Kékszakállú is an unconventional portrayal of several young women witnessed in immersive yet indeterminate states: within their bodies, among their friends and lovers, and ultimately in a culture of economic and spiritual recession. The torpor of boredom and privilege is undercut by the vicissitudes of Argentina's economic malaise, forcing the offspring of a vanishing upper class to extricate themselves from the props of familial privilege. The film presents a documentary-like exposure of the quotidian while extending possibilities for redemption among this brood of the weary. Obliquely inspired by Bela Bartok's sole opera, Kékszakállú radically transposes the portent of Bluebeard's Castle into something far less recognizable: a tale of generational inertia, situated between the alternating and precisely rendered tableaux of work and repose in Buenos Aires and Punta del Este.Written by
Venice Film Festival
Director Gastón Solnicki on his inspirations for Kékszakállú (2016): "Two years ago I was under the spell of Bartok's feverish opera [Béla Bartók's "Bluebeard's Castle"], and it was through the lens of a similarly folkloric transfiguration that I began to envision the lives of teenagers who vacationed much as I had as a youth: summers at the coast, in houses leached of color, the heat bearing down, all while inner turmoil lay dormant, perhaps corrosively so. (...) I was captivated by the material essence of iconic architecture and the lives trapped inside it: was this supposed white paradise by the sea not a kind of involuntary hell? One could feel here the circularity of time, the repetition of gestures and the embalming nature of history repeating itself. So it was here that my own operatic dream came to be, an uncanny union of opposing elements - maximum artifice laid bare by a documentarian gaze - unfolding like a fugue." See more »
Some directors,like Ruben Ostlund, like to hold their shots for an eternity, letting all the action happen within the frame. The Argentinian director Gaston Solnicki seems to like to alternate between long held shots in which nothing seems to be happening within the frame, and more rapid cutting where shots are not held long enough for us to get a handle on either the characters or even on what we are meant to be watching. You might even say his film "Kekszakallu" isn't 'about' anything but simply an observation of young Argentinians, and in particular some young women, passing time swimming, talking, eating, studying, working and listening to music, primarily Bela Bartok, and about 15 minutes of inactivity passes before the credits come on.
At this point something like a narrative seems to take hold, yet even then the sense that you are watching a documentary on day-to-day living in Buenos Aires never really goes away. The film won the FIPRESCI prize in Venice where an art-house audience no doubt embraced it with open arms and if you are not given to this sort of thing it is, at least, rather short (72 minutes). I, on the other hand, found it both beautiful and strangely calming even if I wasn't always sure what exactly was happening.
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