Review: Dark Buildings
by Alfonso Rivera
- Nicolás Gil Lavedra skilfully lures his audience in with both suspense and surprise in this co-production starring Argentinian and Spanish actors
The Madrid-born actor and filmmaker Santiago Segura continues to (co)produce films on both sides of the Atlantic (Black Snow [+see also:
film profile], Sin rodeos [+see also:
film profile]). His most recent film, the thriller Dark Buildings [+see also:
film profile] by Nicolás Gil Lavedra (Buenos Aires, 1983) raked it in at the Argentinian box office and stars Lavedra in a secondary role: that of a devious, unpleasant and mysterious character, leagues away from Torrente, which was an audience favourite. The cast stars his compatriot Sara Sálamo (who recently starred in #Seguidores [+see also:
film profile]), the Argentinean actors Joaquin Furriel (El faro de las orcas [+see also:
film profile]) and Soledad Villamil (The Secret in Their Eyes [+see also:
Interview Juan José Campanella [IT]
Interview Ricardo Darín [IT]
Interview Soledad Villemin [IT]
film profile]) and the mighty Oscar Martinez (unforgettable in The Distinguished Citizen [+see also:
Dark Buildings is an adaptation of the bestselling novel by the Argentinian author Claudia Piñeiro (whose previous novel Les veuves du jeudi, was also made into a film) and its screenplay was written by Gil Lavedra and Emiliano Torres (The Winter [+see also:
film profile]). A suspense-filled and entertaining film, Dark Buildings is both concise and rich in nuance behind the immaculate façade of a cold tense thriller: with its wild corruption, existential dissatisfaction, sex-based intolerance, contemporary moral anaemia, immutable class discrimination, and the difficulties that come with attempting to integrate into a rotten capitalist society.
The film begins when a young woman turns up at an architecture firm looking for Jara – the character in the film’s title. From that moment onwards, not only are secrets kept hidden, but lies and concerns crop up in the relationships associates have with employees. Thanks to various flashbacks, which help us to make sense of the perpetual nightmares experienced by the film’s characters and the appearance of a ghostly image that increasingly puts Furriel on edge, this agile film unfolds rather efficiently, supplying the audience with the perfect amount of information and ensuring that we don’t get distracted and give into the temptation to glance at our laptop screens. The film did well at the box office in Argentina with well over 60,000 admissions, placing it in the top 10 best-performing films of the year.
Dark Buildings was produced by Bowfinger International Pictures (Spain) with MyS Producción, CindyTeperman, Telefé, DK Group, Benteveo Producciones Audiovisuales, RoyalCinema, Non Stop and Gaman Cine (Argentina). International sales are being handled by the Argentinian company FilmSharks and the film is due to be distributed in Spanish cinemas by 39 Escalones.
(Translated from Spanish)
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