Hugo Santiago

Hugo Santiago

(Buenos Aires, 1939). He has cultivated an avant-garde and experimental cinema, characterized by its depth and rebellion. He is considered a cult director, author of a secret and influential filmography. He studied Philosophy and Literature at the University of Buenos Aires, where he met Jorge Luis Borges. In 1959 he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and traveled to Paris, where for 7 years he became assistant and disciple of Robert Bresson. In 1961 he staged “L’Histoire du Soldat” (Stravinsky Festival, Geneva).

In Argentina, he made two short films: “Los Contrabandistas” with Federido Luppi (1967) and “Los Taitas” with Lito Cruz and Martín Adjemián (1968). In the late 70s he made “Invasión”, with an original screenplay by Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares, considered by many critics the best film in the history of Argentinean cinema. Based in France, he collaborated one more time with Borges and Bioy in “Les autres” (1974), the story of a man who loses his son and is drawn into a series of metamorphoses when looking to find out the causes of his death. In “Écoute voir” (1979), Catherine Deneuve played a sort of female Philip Marlowe that is involved in a delirious plot of cults and modern technologies.

“Les Trottoirs de Saturne” (1985, written by Argentine writer Juan José Saer) retook the “Invasión” saga with the story of a tango singer from Aquilea exiled in Paris.

Since the mid-80s, Santiago was dedicated almost exclusively make what he calls “audiovisual objects”. They are not documentaries in the conventional sense. In cinema he approaches a preexisting work knowing that it is unrepeatable because of its ceremonial nature.

“La fábula de los continentes” (1992), a film opera composed in collaboration with Georges Aperghiss, is a radical film, in which cinema, opera and adventure noves blend in order to bring forth a new genre.

In the following years his attention focused on a singular series of “art documentaries”. In 2013, he returned to his native Buenos Aires to film “El cielo del Centauro”, written with Mariano Llinás.