A young woman wins a 4-day vacation in a hotel in Ostende, a sea resort near Buenos Aires. It is the low season, and she gets to the place alone—her boyfriend will join her a few days later, interrupting this beach-set, intriguing micro-cosmos that might be filled with stories she doesn’t know.
Set in an emblematic holidaymakers’ destination since the early XX century, Ostende is both a delightful observational comedy and a minimalistic detective story of Hitchcockian undertones. Laura Citarella’s debut, also produced by the New Argentine Cinema’s Mariano Llinás.
"Ostende" is a quietly engrossing thriller which reminded me as much of Haneke in places as of Hitchcock. The film is anchored by a brilliant central performance from Laura Paredes and in showing the unfolding of events exclusively through her protagonist's eyes, director Citarella maintains a sense of mystery that is not even entirely lifted at the end of the movie's memorable final scene.
Gah! Moguillansky’s editing is so fun it distracts me from every movie he’s edited. Precociously expressive, like there’s some literal synthesthetic language he’s got some sort of access to; flow itself. The film, as directed by Citarella, stays pretty safely in postmodernism’s shallow end, with its conceptual basis not nearly flushed out enough to support the feature length run-time. Still, not bad. 2.75
3.5 Deși există o mulțime de parți pretențioase și neîndemînatice în "Ostende," și elemente interesante ca sunet neliniștitor din off-screen și atmosferă sinistră care face sânge a noastră înghețat. Mai ales, ultima secvență este atît temerar și înspăimîntator încît sunt îngrozit pînă în măduva oaselor // この"Ostende"には思わせぶりで拙い部分も多いが、オフスクリーンからの不愉快な音響や背筋を凍らせる不穏なムードなど興味深い要素もある。特に、大胆で不気味なラストには骨の髄までゾっとさせられた。
Perhaps a perfect film, with an equally perfect lead
performance. Shows that films don't have to be
"about"... anything--but, can just "be." Like life. Should
have been the model for hundreds of far inferior films made in the last ten years, in its meticulous
staying of course and microscopic attention to detail.
Stunning in its resonant aftermath...
Written and directed by Laura Citarella, this stars Laura Paredes enjoying the prize of some free off-peak holiday time at a hotel. Noticing the activities of others in the hotel, she starts to create a scenario in her mind. Entirely fictional? Or does it have some core of truth?
Part laze in the sun, part Antonioni-esque look at passive witnesses to something that may or may not be dangerous. A little cracker.
This movie totally misses the foundation of storytelling: conflict. To call this Hitchcockian is ridiculous. Hitchcock is the one who said "Drama is life with the dull bits cut out". This movie is life in all its dullness.
For most of this subtly clever movie, we are trapped in the perspective of our lead character, forced to be second-hand voyeurs. Citarella playfully drops hints: a 'Suspicious Minds' ringtone, an engrossingly pointless film pitch, gauzy goings on in the background... perhaps we too are enmeshed in a natural human desire to seek narrative in the mundane? The punchline is far from conclusive but bracingly satisfying.