A Useful Life | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 70 minutes · 2010

The first half of this black-and-white Uruguayan feature (2010) is set almost entirely in a troubled cinematheque, where a middle-aged employee (film critic Jorge Jellinek) nurses a crush on a law professor and goes about the business of showing movies to a dwindling public. Using long takes, visual rhymes, and repeated framings, director Federico Veiroj invests these early scenes with a sense of place and stasis, but when Jellinek finally leaves the theater to get his hair cut and ask the professor out on a date, the film abruptly switches style. The very different halves allow Veiroj's brisk and dryly funny film to serve as both a realistic document of film culture and an optimistic essay on how movies influence our perception. In Spanish with subtitles.
Director: Federico Veiroj
Producer: Federico Veiroj
Cast: Jorge Jellinek, Manuel Carril and Paola Venditto

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