“Nocturnos” is a mysterious & artistic puzzle from the Argentinean auteur

by Atzin Ortiz, contributing blogger

Here’s a tricky question: how to view & review this film? A common place would suggest the following: if you liked it and appreciated it, you’re an intelectual connoisseur; if you despised it, you’re dumb and you should be watching other type of “flicks”. That’s far from being accurate, so I’ll just stick to the facts: Edgardo Cozarinsky is a writer, filmmaker and playwriter. His latest auteurship “Nocturnos”, was in the Orizzonti Official Selection (for experimental films) of last year’s Viennale, and it’s driven by the marriage between film, literature, and Buenos Aires itself. The result will definetly be on the eye of its beholder.

The film follows the labyrinthic path  of a lonely man, played by Esteban Lamothe (last year’s leading actor in the indie phenomenon “El Estudiante”), who wonders throughout a beautifully shot (thanks to gifted cinematographer Emiliano Cativa) nocturnal Buenos Aires. He has been dumped by his woman. Other archetypical creatures of the night will directly or indirectly appear. And what we witness for the course of 64 minutes, is a (supposed) meditation on memory, loss, and time.

During this night, characters will recite numerous passages with similar themes from Frost, Hölderlin, Baudelaire, Borges, and many others. A voice over from the director himself will also join the trend. Long travelling shots of the poorest neighborhoods of the city will be overimposed with file footage (for example, excerpts of Eisenstein’s “The Strike”). As the imagery flows, Ulises Conti’s exquisite and masterful original music follows along. That is until the movie ends with a quote of no other than… Jean-Luc Godard.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/29995923″>Nocturnos (work in progress)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user3611566″>Edgardo Cozarinsky</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

What does all of this mean? There’s plenty of juxtaposition for metaphors. But do they really say much? Of all sequences there was one which I found remarcable: during daytime, an elderly couple sits on a bench in a park, while they watch a young couple of kids playing (on the same park) at night. The old woman cites a passage from the film’s bibliography and there is a poignant reflection of memory and time. Unfortunately, this happens to be the also where the movie ends.

The experimentation in this movie is vast, and Cozarinzky bravefully decides to stick with it all the way. But when does the form of a film turns into sheer artistry pretention? On the attempt of being extremely philosophical, he falls into the trap and turns “Nocturnos” into a criptical essay.

“Nocturnos” was released on August @ Malba Museum, playing Saturday’s @ 8pm. It will be shown for one last time next week, on September 1st.

Nocturnos (Argentina/2011) / Written & Directed by: Edgardo Cozarinsky / Cinematography: Emiliano Cativa / Music: Ulises Conti / Cast: Esteban Lamothe, Marta Lubos, Diana Bellessi, Leticia Mazur, Luis Ortega, Esmeralda Mitre / Running time: 64 mins.

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One thought on ““Nocturnos” is a mysterious & artistic puzzle from the Argentinean auteur

  1. One of my favorite Argentine films is Cozarinsky’s “Rondo Nocturno”. I can’t wait to see this.

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