A Useful Life | Chicago Reader

A Useful Life

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.

Credits

Director:

  • Federico Veiroj

Cast:

  • Jorge Jellinek
  • Manuel Carril
  • Paola Venditto

Producer:

  • Federico Veiroj

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