Saturday, 3 August 2013


(Matias Pineiro; Argentina)

Pineiro is the new magician of talk-addicted film. Comparisons to the films of John Cassavetes are obvious, and probably occur with frequency, but the comparisons are perhaps apt. The pace, rhythm, and fire of talk and chat in Cassavetes' films urges intense focus, and the same holds true for Pineiro.

There is wit, deftness, clever puzzle-logic, and hidden layers to the barrage of words that abound in Viola, and this web of words creates a wonderful tension, a sense of not having firm footing, a feeling of constantly slipping. Not so much a feeling of losing a hold of the plot, but in not even knowing where the plot begins or ends.

This verbal trickery is wondrously matched by Pineiro's camera-work - by constantly focussing on faces, we lose grasp of surroundings and thus lose a grasp of whether a given moment is reality, dream, performance, or some odd limbo between all three.

In mastering this combination of verbal chicanery and tightly-framed cinematography, Pineiro has achieved more in 63 minutes than most directors can do in 120.

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