Criticism: Criticism of the “Catorce” (“Fourteen”), of Dan Sallitt


After its launch at the Berlinale 2019, a comprehensive tour of festivals around the world, and almost simultaneous with its release online in the united States, comes thanks to the initiative Bridges Film directors association PCI the fifth feature film from the director of The Unspeakable Act.

When I look back and attempt to reconstruct the shared history that I lived with that to this day I still consider my childhood best friend, I can not avoid to fall in the build (more or less orderly fashion) moments. I have clear the first, not the last… and I still remember best those that would do little to play here, they only have importance for him and for me. The work memorístico is compounded greatly when you attempt to gather the points, that is to say, when I want to rebuild the entire building. Are the vagaries of memory… and the confirmation of a theory of chaos. Eventually, I lost touch with that friend because life led us in different paths.

I don’t know if the critic and new york film maker Dan Sallitt has faced some of these concerns, although after having seen his latest film, you would swear that yes. Fourteen pivots mainly between two characters, and as the story progresses, it will loading more and more weight on just one of them.

Mara and Jo (embodied by Tallie Medel and Norma Kuhling, both equally touched by the wand of the naturally more charming) are the two legs with which it progresses a film with eyes set ironically in the past. The choice of the title itself refers us back to an age (the one on which they met the protagonists) is surpassed, literally, from the title of credit initial. When the action starts, Jo and Mara have been burned since the university stage, and they fight in a trenches of everyday life dominated by the precariousness of employment and the instability of romantic. Some have been there; others, still here. For its part, Sallitt invoked with wisdom the identification of the viewer. Summons a sort of memory of the universe, through the writing, but also through a staging seeks to unravel very subtly the mechanisms of memory. Both in the interior and in the exterior, Fourteen it is articulated through gesture essential “fill the frame vacuum”. A stairs, a terrace, a living room, a train station… All these spaces are occupied, suddenly, for the people. Send the logic to the memory, always more considered with places rather than faces.

Sends also the inability to gather the points. Thus, the narrative is elliptical becomes the main distinctive feature of Fourteen. Jo called to Mara because she is depressed, and the next scene, it seems that you have invested emotional states. In the following, Mara has found another love, definitive, and Jo has changed jobs. And so, reaching dangerously the temptation for the conclusion of the catharsis, although Sallitt knows to leave the door open to a life that flows, and that in this case is defined from the fellow travelers. Knowing of the impossibility of certain responses, the filmmaker does not meddle, is limited to observe, and take good note of what they see and hear. Here is a film happily engaged that celebrates friendship as a healing force, but at the same time vampirizante. Girder in the construction of each person: pilar definitory but nothing static. Nothing remains, but everything cala.


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