La Flor: Part I 2018

Directed by Mariano Llinás World

Spanning international espionage, torch song melodrama, supernatural horror and silent film homage, Mariano Llinás’ eccentric and expansive narrative epic is a Herculean film creation – and at 14 hours, a record-breaking one. Screening in three parts.

PART I:
(152 mins + 15 min intermission + 58 mins)

Argentina In English, French, German, Russian, Spanish and Swedish with English subtitles
225 minutes DCP
M
violence, offensive language & supernatural themes

Director/Screenplay

Producer

Laura Citarella

Photography

Agustín Mendilaharzu

Editors

Agustín Rolandelli
,
Alejo Moguillansky

Costume designers

Carolina Sosa Loyola
,
Flora Caligiuri

With

Elisa Carricajo
,
Valeria Correa
,
Pilar Gamboa
,
Laura Paredes

Festivals

Locarno
,
Toronto
,
New York
,
London 2018; Rotterdam 2019

Production designer

Laura Caligiuri

Music

Gabriel Chwojnik

Elsewhere

At the beginning of this unparalleled movie event, director Mariano Llinás, looking exactly like a man who’s spent the last ten years of his life completing a film, explains to the camera what we’re about to witness. Six episodes – some without endings – and a multitude of genres, languages and destinations swirl around four actresses, who are on screen from start to finish. Llinás sounds eternally grateful – and a little apologetic – for their unerring devotion to his mad project, making it clear that La Flor is by and for these talented women.

In the consistently surprising 14 hours that follow, a cursed mummy attacks a team of scientists, an estranged musical couple reunite to record another hit ballad, a secret society schemes over the elixir of youth, and an outfit of secret agents awaits a showdown with rival assassins. Later, we meet a filmmaker who’s obsessed with shooting trees, and there’s even a silent black-and-white remake of Renoir’s A Day in the Country in the mix.

Easily the longest film this festival has ever programmed, Llinás’ follow-up to the brilliant Extraordinary Stories (NZIFF08) may also be one of the most playful we’ve ever seen – too playful for the realms of mass-produced modern television, to which it bears no comparison. With its offbeat creativity and reinvention of cinematic clichés – often refocused through the gaze of Llinás’ wonderful female troupe – La Flor figures movie-making, when liberated from both feature film duration norms and long-form narrative expectations, as a kind of giant artistic and storytelling sandpit. A marvel. — Tim Wong


La Flor is screened in three parts, across six self-contained episodes. While we recommend viewing the parts chronologically as intended by the filmmaker, screenings can also be attended out of order or independently.


Episode I A low-key ode to Val Lewton horror pictures and the B-movies “Americans once were able to make with their eyes closed, and now can’t anymore.” After the delivery of a mummified woman from a nearby archaeological dig, three female researchers must contend with its malevolent curse.


Episode II In this romantic melodrama centred on a famous pop duo, a diva pines for her lover and musical partner. Her personal assistant, meanwhile, becomes involved with a mysterious cult seeking a rare scorpion whose venom, they believe, offers the secret to eternal youth.

La Flor: Part II

La Flor: Part III