025 Sunset Red ★★★★

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My capsule review from my TIFF Wavelengths coverage for MUBI:

I used to struggle with the fact that Laida Lertxundi’s films seemed so tough to write about. In time, I discovered that this difficulty speaks to the sure-footedness of their construction, the sense that everything is exactly where it belongs. Where many filmmakers try to build their works piece by piece, implicitly arguing for the inevitability of the final object they’ve fashioned, Lertxundi’s films are assemblages in the Deleuzian sense. She places disparate but related sounds and images alongside one another, allowing them to generate charged relationships across time while also retaining their basic autonomy.

This is not an easy way to make movies. It requires firm trust in one’s instincts, and Lertxundi has an almost unerring sense of taste. Partly this is because she works with some of the most essential elements in the visual code: landscape and portraiture. But she is also willing to delve into personal esoterica, confident that her private signification will resonate in the proper context. 025 Sunset Red appears to be named after a color, and a desert landscape is shown early on, shot through a piercing red gel filter.

But red is the color of a history, political and familial: 025 is ultimately a tribute to Lertxundi’s father Roberto, a Communist politician in Spain. As we see, the intersection of the public and private is highly fluid, and it’s in the stain left behind—somewhere between a Joan Mitchell canvas and a Rorschach blot—that we find a living memory.

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