Thursday, April 4, 2013

Extraordinary Stories (Mariano Llinás, 2008)

I finally got the chance to see Mariano Llinás' much-praised festival epic, Extraordinary Stories, and it more than lived up to its reputation. Four hours whiz by as narratives never intersect plotwise but blur emotionally and stylistically, creating a swirl of docudrama, suspense, romance, even essay that, for all the film's length, serves primarily as a distillation for the capacity of art for communication, for bringing people into the world around them. Nowhere is this more evident than when one man's quest for literal treasure leads him to discover the far richer reward that he is sociable and capable of finding happiness with those who initially alienate him. As if that's not enough, the tale of men struggling to break out of their insular subjectivity to connect to the world even comes with its own variant of the Molly Bloom chapter to disrupt everything we think we know about the story. A great work indeed.

My full review is up now at Movie Mezzanine.

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