Extraordinary Stories (image 1)

Extraordinary Stories breathes freedom, and even if it's only a sidestep in film history it's well worth the detour.

Quintín, Cinema Scope

Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Extraordinary Stories 2008

Historias extraordinarias

Directed by Mariano Llinás

This Argentinean epic is the ultimate shaggy dog tale, a vast entertaining compendium of stories within stories, equal parts modernist yarn and noirish mystery. “Pleasurably intoxicating.” — LA Weekly

Argentina In Spanish with English subtitles
245 minutes DigiBeta

Director, Screenplay

Producer

Laura Citarella

Photography

Agustín Mendilaharzu

Editors

Alejo Moguillansky
,
Agustín Rolandelli

Art director

Laura Caligiuri

Sound

Rodrigo Sánchez Mariño
,
Nicolás Torchinsky

Music

Gabriel Chwojnik

Narrators

Daniel Hendler
,
Juan Minujín
,
Veronica Llinás

With

Walter Jakob
,
Agustín Mendilaharzu
,
Mariano Llinás
,
Klaus Dietze
,
Horacio Marassi
,
Eduardo Iaccono
,
Mariana Chaud
,
Lola Arias
,
Julio Citarella
,
Edmundo Lavalle
,
Hector Bordoni
,
Leandro Ibarra
,
Oscar Mauregui
,
Fernando Llosa
,
Alberto Suarez
,
Esteban Lamothe
,
Ana Livingston

Festivals

Vancouver 2009

Elsewhere

A riveting, endlessly inventive plunge down the rabbit hole of cinematic narrative, this Argentinean epic is a shaggy dog tale, equal parts modernist yarn and noirish mystery.

“‘Extraordinary’ is by no means an immodest moniker for this incredibly audacious first dramatic feature by Argentine director Mariano Llinás, which suggests a telenovela co-scripted by Thomas Pynchon and Jorge Luis Borges… The three primary story lines (though there are countless others) concern men known only as X, Z and H, respectively, each of them minor bureaucratic functionaries in nondescript towns on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, who find themselves tossed by circumstance into unexpectedly complicated adventures.
The first man witnesses a murder (before committing one himself); the second scours the countryside for clues about his predecessor, an international man of mystery with a possible sideline in illegal wildlife trafficking; the third travels up river in search of the large stone ‘monoliths’ he has been hired to photograph. Each thread is a mini road movie of a sort, although like the film’s whimsical (and perhaps unreliable) omniscient narrator, Llinás shows markedly greater interest in the journeys than in the destinations.
Stories give way to other stories – some comic, some tragic, some romantic – which are themselves riddled with dreams and flashbacks, until we no longer care if we will ever reach the end, for so pleasurably intoxicating is the air of elaborate narrative gamesmanship. Don’t let the four-hour running time deter you: there is nary a dull moment here, or one devoid of visual or storytelling invention.” — Scott Foundas, LA Weekly