Infant Ruiz, nothing like his later stuff (though Tango of the Widower was filmed before this and released over 50 years later). Low-key and post-synched, he claimed Shadows and the French New Wave as influences. Mustached Tito and Hotgirl Amanda are siblings, get into drunken shenanigans with some other guys and tempers flare. Mubi calls it “a nearly plotless glimpse at… Santiago’s semi-criminal underworld.” There’s plenty of drinking, at least.
Ruiz was still a Chilean upstart director, 5 years away from Pinochet and exile. Adapted from a play by Alejandro Sieveking (The Club) based on a celebrated Cuban novel by Guillermo Cabrera Infante (who cowrote Vanishing Point). Both Amanda and Tito appeared in Miguel Littín films after this. Some actors were in Widower and/or Wandering Soap Opera, a couple others would pop up 40+ years later in Pablo Larraín’s No. This won an award at Locarno, shared with Alain Tanner and a couple others.
Ian Christie in Rouge:
An important theme is the everyday violence and moral cynicism typical of an alienated urban class who are neither proletarian nor part of Chile’s Europeanised bourgeoisie. The film’s temporal ambiguity, seeking to represent the suspended tempo of Chilean life, looks forward to Ruiz’s later more stylised and cerebral projects.