Love in the shadows, Subiela style

  • Love in the shadows, Subiela style

In my short review of the Argentinian romance Hostage of an Illusion (which screens at the Chicago Latino Film Festival on Sunday and Monday), I wrote that writer-director Eliseo Subiela “seems to be treading water” with this one; I should have added that I’d sooner watch Subiela tread water than see most other directors do the 100-meter butterfly. Subiela is one of those filmmakers—like Luc Moullet, Russ Meyer, or Raul Ruiz—who can’t help but be himself: all of his films feel like they were shot directly from his diary. Regardless of whether his films are straight-up successes (Man Facing Southeast, Last Images of the Shipwreck) or relative trifles (Don’t Look Down), they convey the fluid logic of a dream and take obvious pleasure in filmmaking for its own sake.