November 1, 2013

Age of video

NO (Pablo Larrain, 2012). Larrain’s entertaining end-of-Pinochet drama is an 80s-set film that evokes the age – shot on period video, its bright glare and shaky register suggest a VHS tape unearthed from the back of the cupboard. In Chile in 1988, advertising successfully did the work of politics, even if it was never quite this simple ­– and the skateboarding advertising hotshot (Gael Garcia Bernal) is no less cynical at the end than he was at the beginning (in his next campaign, a soap plot is shot like news). As for Pinochet himself, he only appears in historical footage as if it is still not safe to impersonate him. A smart film, and not just for students of political marketing.