David José Kohon was one of the most important directors in the history of Argentinean cinema. He belonged to the "generación del 60," a group that was also referred to as Nuevo Cine Argentino in those days. It was during the 60s that Kohon made his masterpieces: _Tres veces Ana_, and my personal favorite, _Breve cielo_. He remained active, however, producing two films in the 70s (one of which, _¿Qué es el otoño?_, was Argentina's official submission for the Academy Awards), and one in the 80s. Inspired by the legend of Faust, Kohon's swan song is another excellent film in the career of a master filmmaker.
Bruno Sánchez (Alfredo Alcón), a photographer, lives with his retired mother. "Have you found a steady job?" she asks him. "When are you going to get married?" One day, as he is walking down the street, he runs into a small crowd. They are watching a man who is about to jump from the top of a building. A stranger (Mario Alarcón) suddenly appears and reminds Bruno that he is carrying a camera; he should not miss this opportunity to get a great picture. The stranger later introduces himself as Mefi. It is none other than Mephistopheles, and he soon shows Bruno the way to success. The obvious question is: at what price?
Alfredo Alcón made three films with Kohon. The first, _Prisioneros de una noche_ was realistic, like _Breve cielo_. Towards the end of his career, Kohon began to explore the reality/fantasy dichotomy, as one can see in the other two films that he made in collaboration with Alcón: _¿Qué es el otoño?_ and _El agujero en la pared_. The latter takes things a bit farther by including characters that are clearly symbolic. Like most of Kohon's films, _El agujero en la pared_ gives quite a bit of screen time to Buenos Aires, to her streets and to her buildings. The approach, however, has changed, as can be seen by the unusual camera angles that characterize his last film. _El agujero en la pared_ questions the reality of the city that the director showed us in his previous films. The city, like everything that one sees in the cinema, may be a trick of the camera. This is a preoccupation that this film shares with Antonioni's _Blow-Up_, which also has a photographer as its protagonist.
_El agujero en la pared_ picks up where _¿Qué es el otoño?_ left off. Both films deal with disillusionment, but by departing from realism Kohon's last film leaves room for hope. One can't help but wonder what the next step would have been.
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