The Wandering Soap Opera Screen 88 of 4 reviews

The Wandering Soap Opera

2017

The Wandering Soap Opera Poster
  • A gift for Ruiz fans. In a somewhat Borgesian paradox, which seems entirely characteristic, the film can be seen as a sort of sequel to the director’s actual final film, Night Across the Street (2012), a quasi-autobiographical last return to his Chilean roots and memories, also premiered after his death in 2011.

  • Clearly relishing the stylistic leeway afforded by the genre—the film’s prismatic color palette and exaggerated decoupage provide enough aesthetic pleasures to make one mourn yet again the absence of one of cinema’s great stylists—Ruiz takes as fanciful an approach to the film’s visual design as he does its object of critique.

  • Although Ruiz has always been one of the funniest "serious" directors of the arthouse tradition, such moments come so close to "Laugh-In" style blackout comedy that I wonder to what extent Saramiento (re)constructed the film along those lines, to emphasize the conceptual silliness and comic structuralism inherent in the material Ruiz shot. If this was partly by her hand, hats off. The result is thoroughly winning.

  • In the funny and perverse Wandering Soap Opera, the arch conventions of TV have seeped into the real world and vice versa until everyone not only is a star in his or her own strange show, but is aware of and watches the shows others star in. Most (all?) of the film’s specific play with and parody of Latin American soaps was lost on me, but what came across wonderfully was the thrilling unity of adoration for popular pulp and dismay at a reality warping before the power of televised melodrama.

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