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Spain 77'/ 35mm / Colour. Directed by: Javier Aguirre, Text: Jorge Luis Borges, Screenplay: Javier Aguirre, Photography: Rafael de Casenave, José Luis López-Linares, Music: Javier Aguirre, Sound: Pedro López Gómez, Edition: Javier Aguirre, With the voices of: Fernando Fernán Gómez, Francisco Rabal, José María Pou, José Pedro Carrión, Ángel Picazo and the voice, exclusively for this film of: Jorge Luis Borges; Production: Javier Aguirre, Executive Producer: Pedro Joaquín del Rey, Production: Actual Films, Actors: Javier Bardem, Inés Sastre, Emma Cohen, Manuel Gil.

Comments on the film

 

EDGARDO COZARINSKY

Four years before his death, in his room in a hotel in Madrid, Borges listened to Aguirre, the producer-to-be of the film, to tell him that the text was perfect and no change could be allowed in order to prevent any damage. Moved by his perennial controversial spirit he was of the opinion that embrace is a bit too coarse, that he liked much more “love”. Aguirre recorded the variation of his own lines and in the author’s voice; at the beginning of the following century these will become the seed of this film…/ … In the Parque del Retiro (Retiro’s Park) in Madrid, Ines Sastre runs to meet Javier Bardem who is waiting for her with his arms wide open and they embrace one another in a passionate kiss. This only one shot which lasts one minute twenty seconds is subjected to a hundred and thirteen changes for one hour and seventeen minutes. “I wanted to exhaust the possibilities of changing a shot by changing the music, the colours, by burning it, by making some holes…” remembers Aguirre; “sometimes, the heads are not visible, or we can only see her legs, or the image seems to be scrapped off”… /… the variations of this shot are preceded by the ones of another couple taken in the beach of La Concha in San Sebastian that maybe acts as a suggestion of a merely real support for this ideal meeting. The images are accompanied by not only Borges’ voice-over but also Fernando Fernan-Gomez and Francisco Rabal’s voices-over among some not so well-known other voices …/ … disparate prints, sometimes unpredictable, that Borges’ literature proposed to moviemakers of this period and from distant cultures. It is the disparity of Javier Aguirre’s experimentation along with the contradiction that seems us so provocative.

2008