Shot in 1990 by Ruiz and completed after his death by Sarmiento. It’s political satire sketch-comedy… short films roughly stitched together – self-consciously artificial soap-opera episodes which sometimes comment on the nature of their own unreality (and/or other soap operas). Long takes with some purposeful camera moves. I enjoy the crazy directions the movie took without following most of the Chilean political references. Unlike the Oliveira, I wonder if this one’s message suffered from being released two decades late – you’d have to ask a Chilean. I also get the feeling from the subtitles that the characters’ impenetrable conversations are full of puns or language jokes. Ruiz mentions pirates, of course, brings up veils a bunch of times, shoots the actors and character-actors and actor-characters and apparitions, zombies and TV sets with his usual wild variety of camera setups and bizarre lighting.
If you don’t count the live version of Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, this is the first 2017 Locarno competition film I’ve seen. Not gonna try to parse all the actors, many of whom played multiple roles, but they include the dead guy in A Fantastic Woman, someone from Tres Tristes Tigres, and at least one actual soap star.
Day 1: a woman is cheating on her older husband Humberto with his brother Antonio, is always concerned that “people” are watching them, but seems barely concerned when the husband walks in.
Day 3: two dudes pretending to drive a car get shot, the assassins arrive to drop off their proclamation and they get shot, their killers show up with a new proclamation, get shot, etc.
Day 4: “For those who’ve just arrived, nothing happens in this soap opera. All we do is watch other soap operas and comment on them.”
Day 5: A stranger getting help with his car reveals that his name starts with an H, gets invited to the “Those with an H” bar, where they discuss… soap operas.