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Melancholy & Deadpan: The Films of Martín Rejtman

Melancholy & Deadpan: The Films of Martín Rejtman

The films of Martin Rejtman have the beauty of being immediately recognisable while at the same time surprising us at every turn. His feature debut Rapado (1992) is today regarded as no less than the film that launched the New Argentine Cinema, a cinematic renovation led by a new wave of directors of which Lucrecia Martel and Lisandro Alonso are key figures too.

An at once luminous and delightfully off-kilter body of work, his cinema is imbued with a languid melancholy and a peculiarly hilarious use of deadpan humor. MUBI is absolutely thrilled to dedicate a retrospective to Rejtman’s fiction filmmaking, which spans three decades. Often compared to the likes of Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismäki and Robert Bresson, Martin Rejtman’s deceptively unadorned, subtly meticulous style is fuelled by an effortless combination of charm and warmth that results in unexpected transcendence. These are comedies of sheer originality—very funny, often tender, always unpredictable.

RAPADO

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 1992

Martín Rejtman’s debut is today regarded as the film that launched the New Argentine Cinema and prefigures his trademark style of comedies imbued with a languid melancholy and hilariously deadpan humor. This now-cult film is always ripe for (re)discovery! Hand-picked by Lucrecia Martel.

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SILVIA PRIETO

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 1999

A timeless, minimalist deadpan comedy, this is a young woman’s deliciously eccentric quest for sense of self in a world of doppelgängers, with an unforgettable performance from Rosario Bléfari. Committed to hilarity in all forms, Martín Rejtman’s cinema conjures humor and warmth in equal measure.

SHAKTI

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 2019

Federico, in his mid-20s, lives alone in Buenos Aires. The day his grandmother dies, he decides to part with his girlfriend. He fears hurting her. However, she is laid-back, feisty and not even close to feeling hurt. He begins obsessing over her unexpected reaction—but then he meets someone else.

THE MAGIC GLOVES

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 2003

This film follows the crisscrossed fortunes of, among others, a rock musician, a flight attendant, a dog walker with an alarming penchant for over-the-counter medication, and a cab driver, who doesn’t really care about his life spiralling out of control, as long as he can sit in his old Renault 12.

TWO SHOTS FIRED

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 2014

Rejtman’s comeback 11 years after The Magic Gloves did not disappoint. Taking a suicide attempt as the starting point and surprising us at every turn, Two Shots Fired is a fascinating and subversive exercise in comedy: its sophisticated storytelling, dark humor and deadpan beauty are just genius.