No: New York Film Festival 2012



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New York Film Festival 2012: No

New York Film Festival 2012: No

The revolution may not be televised, but as Pablo Larraín’s sharp satire reminds us, that’s not to say a TV campaign can’t sell dissent to the masses. Several months before Chilé’s 1988 referendum—which gave the country’s citizens a chance to vote Augusto Pinochet out of office—both the pro– and anti–El Presidente camps were allotted broadcast time to hype their positions. Enter René (Gael García Bernal), a hotshot marketing pitchman who takes charges of the “No” spots, and who finds himself confronting both his country’s failings and his own. Larrain had made a name for himself as an art-house terrorist with past NYFF entries Tony Manero (2008) and Post Mortem (2010), but whimsy may actually be his stronger mode; the film’s cheesy ’80s commercials function as both parodies and a light-handed political commentary that still hits its marks. The decision to shoot in outdated U-matic video adds period verisimilitude, but the film’s optimism—that change is a possibility—couldn’t speak more to our current moment. Don’t miss this.—David Fear

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