EFM 2010: TONY MANERO's Pablo Larrain Returns With POST MORTEM

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EFM 2010: TONY MANERO's Pablo Larrain Returns With POST MORTEM
One of the great surprises of 2008 was the emergence of Chile's Pablo Larrain, a director who burst onto the international scene with his stunning sophomore film Tony Manero. The story of a serial killer obsessed with the titular John Travolta character in the midst of political upheaval and slaughter in 1970s Chile, the film was a dramatic tour de force that used the absurdity of its title character's obsession to fuel potent satire and commentary on Chile's recent past. Tony Manero is, quite simply, a really, really good film.

And Larrain is at it again.  Working very quietly and keeping the news out of the press, Larrain is now almost finished his third feature Post Mortem. Here's the synopsis:

Mario, 55, works in a morgue typing autopsy reports. In the midst of the 1973 Chilean coup, he fantasizes about his neighbor, a cabaret dancer, Nancy, who mysteriously disappears on September the 11th. After a violent Army raid on her family's home, he hears about the arrest of her brother and father, a prominent Communist and Salvador Allende supporter.  Troubled and madly passionate over the loss of his would-be lover, Mario begins his frantic search for Nancy.

Allende's government has been overthrown and people are dying in the streets. The Army seizes the morgue and numerous corpses pile up, but Mario can't get his mind off of Nancy. He carries out his job, thinking he might find her among the dead, in the silent hope that she is alive in a hospital somewhere. Mario walks through the streets like a ghost and one night, to his great relief, he discovers Nancy hiding in the attic of her home. He is delighted, feeds her, and fear prevents her from leaving her hideout.

Then, from the military officer now in charge of the morgue, he receives an unexpected order - to go to the Military Hospital and write the autopsy report on an extraordinary corpse ...
Sales agent Funny Balloons had an extended promo for the film available in the Berlin market and it was truly compelling stuff, instantly recognizable as Larrain's and not just because it features Tony Manero star Alfredo Castro in the lead. The same fusion of dry absurdity and
biting satire that marked Manero is in full effect here, though Post Mortem seems a touch more melancholic and more cinematic by far. Shot in an ultra-wide 2.66 ratio, Post Mortem leaves behind the raw intimacy of Tony Manero for something more formal and the results are impressive.  We'll have more from this one as soon as we're able.
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