Eureka (2023)

February 9th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Lisandro Alonso | Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Viggo Mortensen, Rafi Pitts, Viilbjork Malling Agger | Fantasy drama, Argentina147′

Viggo Mortensen and Chiara Mastroianni star in this striking  that sees a man in search of his daughter journeying into the unknown.

Everyone loves a good story but storytelling is not like it used to be in the Golden Era of Hollywood and or European arthouse traditions. That said, Argentinian auteur Lisandro Alonso always manages to intoxicate us with his mesmerising fantasy drama such as Jauja that seem to hark back to a strange and exotic past celebrating the weird and wonderful. Eureka opens as a striking classically styled western.

More an art-installation than a straightforward narrative film Eureka is an off-beat, slow-burning addition to his oeuvre that starts off in gleaming back and white. Mortensen fetches up in a silent backwater in the Old West – no hint of Sergio Leone – but his gunslinging skills are a match for Clint Eastwood when told by a local innkeeper to ‘f*** off’.

Shifting to the present, in full colour, the focus is then a Native American police officer who is working through a gruelling casebook of local petty criminal offences. This sequence morphs in turn to a surreal scenario as the officer drinks a potion that transforms into a bird that flies back to the Brazilian jungle where another bizarre occurrence unfolds. Alonso quails aware from form or narrative in a seductive sensory concoction that beguiles and mesmerises, possibly getting its name from the place where gold was first discovered. A transformative experience on the big screen. Give it a go. @MeredithTaylor


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