News from the Locarno Festival

El auge del humano

Concorso Cineasti del presente

El auge del humano



Certain modes of being characterize daily human existence in each part of this globalized world, though it can be reduced to two poles: are you working or are you not working? It’s a question of what you do with your time, who you spend it with, your attitude to neoliberal ideas of productivity. It’s the same whether you find yourself in Buenos Aires, Maputo, Mozambique or the Philippine province of Bohol. Or even whether you’re human being or an ant. These places and their residents are linked in variegated ways – maybe more so now due to our interconnected, internet age (finding a working computer is sometimes an effort, however). Contemporary history consists of uncovering and mapping these relations, and in his first feature, the sui generis El auge del humano, Argentine director Eduardo “Teddy” Williams proves himself a cinematic Magellan.

Williams’ almost exclusively young characters are almost always in continuous movement, seeking connections, as is his curious shaky camera – the film’s first section shot in Super 16, then Blackmagic reshot off a monitor on Super 16, and finally Red – which trails behind them and follows along circuitous routes through urban and rural environments. Along for the ride, we watch lives and friendships unfold – and are even treated to sublime moments of magic. A fearless film, El auge del humano not only looks different to all others in the Festival, but operates differently, as Williams boldly attempts to present an alternative reality, envisioning lives where work takes on a lesser meaning, but also a filmic alternative, where imagination and freedom are the default practices of operation.

Mark Peranson

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