Ignore the jumble of accent marks and consonants that make up the title. Kékszakállú is the Hungarian phrase for Bluebeard, however that doesn’t matter. Neither is it notably vital to know that Béla Bartók’s 1911 opera Bluebeard’s Fortress served as this experimental movie’s (very, very) free inspiration. The much less you fret about which means, the extra you’ll be able to think about first-time director Gastón Solnicki’s hanging pictures. Kékszakállú works greatest as pure cinema, largely divorced from narrative; a few of its most memorable moments don’t even actually contribute to the imprecise theme that step by step emerges. Solnicki simply appears to have shot a ton of random materials, Terrence Malick-style, and given a house to something that’s value for its personal sake. This makes for a barely irritating expertise, even at simply 72 minutes, however solely as a result of the movie feints at being one thing greater than a collage of quiet rapture. On that degree, it really works fantastically.
Probably the most dazzling stretch happens on the outset, which was shot in Punta Del Este, a Uruguayan summer time resort space. Described broadly, it doesn’t sound like a lot: numerous interludes of pre-adolescents at play and youths engaged in romance, with adults largely absent. At this stage, there are not any characters per se, although sure faces recur. As an alternative, Solnicki creates stress by chopping away from a lady as she hesitates, hunched over, along with her toes curled nervously round a pool’s diving board. He suggests nervousness by inserting his actors off-center in fastidiously symmetrical compositions, or eradicating visible cues in a manner that makes them appear to be a part of an summary artwork piece. Usually, he simply performs round. A woman treads water as her lengthy hair floats in a darkish cloud beneath her, then dunks her head, sending the tresses as much as obscure her. A girl opens her condominium’s blinds, revealing distinct reflections in two glass panes, then opens the window itself, doubling and warping one of many two reflections at the same time as the opposite vanishes.
Finally, two issues kind of “occur.” First, the setting shifts from Punta Del Este to Buenos Aires (although it’ll shift again once more later), the place Solnicki locates visible fascination inside a Styrofoam manufacturing unit, amongst different places. Second, a protagonist of types arrives within the type of a really emotionless younger lady (Laila Maltz) who makes just a few desultory stabs at discovering a job and deciding what she would possibly wish to examine. Any reference to Bluebeard’s Fortress is tenuous certainly, although performances of Bartók’s opera often flood the soundtrack, typically at incongruous moments—oddly, it doesn’t really feel like scolding when, say, a hovering aria accompanies pictures of a number of youngsters individually glued to their smartphones. Solnicki takes their ardour significantly, undramatic although it could be. Kékszakállú isn’t for each style—that is basically an avant-garde movie, regardless of the late-breaking storyline—and its portrait of younger ladies trying to find a probably harmful door to open (there’s the tenuous connection) is itself half-formed and unsure. Solnicki has admitted in interviews that he roughly made the film up as he went alongside, not figuring out fairly what he was after, and it reveals. However he has a exceptional eye and boundless curiosity, and people two qualities are sufficient to maintain a short but restlessly ingenious exploration like this one.