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IFFR 2024 Tiger Competition

Review: The Rim

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- Strangeness and witty black humour characterise Alberto Gracia’s third feature film in which he turns his hometown into a ghostly place populated by absurd creatures

Review: The Rim

Alberto Gracia returns to the IFFR with his third film, entitled The Rim, after having presented his previous films The Fifth Gospel of Kaspar Hauser [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(which won the FIPRESCI award) and Wandering Star [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alberto Gracia
film profile
]
in the Bright Future section. The filmmaker once again offers the festival's audience, this time in the Tiger Competition, a film that is difficult to pigeonhole and unconventional, far removed from any current, fashion or trend in contemporary cinema.

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Hot docs EFP inside

Just like another Galician, Lois Patiño, invited the audience to close their eyes in his last project, Samsara [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lois Patiño
film profile
]
, to travel in time and space (physical and spiritual), here Gracia begins with the screen in black. This isn’t because we have closed our eyelids, but because the camera takes on the role of the retinas of a group of blind people, who go on an excursion to the mountains guided by a Cosme (played by Gracia himself). In the prologue we get a clear sense of what is about to follow: a journey from darkness to bewilderment, the nebulous and something akin to hell on earth, but overlaid with a sense of humour that is strange, intelligent, absurd and dark.

Starring Alfonso Míguez, a sort of Spanish and even more hallucinated version of Harry Dean Stanton or Griffin Dunne in his thirties, The Rim alludes to the boarding house where this young man stays after receiving the news of the death of his father, with whom he did not have a good relationship and whose ghostly memory he cannot shake (physically and metaphorically, as you will see). But this is not a thriller or horror film, nor is it a comedy, but a film by Alberto Gracia. Therefore, it is a film that cannot be classified, like its atmosphere, as it takes place in a version of Ferrol that is rooted in the past, isolated, dark, hostile and nightmarish.

The music is reminiscent of John Carpenter's cult movies (courtesy of Jonay Armas), and the editing is done by the director himself together with Velasco Broca (another outsider in Spanish cinema, always travelling off the beaten track, see his Alegrías riojanas) and photography by Ion de Sosa (whose medium-length film Mamántula was presented at the recent San Sebastian Festival and we are still perplexed).  With this team of accomplices, it is not paradoxical that this tragicomedy of mirrors - as its creator calls it - does not hide its influences from David Lynch and the paranoid cinema of the seventies. And, finally, also a sister to that amazing eighties film After Hours, by Martin Scorsese, and with the universes full of absurd beings, adrift from life, popularised by the writer (also Galician) Ramón María del Valle Inclán at the beginning of the last century.

The Rim is produced by Filmika Galaika and Tasio, and will be distributed in Spain and sold internationally by Begin Again Films.

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(Translated from Spanish by Vicky York)

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