It was Ortega who, by making the intimate loneliness that defines life itself graphic and patent, went to something as banal as a badly cured tooth decay. "Our toothache," wrote the philosopher before a dentist, "it hurts us and only us. The problem I have, the anguish I feel is mine, and for now only mine." And from there he drew the possibility of an anthropology essentially desperate for individual. 'The infinite trench', presented on Sunday in San Sebastian on the second day dedicated to the disasters of the war (of the Civil War), has some refutation and orteguian ecstasy.
The whole film lives in the perspective of a man locked up and, therefore, condemned himself. And from there, the idea of the three directors Jon Garaño, Aitor Arregi and José Mari Goenaga is none other than building the closest thing to an impossible: it is about offering a shared look at issues such as anxiety, fear and, for What not, loneliness. And so on until the toothache of the other hurts, of the protagonist of a film as sincere as it is raw; as revealing as it is hidden.
To locate us, the tape tells the story of a man and a woman who, in reality, are a thousand. The characters interpreted with a rare and genuine clarity by Antonio de la Torre and Belén Cuesta endorse the lives of those who, between 1936 and 1969, the year of Franco's amnesty, lived literally buried. The project was born, the directors recognize, after seeing '30 years of darkness', the 2011 film between the animation and the documentary directed by Manuel H. Martín and that tells the existential experience of the mayor of Mijas, one of those moles that in the Civil War he had to take refuge inside his own home and himself so as not to be first discovered and then killed. And so for years, decades, eternities. Then came all the other stories. Many of them included in the book by Jesús Torbado and Manuel Leguineche .
Structured in chapters, 'The infinite trench' lives all of it pending not so much of what is seen or shown as of the other. What matters is the eventuality of turning something as intimate as the darkest of solitudes into a shared experience. What counts is the fear, the panic to be discovered, the terror of the absurdity that permeates each gesture, the emptiness that everything can. And here, moles or not, we are all . The film lives in a perennial off-field where you can guess a life that can no longer be and a reality by force severed. The relevant thing is to turn that deep and strange toothache necessarily alien to the one that spoke (and even suffered) Ortega in the most intimate and real convictions.
And without a doubt, for a good part of 'The trench ...', the directors and their immense actors get it. In the first half, the nerve of darkness, let's call it that, palpitates in a proposal that refuses to be defined, that aspires to always be something different, that travels, as Saint John of the Cross said, "not to see but to not see". The camera sneaks through each of the fissures that leaves a broken life and there that transparent desires, hopes and, above all, fears . The second half, however, is more debatable and may be caught too much by the anecdote routine. The reasoning of the directors is impeccable. As life becomes banalized in the most extravagant of abnormalities, pain also acquires the viscous texture of custom. And, therefore, the film demands of itself another slower pace and, if you like, more obvious. Let's say that the madness of that absurdity that devoured everything from the foreground, reached a point becomes meticulous and episodic narration. And there, at times, the film loses the vertigo towards the other that so well defined it initially.
Be that as it may, the result is a happy film in each of its bright and risky contradictions: dazzling the closer it gets to the dark, and the louder the more silent. The directors of 'Loreak' and 'Handia' thus close their particular trilogy of strangeness, mystery or loneliness . Be it from the hand of somebody's flowers, from the story of a misplaced giant or a couple buried in life, the relevant thing is always the faithful portrait of that pain that unites us and reminds us that we are nothing but loneliness; shared loneliness, but loneliness after all. And so.
PERFECTION AS A PUNISHMENT
For the rest, and although not so close to the spotlights and even the controversy (war always gives war), the festival scheduled on Sunday the first already clear candidate for the Golden Shell. That is 'The audition', of Ina Weisse and starring the huge in any of her senses Nina Hoss. The film is nothing more than the detailed account of an obsession , that of a music teacher for the music itself, for itself and, incidentally, for one of its students. And from that premise so Germanic if you want, the director manages to build a detailed treatise on each of the diseases that inhabit perfection, or your desire.
As if it were a great student of Haneke, the idea is not so much to narrate a sequence of events as a chain of misfortunes. Or, better, the facts are nothing but misfortunes, but contemplated from the right distance. The camera is always placed in front, without hiding anything, letting the characters be the ones who, with each movement desperate to save themselves, sink deeper and deeper into the mud.
A violin teacher gets, against everyone's opinion, that a student enters the conservatory. Who knows if he sees in him the career she didn't have . What follows is quite similar to a fall in the more childish of the gaps. Cold, meticulous, uncomfortable and even perfect. What fear gives perfection, what panic the metaphors so well constructed cut. That said, for now, is the movie.
Not far, the Tibetan Sonthar Gyai presented 'Lhamo and Skalbe', his fourth film to date. It is a story of love as tragic as provocatively strange. Basically, it describes how difficult it is to love oneself. And if it is in Tibet, even more . In order for the characters in the title to end up living together, they must first face each of their respective pasts. He was previously married and there is no way to get a divorce; and she had a son who now wants to hide. The brightest of a film with the grace of spiritual clarity in the midst of carnal tumult is at the expense of the splitting that goes through everything previously told in a Tibetan opera of which she is the protagonist.
Gyai manages to turn the screen into a virtuous mirror in which the story told is lived twice : once as tragedy and the other as perhaps comedy. Shakespeare has in this delicate oriental reinterpretation a more than worthy continuator and exegete. The closest thing to that hidden gem that every festival deserves.
And at this point, who remembers whose toothache?
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