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UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Andres Pazos, Mirella Pascual, Jorge Bolami, Ana Katz, Daniel Hendler, Alfonso Tort
Directors: Juan Pablo Rebella, Pablo Stoll
Countries: Uruguay / Spain / Germany / Argentina
Language: Spanish (English subtitles)
UK: 94 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains two uses of strong language
UK Release Date: 27 April 2005
WHISKY is the prize winning second film by Uruguayan filmmakers Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll, whose debut success 25 WATTS put Uruguay on the map as a film country. Whisky (the local variation on 'Say cheese!') has won the FIPRESCI Critics' Prize in the Un Certain Regard selection at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, and picked up the prize for Best Film at the 2004 Tokyo International Film Festival. The lauded film has already been compared to the films of Aki Kaurismäki, with whom they share the precise framing and montage, the touching, dry humour and a deep psychological insight and compassion with ordinary people.
The tall and silent sixty year-old Jacobo Köller is owner of an ageing sock factory. Day in, day out, he sets off to work early, where his faithful assistant Martha arrives with him at the same time. They greet each other with few words and get on with their everyday activities. This imperturbable regularity comes to an end when Jacobo's younger brother Herman comes over from Brazil. The two brothers have not had much contact for years, but now Herman feels forced to get involved with placing a gravestone for their mother. Jacobo gets so nervous at the prospect of facing his socially successful brother that he asks Martha to act as his wife. When Herman invites them for a short holiday, a tragicomic triangular relationship ensues.
"The initial idea was very simple, nearly absurd. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary about it. It's a sort of fable; a story in which the characters would be linked one to the other through a series of mystifications. Our aim was to explore the little habits, conventions and set phrases, and explore what they said and what they hide."
"It is extremely difficult to produce a film in Uruguay. Of course, this statement would apply to practically any country and would still be true. But in Uruguay it is difficult to produce anything at all; stockings, for example, as demonstrated in WHISKY." Pablo Stoll & Juan Pablo Rebella
Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll were born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1974 and started working together while they were both studying Social Communication at university. Both graduated in 1999. Both directors also work as freelance directors for television and advertising.