La Antena

In an unnamed South American town the entire populace lives in silence: having lost their voices, they communicate by means of floating speech bubbles. The city is run by the notorious Mr TV, who keeps everyone in line with his hypnotic broadcasts.

Visually, ‘La Antena’ is a rare treat: shot in  silvery monochrome, every frame feels lovingly crafted, from the quirky cutout backdrops to the intricately animated subtitles. But the world of the film is confusing: we’re told these characters can’t speak, but they move their mouths and words appear, so it’s hard to define exactly what’s been lost.

They’re also annoyingly loquacious: the point of silent cinema is to allow purely visual expression, but here we spend much of the film reading words on the screen. The characterisation is perhaps necessarily formulaic, but that doesn’t make these paper-thin figures any more likeable, and despite its undoubted beauty the film eventually becomes something of a chore.

Release details

Release date: Friday May 16 2008
Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Esteban Sapir
Screenwriter: Esteban Sapir
Cast: Valeria Bertuccelli
Alejandro Urdapilleta
Sol Moreno

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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tschill

Cannot agree with Time Outs verdict. The film uses artfully the vocabulary of the silent era and transposes themes and styles into modern times. And with the so called huge amount of reading - embedding of scripture has always been an artistic motive in silent films. Here this stilistic device is fully satisfying, since it is justified by the story.

tschill

Cannot agree with Time Outs verdict. The film uses artfully the vocabulary of the silent era and transposes themes and styles into modern times. And with the so called huge amount of reading - embedding of scripture has always been an artistic motive in silent films. Here this stilistic device is fully satisfying, since it is justified by the story.