- Dolores Fonzi’s amusing debut film is filled with freshness and talent, built on the possible kinds of families and enlivened with hits from The Velvet Underground & Nico and, of course, Blondie
Dolores Fonzi is a popular face in her native Argentina as well as other latitudes. For example, we have seen her bright eyes in titles such as Truman [+see also:
interview: Cesc Gay
film profile], by Spanish director Cesc Gay; Fever Dream [+see also:
interview: Claudia Llosa
film profile], by Peruvian Claudia Llosa, and in her partner’s, Santiago Mitre, The Summit [+see also:
interview: Santiago Mitre
film profile] and, above all, Paulina [+see also:
film profile], for which she won, among many other awards, the Platino for Best Actress. Now as part of the Horizontes Latinos section, she returns to the San Sebastian International Film Festival with her directorial debut Blondi [+see also:
interview: Dolores Fonzi
film profile], which she also stars in.
The screenwriter (along with Laura Paredes) plays the blonde-haired girl of the title, a young, spirited, energetic and single mother - we will never see her with a partner - who shares moments with her son, a boy (played by Tito Rovito) who draws beautifully and who seems more like a friend than her kid, as they share cigarettes and go dancing and to concerts together. An amusing mother/grandmother (played by the great Rita Cortese), an unstable sister (Carla Peterson) and an unbearable brother-in-law (Leonardo Sbaraglia) also shine in a feature film that is only 88 minutes long, but full of grace, naturalness and love for its characters.
It is these very close and very human roles that make Blondi a film that does away with traditional family structures and that you end up loving. Although they shout at each other, insult each other and leave each other momentarily on the side of a road in the middle of nowhere, they love each other deeply. They are a family that is as special as it is compact, where people criticise each other behind their backs - as we all do - but when help is needed, they are there, right by their side, no questions asked.
The solidity of these real bonds of affection holds up the frame of this unconventional herd, with no authoritarian figures - patriarchy is practically non-existent in this film - and moves the plot forward with no fanfare. It is built based on small episodes, such as, for example, some road movie sequences where mother and son confess their feelings to each other while being wary of possible adverse reactions to unexpected news.
Fonzi makes her debut with a film brimming with life, with hilarious dialogue (the one about the fake abortion is particularly sublime) and a dedicated cast that harmonises beautifully. And making the film a party, the soundtrack includes great songs by The Velvet Underground & Nico, some snippets of concerts by bands and the long-awaited moment of shared listening to a hit (we won't reveal which one) by Blondie, the legendary band of Debbie Harry, which at some points in the film you could confuse for Dolores Fonzi herself.
Blondi is an Argentinian-Spanish-American production by La Unión de los Ríos, Setembro Cine and Gran Vía Productions, with the collaboration of Amazon Studios. Its international sales are managed by Film Factory.
(Translated from Spanish)
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