The Magic Gloves

Film
MAGIC MAN Capello flakes out.
MAGIC MAN Capello flakes out.

Time Out says

Capitalism deserves every kick in the nuts it can take, and Argentine absurdist par excellence Martn Rejtman delivers a swift one with this dry, very funny Buuelian social satire. A picaresque concerning the exploits of disaffected Buenos Aires car-service driver Alejandro (Capello) and his various acquaintances (friends is too strong a word, as even his love affairs occur by happenstance), the film assembles a fluctuating assortment of posturing bourgies, pharmaceutically adventurous depressives and freakishly large Canadian porn stars to skewer the notion that material goals—or even cinematic ones—can confer happiness. The hand wear of the title doesn’t appear until the movie is two-thirds over, and the film’s most beguiling character is a 12-year-old Renault.

Rejtman’s audiovisual dexterity is as exquisite as his disregard for narrative conformity. The film’s meticulous tableaux take center stage—the plot is barely, as one pill-popper puts it, “better than staring at the ceiling”—and provide much of the humor. One running gag features a literally deafening prog-rock film score that’s repeatedly endured by the protagonists. Their inertia truly puts the dead in deadpan, but there’s also a tenderness here that outs Rejtman as the best kind of cynic: one with heart. (Now playing; IFC Center.) — Mark Holcomb

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