Pablo Larrain

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“It’s Not That Strange, and It’s Not That Weird!” Pablo Larraín and Mariana Di Girolamo on Ema

With Ema, Chilean director Pablo Larraín moves away from the biopic (Jackie, Neruda) and the past history of his country (Tony Manero, Post Mortem, No) to turn towards its future. The film centers on Ema (Mariana Di Girolamo), a young reggaeton dancer who sees her marriage with celebrated choreographer Gastón (Gael García Bernal) crumble after their “failed” adoption. A simple enough story, but already in the film’s earliest scene, the surprising behaviors and reactions of the characters hint at their extremely modern identities. Ema and Gaston are unspeakably cruel to each other, but in their own way, they are incredibly […]

TIFF 2019, Days 7-9: Collective, To the Ends of the Earth, Ema

One benefit of an extended stay at TIFF (if you can swing it) is is allowing time for friends with trustworthy taste and far more patience to slog through non-obvious titles, then adjusting my endgame schedule accordingly for what they recommend. Hence the unexpected highlight of 29 TIFF screenings (24 features, four Wavelengths shorts programs and one revival screening of Pickpocket), Alexander Nanau’s verite doc Collective, about a scandal that had entirely passed me by. Opening title cards establish the fundamentals: a pyrotechnics accident at a 2015 concert led to a fire killing 26 on site, the death toll swelling to 64 […]