Two narrators, one seen and one unseen, discuss possible connections between a series of paintings. The on-screen narrator walks through three-dimensional reproductions of each painting, ... See full summary »
A parody of anthropology, linguistics, and cultural imperialism. The film follows an unlikely team of linguists into the wilds of an ersatz Patagonia to study the last speakers of a dying ... See full summary »
In a bar in Santiago, two old men talk over their past. This is a strange discussion. In fact, they talk of themselves as if they were dead. We don't know what is true or false, what is dream or reality.
Ruiz's first completed feature won him top prize at Locarno at the age of 28. This is a bleak and blackly humorous vision of a couple of hopeless losers' quotidian attempt to get by over a few days at the edges of Santiago de Chile's inebriated underworld of squalid strip joints and dingy apartments. Nelson Villagra and Shenda Román are both totally credible as an emotionally numb, mumbling brother-pimp-and-sister-whore "team" and Jaime Vadell is also great as Villagra's ambitious, frisky sometime boss. Organised semi-criminality and sweaty repressed frustration pervade the world of the film. Every conversation produces conflict and violence. (The military coup of 1973 is approaching - with unbridled neoliberalism to follow.) Formally, the film has little in common with Ruiz's later European work, but his trademark experimental play with language and music is already in effect. The hand-held b&w cinematography is rough-and-ready yet ambitious for a no-budget indie directorial debut made with the country's only Arriflex: the camera often seems like a spectator in these muscular, evidently meticulously choreographed long takes. The film bears comparison with Cassavetes' SHADOWS (1959) and FACES (1968), Iosseliani's ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A SINGING BLACKBIRD (1970) and even Scorsese's MEAN STREETS (1973). NADIE DIJO NADA (1971) was Ruiz's surreal, bohemian companion piece to TRES TRISTES TIGRES.
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