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REVIEWS


EUROPEAN FILM MARKET 2011 PERSPECTIVE CANADA


Telefilm Canada’s spotlight on the creative talent of Canadian filmmakers


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CURLING Denis Côté


FATHERS & SONS Carl Bessai


Production Nihilproductions Sales Doc & Film International


13.02 11:15 CinemaxX 2


HOW TO BOIL A FROG Jon Cooksey


Production Raven West Films Sales Shoreline Entertainment


13.02 16:15 CinemaxX 17


THE MAN OF A THOUSAND SONGS William D. MacGillivray


FORUM


Production Fools Bay Entertainment Sales Horizon Motion Pictures


13.02 14:30 tomorrow


BERLINALE (FORUM) FAMILIAR GROUNDS EN TERRAINS CONNUS Stéphane Lafleur 19:30 (F) CinemaxX 4* F: Français *: German sub


FATHERS & SONS Carl Bessai 14:15 Marriott 2


HIDDEN 3D M.R. 09:30 Astor


HOW TO BOIL A FROG Jon Cooksey 11:00 CinemaxX 17


SMALL TOWN MURDER SONGS Ed Gass-Donnelly 14:30 CinemaxX 17


THE BAIT / L’APPAT Yves Simoneau 14:00 Parliament


THE SALESMAN / LE VENDEUR Sébastien Pilote 11:30 CinemaxX 2


WRECKED Michael Greenspan 17:15 CinemaxX 2


CinemaxX 17


Production Get Set Films, Picture Plant Sales Picture Plant


13.02 09:00 CinemaxX 19


Arg. 2011. 90mins Director/screenplay/ editor Marco Berger Production companies Oh My Gomez! International sales Rendez-vous Pictures, www.rendezvouspictures. com Producer Mariano Contreras Executive producers Pablo Ingercher, Tomas Perez Silva Cinematography Tomas Perez Silva Production designer Paula Lombardi Music Pedro Irusta Main cast Carlos Echevarria, Javier de Pietro, Antonella Costa, Rocio Pavon, Alejandro Barbera


Absent REVIEWED BY JONATHAN ROMNEY


A same-sex attraction between a swimming teacher and one of his adolescent charges is turned into an initially compelling for- bidden relationship thriller in young Argentinian director Marco Berger’s second feature Absent (Ausente). The film goes off the boil in its stretched second half, however, and is a little too in love with its quirky soundtrack and odd sound design, full of muffled passages of dialogue and buzzing undertones, but this is still an impressive example of directorial control on a shoestring budget from a new Argentinian auteur to watch. Despite the theme and the way the camera voyeuristically


caresses the young male body, this is by no means a GLBT niche product — though it will inevitably travel on the gay and lesbian festival circuit after its Berlin Forum debut. However, though it could theoretically score some arthouse action, the film’s lack of plot development and slightly downbeat, airless view of desire is unlikely to turn on many distributors outside of its home territory. Perhaps the film’s greatest achievement is in the writing and


casting of the two leads and the always authentic perform- ances of the actors chosen to play them — Carlos Echevarria as Sebastian, the teacher who is clearly keeping a tight lid on his attraction towards his young male students, and Javier de Pie- tro as Martin, the outwardly shy but inwardly self-assured 16 year-old who actively pursues the older man. The first 50 minutes almost constitute a film in themselves. It


is played almost in real time, as we see Martin checking out Sebastian in the locker room, and feigning an eye injury so he can have the teacher ferry him to the hospital for a check-up (eyes are a recurring theme: glances are exchanged but rarely meet, and the eyes of others — judging or mocking, perhaps — torture Sebastian in the film’s second half). The tension is well managed by Berger, as Martin first lies


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about living with his grandmother, who is conveniently out because he was supposed to spend the night with a friend he cannot contact… and in the end Sebastian offers to put Martin up in his own apartment, just for one night. It is a surprise to discover Sebastian has a girlfriend, Mariana (Costa), but not to discover she is not around. Berger has a real feel for cutting, setting up an uneasy rhythm


of closed and open spaces, of light and dark scenes, that under- scores the instability and strangeness of a world transformed by suppressed desire.


n 18 Screen International in Berlin February 13, 2011


CLIENT : Telefilm Canada PUBLICATION Screen


TEXTES


No ANNONCE Screen - half page DATE DIR. ARTISTIQUE DATE


DATE 13 février 2011 SERVICE CLIENT DATE


TITRE DATE


DIMENSIONS


CANADA - EUROPEAN FILM MARKET 2011 DIR. PRODUCTION


CLIENT


Communications bleublancrouge COULEUR


107 mm X 304 mm DATE


INITIALES STUDIO


AM


07-02-11 DATE


VERSION 1


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APPRO- BATION


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