Historias Extraordinarias is one of the biggest, and certainly one of the most welcomed surprises I’ve had at the cinema in recent memory. At over 4 hours long, with a complex multiple story narrative, it is not likely to receive widespread distribution. I must say it is worth all the effort it may take to see it.
So obviously over-narrated in such a way to draw attention to itself, the film deconstructs this storytelling tool (among others). In fact, Extraordinary Stories both celebrates and criticizes narration; sometimes it goes too far and does the thinking for us; other times we are shown how invaluable narration can be as it reveals things to us that could not otherwise be revealed. In one instance, we think there may be a typo within the subtitles when a female character is referred to as “he”. However, perhaps this is not a typo, but the narration calling attention to itself as something that may be lying as it applies narrative to ambiguous images.
Mariano Llinas infuses the film with an incredible liveliness and sense of discovery. Such a feat is made all the more remarkable by the fact that this is his debut feature film (at the age of 34). I am in complete and utter awe. The film works as a brilliant deconstruction of storytelling, but also as brilliant storytelling. Some have claimed it to be literary, but such a remark is ridiculous; Extraordinary Stories bleeds cinema. It is a work of genius beyond measure.
Added to my watchlist. Thank you!
This sounds brilliant!
oh my god, I can’t wait for this film to explode. Myself and Adam saw this together at VIFF, and its easily the most entertaining movie of recent times. During the 4 hours I never felt an ounce of boredom, Llinas is the new Orson Welles; in terms of the profoundly disturbing about of talent that is conveyed through his debut film.
I’m still fuming inside at the fact that I missed this at VIFF. It sounds amazing. :(
This sounds extraordinary but i worry there may be too much plot and not enough characterization. It’s definitely on my must see list now that i’ve heard of it.
Spence, that’s a weird pre-conception and I dunno how you got it. The characters existence is simultaneous with that of the narrator, and one of the films sole purpose is to deconstruct and highlight the essences of storytelling. And in the rare occurrence of Llinas’ film, in spite of all the deconstructions; Llinas never loses grasp of his audiences emotions.
Here’s a wonderful piece on the film and its origins by renowned Argentine critic Quintín:
Kurt, my fears were based on a short, minute long trailer I found on YouTube after reading this thread. It looked fascinating but the explosions and guns made me nervous. These things don’t kill my enthusiasm but, for me, they are normally bad signs. I know it’s only a sixty second clip piece and that great films can feature explosions and guns but nonetheless, I remain wary. Hell, I’m wary of all films by directors I’m not familiar with these days.
Wonderful movie, so innovative, so solid and interesting from the beginning till the last shot… and long time after, when I think about reviewing it. Masterpiece, and the big one for the history of world’s cinematography.
This is an amazing movie. I saw it at the Festivalissimo fest in Montreal, where I was on the jury, and I had no idea what to expect from this 4.5 hour Argentine film. I loved it from the first minute, really (we ended up giving it the best film prize and giving the narrator the best actor award). Such a great and strange film.
Someone get this out on DVD already!