La Antena (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner15/05/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Enjoyably quirky, intriguingly directed Argentine sci-fi fantasy that blends comics, silent movies, Flash Gordon serials, musicals and tons of other sources to deliver both an exciting story and an important message.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Esteban Sapir, La Antena (translated as The Aerial) is a quirky, black and white drama set in a mythical city where the all-powerful Mr TV (Alejandro Urdapilleta) has stolen the voices of the people, leaving them able to communicate only in subtitles. His biggest star is singing sensation The Voice (Florencia Raggi), a faceless woman with the only voice left in the city.

However, unbeknownst to Mr TV, The Voice has an eyeless son (Valeria Bertuccelli) who has secretly inherited his mother's gift. With Mr TV hatching a new plot to steal the people's words as well, the boy teams up with his neighbour Ana (Sol Moreno) and Ana's divorced parents (Rafael Ferro and Julieta Cardinali) to take the tyrant down.

The Good
Sapir's direction is inventive and assured throughout, from his imaginative use of interactive subtitles (the characters can touch the words) to his strong visual style. For example, the faceless image of The Voice is particularly striking and a little reminiscent of the strange companion in Spirited Away.

The silent movie style (complete with superb piano score) is of course entirely appropriate for a film where everyone has lost their voice and Sapir has a lot of fun chucking in references to everything from Metropolis to Brazil, as well as Flash Gordon serials and horror flicks (the eyeless boy is the most disturbing-looking hero you'll have seen for a long time).

The Great
The central allegory works on several levels, both as a comment about the power of the media and the dangers of totalitarianism. However, as strong as the message is, it takes second place to the story itself, which is both entertaining and moving.

Worth seeing?
La Antena is easily one of the weirdest films you'll see all year, thanks to Sapir's inventive direction and his bizarre collection of characters. Worth checking out.

Film Trailer

La Antena (PG)
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Content updated: 19/09/2018 21:41

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