Criticism: Criticism of “There are no 36 ways to show how a man gets on a horse”, by Nicolás Zukerfeld; and “OIANT, music for an ancestral future”, by Nacho Garassino

By Diego Batlle and Ezequiel Boetti

Premiered on 06-16-2022

Published on 06-16-2022

We review two national novelties that arrive in theaters this Thursday, June 16.

There are no thirty-six ways to show how a man gets on a horse. (Argentina/2020). Direction: Nicholas Zukerfeld. Script and editing: Nicolás Zukerfeld and Malena Solarz. Sound: Valeria Fernandez. Production: Juanse Álamos / 36 Horses and Punto y Línea. Duration: 63 minutes. In the Leopoldo Lugones Hall of the San Martín Theater (Av. Corrientes 1530). Performances: Thursday 16, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19, at 9:00 p.m.; Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23, at 6:00 p.m. ★★★½

Part video essay on a chapter in the history of cinema, part intimate diary on an obsession in the context of a cinephile investigation, Nicolás Zukerfeld’s film is at times absurd and at the same time fascinating epic for verifying the veracity of something as insignificant as a mere phrase.

The first half of the film is a sort of analysis of Raoul Walsh’s filmography. In principle, as a demonstration with images of the veracity of the phrase that is taken up from the title, There are no thirty-six ways to show how a man gets on a horse (in that sense there is a meticulous work of visualization and edition especially of his westerns), and later as a more general and encompassing vindication of the work of the prolific director of Forgotten Heroes, High Sierras, Passion Rules, They Died With Their Boots On, Adventures in Burma, Their Only Way Out, Black Soul And a long etcetera.

Then, with an austere and ingenious graphic design and the permanent voiceover of Zukerfeld himself (consummate film buff, professor at the FUC and co-editor of Film Magazine), an investigation is launched to show if Walsh’s phrase really existed, if it was really different and “the legend was printed” or if it never existed directly.

The director/investigator will then enlist the help of film buffs from around the world to obtain reliable sources on Walsh’s sayings and thoughts. A journey that includes from Edgardo Cozarinsky to Eduardo A. Russo, passing through Fernando Ganzo or Lucía Salas, from the magazine Variety to the heart of classic French cinephilia. All behind an epic, impossible, Herzogian company and at the same time as simple and elemental as a phrase, a definition of the essence of cinema. DIEGO BATLLE

OIANT, music for an ancestral future (Argentina/2021) Direction: Nacho Garassino. With the participation of Alejandro Iglesias Rossi, Susana Ferreres, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Leo Brouwer, Carlos Nuñez and Charo Bogarín. Editor: Ignacio Martínez. Sound: Sebastian Daniel Gonzalez. Direction of Photography and camera: Luciano Sette. Duration: 99 minutes. Distributor: Vi-Doc. Suitable for all public. At the Gaumont Cinema (Av. Rivadavia 1630), at 1:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. (from June 16 to 22). ★★★✩✩

OIANT is the acronym for the Orchestra of Native Instruments and New Technologies, whose headquarters have been at the National University of Tres de Febrero since its foundation, in 2004, by the work and grace of the composer, director and researcher Alejandro Iglesias Rossi and the musicologist and director of Performing and Visual Arts Susana Ferreres.

There, contemporary rhythms based on the ancestral traditions of America are taught, studied and put into practice, with those evocative-sounding wind instruments as the main characteristic.

In OIANT, music for an ancestral futurethe director Nacho Garassino (The tunnel of the bones, Contrasangre) goes behind the scenes of this group that since its foundation has traveled more than 400 thousand kilometers disseminating its art and, with it, the cultural heritage of the region.

A trip to Peru in 2019 operates as a trigger for a journey through the work methodology, the objectives, the intentions and the motivations of those who participate in it. Made up mostly of testimonies on camera and fragments that portray the dynamics of the work, OIANT does not hide its intention to function as a disclosure documentary, a record for history.

The result is a flat film in its formal aspect and with a tone that is always condensing towards its objective of study, which finds its best moments when the music takes over the story and generates a dreamlike effect that transports the viewer to the most remote past of the region. EZEQUIEL BOETTI

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