MIFF 2011 Film Review: MEDIANERAS and Random Strangers (short)

1 Aug

By 

Medianeras is the strong feature film debut from Argentinean Gustavo Taretto. Living in neighbouring apartment block in Buenos Aires are Martin and Mariana. Martin is a web designer who works from home and suffers from numerous phobias including agoraphobia. To combat this, his therapist suggests he take up photography and so now Martin goes for short walks with his ex-girlfriend’s dog and his backpack with emergency supplies (including, but not limited to, an emergency procedures booklet, 400 pesos, condoms, and the complete collection of Tati films).

Mariana is an architect who has never designed a building and so now designs shop windows. She has left her long-term boyfriend, also has agoraphobia as well as a fear of lifts and bails on a potential date. Naturally, the two have numerous things in common and various near-meeting moments.

Medianeras is good. It’s not great, but it’s good. Some plot lines are picked up and then completely forgotten and whilst I can see why- with all of the neuroses and near-love moments- that people have compared this to a Woody Allen film, yet I don’t believe it’s quite there.

Opening for Medianeras was Random Strangers a short film by Alexis Dos Santons (Glue, Unmade Beds). Running at 25 minutes, Dos Santos looks at the bonds that can be formed with complete strangers facilitated by the internet. Appearing to be based on a Chatroulette* styled-site we meet Rocky from Germany and Lulu from Argentina as they slowly become friends, writing songs for each other, doing dances and creating clay-mation movies. Dos Santos also intertwines these stories with moments of their real lives, all shot in the same style as his two previous films. An interesting look at the power of modern technology and the power of modern relationships.

*[click at your peril – Ed]

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