“His impunity made him eternal” | Entertainment | The USA Print

"His impunity made him eternal"

Pablo Larraín has shown for a few years his interest in portraying such popular characters on the big screen as Pablo Neruda, Princess Diana of Wales or Jackie Kennedy. And in this 80th edition of the Venice Festival, he shows us his particular vision of a figure as sinister as Pinochet, which he captured eleven years ago in Noabout the end of his dictatorship.

In Countwith whom he competes for the Golden Lion, we see the Chilean dictator turned into nothing less than a vampire of more than 250 years -his adventure begins before the French Revolution- who lives hidden in a mansion in ruins and flies through the nights to kill and eat the hearts of their victims.

The Chilean filmmaker arrives at the official screening of 'El conde' in Venice

The Chilean filmmaker arrives at the official screening of ‘El conde’ in Venice


All filmed in crude black and white with which he builds a free satire not without gore elements that denounces the military’s impunity just as the 11th marks the 50th anniversary of the coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende. “The figure of Pinochet is more alive than ever. He died free and a millionaire and never paid for his crimes. That impunity made him eternal, and I found it interesting to connect that eternity with that of the vampire, someone who needs to kill to live,” he said. manifested in conversation with a small group of media, including The vanguard.

The story of this film that will land on Netflix on September 15 and that was initially devised as a series, he wrote it together with his regular collaborator Guillermo Calderón taking advantage of the pandemic break. And it is narrated by a female voice that more than one will recognize who she represents and her connection to the leading tyrant. The voice in question tells us that Pinochet, who was born as a young orphan named Claude Pinoche, has grown tired of living forever.

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Pinochet’s figure is more alive than ever. He died free and a millionaire and never paid for his crimes

Pablo Larrain

Nobody remembers anymore that he killed a lot of reds and he feels humiliated because they call him a thief. “Pinochet’s family was an immigrant, so Guillermo had the idea that he would probably be a soldier during the French Revolution,” reflects the filmmaker, who shows this young man obsessed with the decapitated head of Marie Antoinette and eager to sink his fangs into female necks.

Larraín denounces that, unlike what happened in Argentina and Uruguay, “yes, they could judge their dictators, we could not, we did not have the Neverland pact and that allowed their legacy to continue alive, with people supporting what they did. That’s why Chile is still completely broken.” Despite the rise of the ultra-right in many countries, the director affirms that the film does not intend to give lessons or send a specific message, although he confesses that “there are certain people who believe that Pinochet should not be filmed, that his figure is still very recent. I believe that evil can and should be filmed, it should be portrayed.”

Paula Luchsinger, Pablo Larraín, Gloria Munchmeyer and Alfredo Castro arrive for the screening of 'El Conde' during the 80th annual Venice International Film Festival, in Venice, Italy, 31 August 2023. The movie is presented in the 26590official competition 'Venezia 80' at the festival running from 30 August to 09 September 2023. (Cinema, Cinema, Italy, Nice, Venice) EFE/EPA/ETTORE FERRARI

Paula Luchsinger, Pablo Larrain, Gloria Munchmeyer and Alfredo Castro


Also questioned by the figure of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, the director states: “They have in common the pleasure of evil and lack of intelligence. It was a bit like buffoons from other power groups who wanted to put them there or support them in that exercise.” The film stars Jaime Vadell, Larraín’s first choice. His is a villain who wears a fur coat, walks in a walker and has a faithful servant at his service, Fyodor, played by Alfredo Castro.

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Now Pinochet wants to give up and die once and for all. For this he stops drinking blood and swallowing hearts that he keeps frozen and squeezes in a blender. But his wife, the perfidious Lucía Hiriart (Gloria Münchmeyer), does not want such plans and asks that they both be monsters forever. Not to mention the children, who come to the house in search of his part of his fortune. Selfishness, betrayal and evil run rampant, while a young nun hired to act as an accountant for the clan’s interests tries to bring out the demon that Pinochet carries inside. Larraín is clear that the vampire terror of his film will cause people to talk about him in his country.

Larraín is clear that the vampire terror of his film will cause people to talk in his country. Venice has already applauded her

On the other hand, Michael Mann and Adam Driver defended the presence of Ferrari in the official section. The film, which had raised great expectations around the figure of the creator of the Ferrari team, Enzo Ferrari, is a well-crafted exercise that does not quite step on the accelerator despite the impressive racing sequences and the recreation of the fatal accident that marked the end of the Mille Miglia in 1957. Mann focuses precisely on that turbulent year in Enzo’s life to narrate his relationship with his wife and partner Laura (Penelope Cruz), degraded by the death of their son Dino; the secret family that he created with his lover and the headaches of a company on the verge of bankruptcy.

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Adam Driver plays Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann's film

Adam Driver plays Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann’s film


“His story speaks of things that happen to all of us: grief, loss, love, passion, ambition, but all in a compressed way,” said the director at a packed press conference. Driver, who plays the motorsport legend, claims to feel “proud” to represent an independent film in Venice, far removed from the big studios and platforms. “If the independent production companies are capable of reaching the conditions that the unions are asking for, why can’t Netflix and Prime Video?” He questions when asked about the actors’ and writers’ strike in Hollywood.

A response that has been highly applauded, although nothing to do with the ovation that the shy Caleb Landry Jones received in his meeting with the press. The Texan, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2021 for nitramalready aims to repeat the feat in Venice for his moving role as a young man with a tragic childhood who only has the unconditional love of his dogs.

Luc Besson and Caleb Landry Jones

Luc Besson and Caleb Landry Jones

We talk about dogman, directed by Luc Besson, a dramatic story inspired by a true news story about a family that locked their own son in a cage when he was five years old. “I wondered what kind of life a boy like that can have, what do you become as an adult? In a terrorist or in Mother Teresa?, and I tried to imagine what his life would be like, ”explains the French filmmaker.

A disturbing-looking Landry Jones appears already in the first sequence bloodied and disguised as Marilyn Monroe. It will not be the only imitation of him because he even transforms into Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich. His is a masterful performance and he deserves to win it all.

Caleb Landry-Jones

His is a masterful performance and he deserves to win it all