Ulises Rosell: It's usually a sum of several factors. It started as a vintage film project. It was a story of captive women set in the Pampas lowlands in times of the frontiers and the war against the Native Indians. Then I visited Comodoro Rivadavia for the first time, that petrol, charmless city which, in spite of every warning, I found fascinating, given the nature's aggressiveness and thanks to the people I knew, as well. They pushed me further, after that original kick, and transmitted their enthusiasm, their desire to help and shape the project with me.
Pablo Giorgelli: I never quite get how it is that I think of a story. Part of the origin may have had to do with the fact that I was interested, as I still am, in family bonds, fatherhood and motherhood. When I finally discovered the protagonist had to be a teenager and a girl, somehow, it took me to my own adolescence. From then on, I started planning the film from that perspective. That started defining almost every character, the universe, the point of view, the tone, the shape and the places where Invisible happens and, of course, the film's soul. To me, making a film is going through a process in which you slowly discover the characteristics of a film that you envision but that you don't know yet. And what I found out about this film is that it had to be like that: simple, direct, with no subtleness, not tricks and, above all, no narrative or formal distractions.
How would you define the film?
Ulises Rosell: It is the kind of film that would make me want to go into the movie theater because of its atmosphere, locations, silences, etc. I think desert films constitute a whole genre. We all understand beforehand where they are going and what we could expect from them in sensorial terms. Leaving aside the common scenery, they explore the survival conflict, the confrontation of man versus nature, being stripped of origin. Although it is an ideal context for action films (from westerns to chasing stories or “human hunts”), I’m interested in those films which take advantage of that environment to explore the characters. The conflict here is very intimate. It delves into the personal history and the past of each one of them. The general structure is an initiatory journey, a road movie. But it is also a thriller. There is a disappearance, a couple of fugitives and an investigation. And a secret each one of them will tell according to their own version and that is essential to the story.
Pablo Giorgelli: Invisible is a portrait: the portrait of Ely, a 17 year old teenage girl who gets pregnant and must make a decision. The film narrates the inner process she goes through during those days, a story told exclusively from the character’s point of view. She is the one to tell the story. It is a patient, intimate film supported by sensorial material, which does not judge its character but rather observes it and walks with it. It is a film in which, as a director, I had to remain as unnoticed as possible, even though is clearly a construction, a fictional story, an artificial creation.