Argentine cinema, that multiform, paradoxical and contradictory entelechy, has found in Mariano Llinás to a key figure. Although his filmography as a director is limited in amount of titles, his conception of cinema marked a turning point in Argentine cinema. When the demands of the festivals resulted in a standardized formatting for Argentinean films, which didn’t bother pretending and adapted to the aesthetics of “poquitism”, Mariano Llinás came to kick the board and raise the idea of the return to the (great) adventure as motor of the story, based on a (true) independence as an ideological and aesthetic framework where to construct his cinema.
Balnearios, his first feature film, presented a corrosive vision of the Argentines during their vacations, an explosive combination if any. Historias extraordinarias, a true milestone of independent Argentinean cinema, extended its ties to Hugo Santiago’s Invasión by introducing a group of men in a stupid, ridiculous, possibly doomed mission, to which they surrendered completely for the ultimate goal of revelation.
The retrospective is completed with the first part of La Flor, an episodic mega-film still unfinished, a prodigy of production that demanded almost a decade of creating from the margins. If nowadays genres are back in television fiction, Llinás seized them to corrode them internally and root out the argument resolutions, that old story inherited since the days of Aristotle.
But the great adventure of Mariano Llinás’ cinema is its collective character, born of the creative model promoted by the production company El Pampero, which has allowed him to combine his most personal elements with the collective work of each one of its members. Because, as Jonas Mekas said, the history of cinema is an invisible story: that of friends getting together, making what they love.