Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Scenes from “El Lenguaje del Tiempo” [2011 Chile]

Prior to this, I'd seen only one film by Sebastián Araya Serrano - Azul y Blanco, a football-gang themed romance that didn't particularly win me over. However, his experimental film "El Lenguaje del Tiempo" [Eng. Title: The Language of Time] is different, even if I'm yet to become a new fan of Serrano, at least upon first viewing.

Set for its most part in the living room of an apartment, it is an encounter between a man and a woman with a history, seen from different perspectives, or realities. For starters, the man couldn't recollect who she is, but that doesn't stop her from trying to help him out. The psychological drama tries to explore characters through the man's reactions and behaviour after taking away his memory, to perhaps establish the extent to which memories and reference points drive one's identity and character. Thrown amongst the couple are another man, possibly a lover (his or her's), and an adolescent girl- characters that could even be seen as manifestations of the couples' alter ego. At least this much, I gather, is the film's concept, but whether the deconstruction has been successful as a cinematic experiment is open to debate.

Serrano has used a theatrical style to explore his subject, but there are too many aspects of the film that don't work towards the objective. Perhaps it might have worked better as avant garde theatre if spacial references were also removed, focusing purely on the characters and situations - I'm not too sure. There is also not enough in the film to warrant a full-length feature - several scenes are redundant, merely stressing the obvious, and with no discerning contribution from the actor playing the protagonist (Elvis Fuentes) to beef up the characterisation - he appears more like a clueless actor instead of a puzzled and frustrated protagonist, there is perhaps a case for shortening its runtime. I can sympathise with the director's ambition with the film, but it unfortunately doesn't translate into captivating cinema, more like an exercise in tedium. However, it's only fair we get to hear what Serrano is trying to say, and those interested may follow the below link that gives his interpretation of the film project.

Official Website Link


The Nudity: María Jesús Fuentes
There are two scenes in the film that features brief nudity from newcomer María Jesús Fuentes, a young actress who plays the adolescent neighbour, first seen eagerly seducing the protagonist, and later being raped on the street by the other man. There is also some accidental nudity from Tamara Acosta who plays The Woman.

María Jesús Fuentes and Tamara Acosta in El Lenguaje del Tiempo


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