“Historias Extraordinarias” or Extraordinary Stories won the last edition of the BAFICI (Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival) and has been proclaimed the year´s best film by many critics. And it is 245 minutes long (about 4 hours and 20 minutes, counting two intermissions).
Right now it is only playing in one cinema in Buenos Aires, just once a week, to a packed house. This tactic, of just playing in one cinema once a week for a whole year, has actually been successful for other low budget films, and has actually been profitable.
First off, I didn´t fall asleep during the movie, but I wasn´t on the edge of my seat for the entire time either. The first part unfolds like a police mystery in which events are reexamined, and each re-examination causes more doubts to be raised about what exactly happened. This part was very well done: Director Mariano Llinás is a great story teller, with a keen eye for the absurd that lies behind seemingly “normal” interactions. But later in the film, when the plot meanders into stories of love, longing and introspection, it begins to drag. These love stories do not move the story forward and are cliched.
The art direction is very well done, because we meet various characters who are primarily represented with photos and diaries. But the photography–my hats off the the DOPs who shot an entire film without lights (!!!) but really, watching a movie that you can barely see. . .
Over all, there were some great moments in this film, but as an editor, I have to say: CUT!