Idiosyncratic, urgent, often lyrical voices have been coming out of Argentinean filmmaking in the past decade, all concerned to some degree with cracking the urban self-image and bourgeoisie façade of that country. To name only a few, there’s the late Fabien Bielinsky (“Nine Queens,” “The Aura,” now playing); bold young naïf Lisandro Alonso (“La Libertad,” 2001); “Los Muertos,” 2004, opening in January at Facets); Lucrecia Martel (“La Ciénaga,” 2001; “The Holy Girl,” 2004); Celina Murga (“Ana y los otros,” 2003) and Daniel Burman. The Jewish Buenos Aires-based writer-director’s “Lost Embrace” (2004) heralded a fresh perspective with a pleasingly literary mingling of comedy, sex and yearning, the sort of cannily measured mix of time, place and conflict, set in a recognizable contemporary city, that makes a certain familiar question even more irrelevant: “Why don’t people make movies like Woody Allen used to?” Burman’s “Family Law” (Derecho de familia) finds the 33-year-old exploring the relationships of fathers and sons for a third time, and the semi-autobiographical dramatic conflict between a young man entering the trade of his colorful father and what legacy he will leave his young son is mostly sunny. Understatement is Burman’s forte: he’s very good at it. 102m. (Ray Pride)
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published soon. Previews of the project are on Twitter and on Instagram as Ghost Signs Chicago. More photography on Instagram.