Director Lisandro Alonso offers an offbeat and wonderfully bizarre commentary on his singular filmmaking practice in this self-reflexive featurette which finds Argentino Vargas, the star of Los Muertos, wandering through the Teatro San Martin — the Buenos Aires home theater of the Cinemateca Argentina — in search of the film’s premiere. As Alonso’s camera slowly floats through the shadowy bowels of the building, striping bare the dingy backstage of the cultural apparatus, Fantasma offers a spirited commentary on the theatricality of even the most rigorously non-professional performance and of the cinematic ritual itself. —http://hcl.harvard.edu/hfa/films/2009octdec/alonso.html
Born in Buenos Aires in 1975, Lisandro Alonso studied at the Universidad del Cine (FUC) and co-directed in 1995 with Catriel Vildosola his first short film Dos en la Vereda (1995). After working as assistant sound engineer in many short films and a few features and as assistant director of Nicolas Sarquis for his film Sobre la Tierra, Lisandro Alonso returned to directing, making his first feature. In 2003 he founded 4L, a production company based in Buenos Aires, to produce his own films. Lisandro Alonso’s first feature La Libertad (2001) was chosen for the Festival de Cannes (Un Certain Regard). His most recent productions, Los Muertos (2004) and Fantasma (2006), were also invited to Cannes, premiering in the Director’s Fortnight. —The Match Factory
It took me three attempts to see the film all the way through, but now I finally have it was worth it. As my first film by Lisandro, despite referencing previous work, its breathtaking; it tapped into my fascination with public environments, especially when you're alone in them like the characters are, and lets them and their surroundings 'breathe' on screen. The 2012 UK DVD release of 'Liverpool' is too long a wait.