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A KING AND HIS MOVIE

Argentina, 1986 (MIFF 1987)

Director: Carlos Sorin

An imaginative, well-crafted and often hilarious first feature, apparently inspired by the misadventures surrounding the Latin American projects of Werner Herzog. A young director plans a film about an obscure French procurator Orelie Antoine, who in 1860 declared himself King of Araucania and Patagonia. What he wants is a kind of Latin American Western, indebted as much to John Ford as to Glauber Rocha. The results, however, are something else entirely.

From the outset of the project, circumstantial adversities seem to condemn the film to faiiure: the lead actor is being pursued by the police, the producer abruptly departs for Europe with the production funds, the cast and crew's lodgings at a village orphanage are jeopardised by the sexual proclivities of one of their number...

"Sorin has fun with just about every aspect of the filmmaking process, from the TV interview program that opens the film, to the impact of a noisy self-absorbed crew on a small, conservative community... Anyone who's ever worked with a film crew will appreciate the humour in Sorin's film, especially scenes like the one in which the director retires from the chaos all around him to quietly sneak yet another look at John Ford's Stagecoach."

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