I’m a fan of directors who collaborate with actors they have worked with before. Los Ausentes director Nicolás Pereda is one of them. The 34 year old Mexican new wave director (as he was labeled at the AFI Fest) brings back Gabino Rodríguez for his new head-scratching film. Rodríguez dancing in Los Ausentes is as refreshing to watch as his rapping skills in Pereda’s Greatest Hits. While Greatest Hits deals with an absent father, Los Ausentes, well, deals with absence. Feel free to interpret.
Plot-wise Los Ausentes is about an old man, living in the outskirts of a beach town in Mexico, and his state of mind when he loses his house because he does not posses the deed to it. SPOILER ALERT: he loses it. His mind, that is. Through long takes and close to absent dialogue, Pereda takes us on a cinematically stylized tip down (the old man’s) memory lane. Kids with surfboards and a dancing young man don’t take away from it’s sadness and snail-like pace. But I guess that’s how it feels to long for something, and this film seems to be an exercise in longing.
Maybe you’ll identify with the old man’s emptiness or maybe you’ll be longing for a bathroom break. I don’t know. Either way it’s nice to see a young male tell an elderly tale, even if you can’t make sense of what you’re watching.
Los Ausentes recently screened at AFI Fest in Los Angeles.