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Balnearios. 2002. Argentina. Directed by Mariano Llinás. In Spanish; English subtitles. 80 min.
An overlooked gem, Balnearios is a infectiously demented ode to Argentine turn-of-the-century bathing resorts and to the lifestyles of the indolent. Mariano Llinás’s mock-serious tone belies his dead-serious fascination with the myriad forms and mysteries of storytelling, his documentary (hybrid? sendup?) paving the way for his even more ambitious genre mashups in Extraordinary Stories (2014) and La Flor (2016). ”The idea of modern pagan cities given to the worship of the sea may be thought of as a strange, fascinating phenomenon. This film is the result of such fascination” (Llinás).
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