Night Across the Street: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: Night Across the Street

New York Film Festival 2012: Night Across the Street


The late Raoul Ruiz’s final completed feature is a heady dive into the dream-life of an elderly Chilean man on the verge of retirement. It’s clear from the first scene that Don Celso Barra (Sergio Hernández) has become unstuck in time, as he sits in a classroom of youthful students listening to a lecture by one of his boyhood heroes, the deceased French author Jean Giono. As Barra moves with surreal fluidity between his young and old selves, other iconic figures like Long John Silver and Ludwig van Beethoven appear, and our protagonist holes up in a boarding house, convinced that someone is going to kill him. Often abstruse yet always involving, filled with esoteric philosophical dialogue, sinuous camera moves and imagery ported straight from the subconscious (a gun barrel morphs into a cavernous gateway between our world and the next), this is as fine a last will and testament as any cinema master has given us.—Keith Uhlich

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