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UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Valeria Bertuccelli, Julio Chavez, Chunchuna Villafane, Raquel Albeniz, Jorge Prado, Eva Bianco, Lautaro Bengoechea
Director: Santiago Loza
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
UK: 87 mins
UK Release Date: 24 March 2006 (Limited Release)
ICA Projects presents EXTRAnO, the debut feature from director Santiago Loza, another major new talent from Argentina's cinematic hot house. A proudly 'intimiste' and understated work, EXTRAnO quietly explores the relationship between an older unemployed man who meets a younger, pregnant woman.
Enigmatic protagonist Axel (Julio Chavez), aged about 40, is a doctor who no longer practices his craft, for reasons we never really discover. Set in Buenos Aires, he is living temporarily with his sister and her children, of whom the eldest child bonds well with him. Silent and pensive, his life is empty of action, and he just exists a little between the people and things around him. One day, he meets a young, pregnant woman, Erika (Valeria Bertuccelli), in a cafe and a relationship develops. Living together as Erika's pregnancy progresses, the pair keep one another's loneliness at bay.
In his first feature film, Santiago Loza has created an absorbing study of solitude that explores those things that are not easily perceptible in a human life, but which are deeply felt. The emotionally precise and understated performances of the two main characters, played by Julio Chavez and Valeria Bertolucci, are supported by contemplative cinematography and a strangely optimistic piano soundtrack. of moving simplicity. In the words of the filmmakers, 'This is a film of cautious words, of a fragile silence.'
EXTRAnO won the Tiger Award at the 2003 Rotterdam Film Festival and Santiago Loza also won Best Newcomer at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival, 2003.