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Melancholy & Deadpan: The Films of Martín Rejtman

MUBI Special

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 humour. MUBI is absolutely thrilled to dedicate a retrospective to Rejtman’s fiction films, spanning three decades, presenting his 90s and 00s features from stunning brand new restorations, and culminating with his latest short film, Shakti, which premiered in competition at the Berlinale this February. 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.

Shakti

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 2019

We close our focus on Argentinian master of deadpan comedy Martín Rejtman with his new short, fresh from its premiere at this year’s Berlinale. Condensing all the fine irony, absurdist humour, and unassuming warmth that defines his work into only 19 minutes, Shakti is a delightful minimalist gem.

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.

The Magic Gloves

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 2003

Our retrospective of Martín Rejtman continues with The Magic Gloves, one of the Argentine auteur’s funniest films and a unique view of Buenos Aires full of lively, strange characters. This clever, humorous take on the mid-30s crisis is another trademark mix of absurdist charm and endearing warmth.

Silvia Prieto

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 1999

A minimalist deadpan comedy—Jim Jarmusch goes to South America?—this is a deliciously eccentric, hazy quest for a young woman’s sense of self amidst a world of would-be doppelgängers. Committed to hilarity in all forms, Martín Rejtman’s cinema conjures humor and warmth in equal measure.

Rapado

Martín Rejtman Argentina, 1992

This month, we shine a spotlight on the award-winning Argentine director Martín Rejtman. Rejtman’s legendary feature debut, Rapado played in competition at Locarno and became an instant cult sensation, immediately marking an authentic, laconic new voice in Latin American cinema.

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