Tales That Must Be Told

Previewing the ninth Cine las Americas

Tales That Must Be Told


D: Juan Pablo Rebella, Pablo Stoll; with Andrés Pazos, Mirella Pascual, Jorge Bolani

The co-writers and directors of the well-received Uruguayan comedy 25 Watts are back with their sophomore effort, a slyly droll film that's best served straight with no chaser. In a manner that owes no small debt to the films of Jim Jarmusch and Aki Kaurismäki, the filmmakers share with the audience their perceptive observations of their characters while at the same time rushing to no formal conclusions about their behaviors. Tightly framed shots and narrative minimalism provide the framework for this low-budget story about a taciturn businessman, his sham wife, and his estranged brother. Jacobo (Pazos) is the owner of a rundown sock factory. His rigid and dull daily routine is complemented by Marta (Pascual), his factory worker who functions as a surrogate shop foreman and office spouse. Prompted by the visit of his brother Herman (Bolani), who left Uruguay for Brazil many years ago to improve his life, Jacobo asks Marta to pose as his wife for the duration of the visit. The usually dour Marta agrees. Incrementally, we discover bits and pieces about all three characters, although the filmmakers are never interested in explaining to us why the characters behave the way they do. We watch and listen, and occasionally pick up a resentment here, a guilt pang there, but we never know precisely what motivates these people. Movies that feature fake marriages as essential plot elements (a common ploy) usually take the wacky screwball route toward their conclusions; Whisky, on the other hand, glides toward its resolution with the calm that comes from greeting each moment with a wry smile.

Friday, April 21, 9pm, Metropolitan

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
SXSW Film Review: The Greatest Hits
SXSW Film Review: The Greatest Hits
Love means never having to flip to the B side

March 16, 2024

SXSW Film Review: The Uninvited
SXSW Film Review: The Uninvited
A Hollywood garden party unearths certain truths

March 12, 2024

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle