In all the stories that Llinas presents to us here with his narrative flair, well-known from Extraordinary Stories, we see the same four actresses, but each time in different roles: Elisa Carricajo, Valeria Correa, Pilar Gamboa, Laura Paredes – we also see them grow and get older.
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It’s fitting that the film starts with a mummy movie: in its heartfelt, head-on approach to genre, La Flor can be seen as an attempt to reanimate a succession of dead or dying forms. Many films in one, it thrives on multiplicity and abundance.
The results are often loose ends, tied hastily, even haphazardly, as well as broad emotional brushstrokes, with ample use of cultural shorthand. Yet these films can make for addictive, visually riveting viewing.
At 14 hours long, this is one of the most surprisingly compulsively watchable films of the year. It's a series of digressions that is darkly funny and a great commentary on the audience's relationship to the work they are witnessing!
I sat in the cinema for 14.5 hours and all I feel really inclined to say is that it felt spectacularly good to get drunk afterwards. Edit: La Flor is already becoming a faint afterglow in my mind that might resemble fondness. My main qualm, and what I must attempt to preserve, is what I see as the careless skills of its director. Too much of it plays as knowing pastiche but is indistinguishable from incompetence.
The unfinished narratives, the juxtaposition of genres, the insistent incoherence between the chapters, the self-referentiality, the main actresses stepping in and out of roles, the mediocre parts that serve a greater whole, add up to, not a formalist exercise, but a poem about storytelling and the artistic process.
Out of 13 hours I managed to watch first two and a half, but that was more than enough. Two first episodes were just examples of bad genre movies (c-movie sci fi and something that started like a soap opera). I'm not ready to see remaining four episodes