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    Reader comments on

    Subject: Sergio is right
    Date: Mar 18, 2006
    Sender: hugo PezziniPrevious

    The film presents this family as an archetype of Argentine post-bourgeoisie's quagmire (a possible, if not exact, translation of "quagmire is "cienaga", ("swamp").

    The portraited family, and the actress who impersonates the matriarch, Graciela Borges --although Martel (the film's director) does not acknowledge it-- are both strong remnants of an old-lost northern, provincial decadent aristocracy... who were -once- powerful "terratenientes" (landowners). A power, obviously always tightly restricted by the determinist parameters set by that lost-in-jungle/desert twilight zone: the frontier town' idiosyncrasy.

    Graciela Borges (again: the actress who plays the matriarch) was herself from the landowning aristocracy: she was once married to an Argentine playboy/terrateniente/ race-car driver, the protˇgˇ of the annˇes-dorˇs-Argentina's world champion Juan Manuel Fangio (but --all aristocracies have skeletons in their closets-- some bifid-tongued mouths mutter he is the iconic man's "bastard" son: Juan Manuel Bordeu is ćJuan Manuelä after Juan Manuel Fangio: names. The actor who plays the matriarch's son is indeed the actress Graciela Borges's own son: Juan Cruz Bordeu, the child conceived within G. Borges and J.M. Bordeu's wedlock. This enormously metaphorical film about the "apocalyptic end of history in Argentina", has spread its metaphoric veil so vastly to reach even the film's fringes areas of its casting.

    Positively: Mecha's family IS NOT a redneck one. The disheveled decor, the screaming, the trash, the pool-swamp, the actual swamp (and the stuck cow), the armed, but always bruised-hurt children, the lusty-zombie girls, the old flesh-and-bone automatons, the dust, the unexplainable (but real) "fun" of the carnival rituals, are all loosely related to the most allegoric images came from a blend of a certain Italian cinema that starts with the "neorealismo" and ends most likely with Fellini: it is nothing but terrifying. The unbearable sound of the metallic patio chairs being dragged that opens the movie (that is possible to be read as a funereal procession) is not the sound of the carrying of the dead, but the persistent soundtrack of a lengthy agony.

    Long lost are the pretensions and believed impostures of generations of Argentineans that end in Martel's Swamp. They are no rednecks: that very special kind of stereotype, is a macabre caricature of the Argentine archetype, whose demise we witness within this movie. So in this movie the archetype is a screamer, an overacting fool, a drama king or queen, because this pompous Argentine archetype is spinning in a free fall.

    She/he belongs to a generation or, to put it better: we see in this film the crudest representation of the passing of a generation (or couple of generations) brought about by the historical hiatus between pre and postmodern Argentina: through this provincial wreck we see the agonizing remnants (or the postmortem flash?) of the guilded generation of Argentina's minute modernity.

    That vanishing, idiosyncratic, navel-gazing Argentine (hu)"man" ("the Europe of Latin America!") was defined by that country's greatest writer (and a member of the same elite, but in its metropolitan, best-lineage branch): Jorge Luis Borges, with an irony that borders sarcasm, said that an Argentine is "an Italian who speaks in Spanish and thinks himself to be British." Where are the rednecks of this film?

    All the noise is death's stertor.

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    it's not a white trash family.

    Comment index:

  • [no subject]   from sergio, Dec 19, 2005
  • » Sergio is right «   from hugo Pezzini, Mar 18, 2006
  • [no subject]   from sergio, Dec 19, 2005
  • » Sergio is right «   from hugo Pezzini, Mar 18, 2006