When Beatriz picks up her husband Luis from the sanatorium, she is not quite sure if she should believe his psychiatrist’s pronouncement that he is fully cured. Her usually churlish, academic husband is suddenly friendly and cooperative, even willing to take a trip to Brazil’s beaches. When their cat Donatello disappears, Beatriz suspicions lead her to question her own sanity. The tension is on high throughout in Carlos Sorin’s latest feature, The Cat Vanishes. –TIFF
In 1995 Carlos Sorín was making a commercial for a telephone company in Patagonia, a huge region of southern Argentina. The purpose of the ad was to celebrate the arrival (finally) of phone service in this largely desolate, windswept area. Sorín went through his usual casting procedures and secured the services of professional actors proficient in making commercials. On arriving in the small town which would serve as the setting for the commercial, the cast and crew discovered the townspeople were just as amazed by the telephone system as they were by a film company. Realizing he might channel that excitement, Sorín decided to make the commercial with real people from the area rather than imported actors from Buenos Aires. That naturalistic commercial made history in Argentina. The protagonist was in reality the policeman of that small community. Having realized he could continue with this style, the commercial director began making commercials with other non-actors. In humility he… read more
I hoped to witness an excellent overture to Carlos Sorin and yet The Cat Vanishes was only successful in lowering my expectations for his other works. I was defeated by the jutting obviousness demonstrated by the prologue, the cloying orchestral swells, and the facile photography, affording little interiority to the entire enterprise. I'm going to have to re-write my opinion of Sorin soon.