Settle in for 14 hours of remarkable filmmaking from iconoclastic Argentinean director Mariano Llinás, whose La Flor ups the ante of his 2008 Historias extraordinarias, taking his experiments in cinematic storytelling to unequalled new heights.
Its 868-minute run time might seem imposing, but when broken down it’s a film utterly of its time: across six separate parts (or episodes, or films), shot over 10 years and screened in order of shooting, La Flor builds an engaging, highly binge-able, metatextual work about storytelling, authorship and viewership. Call it a single-origin anthology film that takes viewers on a playful and witty excursion through genre and form.
The first four parts have a beginning but no end; the fifth part is a ‘complete’ story, with a traditional beginning, middle and ending; the final part, meanwhile, drops viewers in media res into its story, to which it provides an ending only. When mapping out the six narratives in a fourth wall-breaking introduction, Llinás draws the ‘flower’ structure seen in the film’s posters: hence the name.
Five of the six parts feature the same four lead actors, or collaborators, all from Argentine theatre troupe Piel de Lava: Laura Paredes (a regular in the films of Matías Piñeiro, including the MIFF-screened Hermia & Helena, The Princess of France and Viola), Elisa Carricajo, Valeria Correa and Pilar Gamboa; the exception is the fifth, a silent, black-and-white remake of Jean Renoir’s 1936 film Partie de campagne. Together, the six parts traverse multiple languages and genres – from B-grade mummy movie to musical melodrama, 80s espionage thriller to self-referential satirical ‘documentary’ – always remaining propulsively entertaining, amusing and enjoyable.
“La Flor is above all a film about the art of storytelling itself, its lineage and its ongoing utility … a creative experiment in rethinking, on a moment-by-moment basis, the nature and capacity of storytelling in a contemporary context.” – Cinema Scope
La Flor will screen at MIFF across three sessions with built-in intermissions, in a unique and unmissable festival-only experience.