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Recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock is trapped into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, who happens to be the wife of his father's business partner and then finds himself falling in love with her daughter, Elaine.
Oliveiro is a young poet living in Buenos Aires where sometimes he has to sell his ideas to an advertising agency to make a living or exchange his poems for a steak. In Montevideo, he meets a prostitute, Ana, with whom he falls in love. Back in Buenos Aires, he accepts a contract with a publicity agency to get the money for three days of love with her. Will he get what he's searching for when his ideal of love's pleasure is literally going in levitation while making love? Written by
Jean-Marie Berthiaume <email@example.com>
This Argentina's official selection for the 1992 Oscar Awards, Foreign Language film category. When the Oscar nominations came out it was overlooked in favor of Un Lugar en el mundo (1992) (A Place in the World) which was later the only film in Academy Awards history to have been removed from the final ballot. See more »
Recently I saw a another film about a woman who knows how to fly. Already at the dreamlike flight-sim-landscape cruising intro to Kieslowski's (and Tom Tykwer's) "Heaven," but much more so at that intro's payoff later in the film and in the film's love story, I was put in mind of "Dark Side of the Heart's" introductory use of Oliverio Girondo's lines, "...about this I'm adamant. I pardon no woman, under any pretext, who doesn't know how to fly. If they can't fly, they're wasting their time trying to seduce me!" "Heaven" can't go quite where it does, without its heroine learning to fly. Though it may be less obvious in the case of the Subiela, both films have political subtexts. Subiela introduced me not only to Girondo, but to Mario Benedetti, making me rehabilitate enough of my high school Spanish to absorb several volumes. Toward the middle of the film, the first time Oliverio (the protagonist's named after, but isn't meant to be, the real-life poet) stays in Ana's flat, she pulls a Benedetti volume out of the bedside lamp. "What? A prostitute who reads Benedetti?!" "Si." "But you keep it in a lamp?" "Sometimes that's safest." (My memory's omitting a few words.)
Another way of looking at "Dark Side of the Heart" is as, not sci-fi exactly but, speculative fiction. It describes an alternate reality in which words are cash. Not only does Ana stash her Benedetti like gold, but Oliverio pays for meals with poems, walks through a traffic jam panhandling by reciting at likely windows and holding out his hand.
Ultimately, Oliverio has to end alone, because our world, yours and mine, won't let Ana go. Another way of saying it, is that his world doesn't quite exist, or exists just enough less than Ana's or our world exists. In this respect, a fine touchpoint for "Dark Side of the Heart " is the nearly impossible-to-see Kobayashi film "Kaseki "(Fossil), with its unattainable-except-if heroine and interfering angel of death ("Dark Side..." has one of these, too).
But, if you've just seen "Dark Side of the Heart," now is a great time to see "Heaven." If you've already seen "Heaven," then you've come to the right film. Find a way to see "Dark Side." For a more sinister flight tie-in, see Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Kairo" with its spectre-fraught airliner plunging into an abandoned factory, and consider the airborne event that knocked "Kairo" out of distribution.
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