January 12, 2015
Four films, five actors, a two-story stage set, and countless interpretations ring through the Argentinean “Cineastas” at the Public Theater as part of the Under the Radar Series. Director Mariano Pensotti draws different perspectives on how life passes by or through us as realized by filmmakers preparing for their shoots.
Since the stage is divided into two separate levels, it forces the actors, who play multiple roles, to run (silently) up and down the staircase hidden by a wall. A strong cast (Horacio Acosta, Javier Lorenzo, Vanesa Maja, Juliana Muras and Marcelo Subiotto) moves through an active mash up fictionalized and real scenes. Downstairs, the actors explain their film motives, either through discussions with other family members or through an interview by a journalist. Upstairs, the images of the film come to life, like the hostage who is roughed up and forced to wear a Ronald McDonald suit and eat MacDonald’s hamburgers (clearly, McDonald’s is not a sponsor).
Each person expresses their own desire to be individual, unique in their approach to filmmaking. No one admits to money impacting their choices; social-awareness and art for arts sake are the motivators. Fleeting images of lives remembered, clash against real life loss, health concerns and recoverage of memory. What do we really remember about people close to us? The many facets seem to speak about the multiple ways that we perceive our lives. Sometimes, films are more “real” than our experiences even if the facts are distorted.
The show is performed in Spanish with English supertitles also aided by the company’s body language and reminds us that films and theater are the “stuff as dreams are made on.” Running close to 1:40, the play cross-fades from one story to another and might come into even sharper focus by some judicious editing.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis