The latest film from Argentine directing duo Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat puts a playful spin on the narrative of the artist’s return home. Entitled The Distinguished Citizen, the film stars Oscar Martínez as fictional Nobel Laureate Daniel Montalvini, who’s offered a humble award from his provincial hometown after 40 years living abroad.
What starts off as a spiritual reunion with the place of his birth quickly descends into a nightmare when Montalvini finds himself at the center of accusations and gossip, earning the ire of his small-town compatriots when they learn more about his controversial novels.
Shot with a sensitive eye for architecture and characteristic style of a quirky comedy, The Distinguished Citizen will be instantly recognizable for fans of Cohn and Duprat’s previous film El hombre de al lado (The Man Next Door) – though this time around they adopt a markedly lo-fi digital aesthetic that looks a little like a network TV show from the early-aughts.
Whether this was a stroke of artistic brilliance or a desperate cost-cutting maneuver is in the eye of the beholder, but regardless of the film’s rough look, The Distinguished Citizen promises to be another quirky yet profound reflection from two of Argentina’s modern masters. And to give things a transmedia touch, the directors will actually be releasing a real novel (supposedly) written by the fictional Nobel Prize winner and published by Random House later this year.
The Distinguished Citizen will have its world premiere in September as part of the 2016 Venice Film Festival.