From the very beginning, Simón Velez’s film instils a sense of dramatic tension: moving from a sudden crescendo and the grainy sounds of nervous electro noise to a bucolic archery scene between two men, and the texture of analogue film. Twenty-year-old Sofí visits a fortune teller, who doesn’t forsee any good news, rather only bad moods, indecision, and problems. The mysterious, profane accessories the young woman surrounds herself with—coloured nightlights and other gadget lamps—are not enough to counter the prevailing gloominess. Signs seem to confirm the bad omens: a fire she films from the metrocable in Medellin, a failed casting with an impassive director. Eluding any excessive intrigue, the film follows the wanderings of its protagonist and procedes in stops and starts. A documentary protrusion, filmed at the flea market, shows Sofí, idle, roaming the depths of reality, among the stalls or standing facing cathode-ray tube screens, reflecting both a bygone era and a fantasy world. In the middle of the film, the notes of Lucio Battisti and the noise of a motorcycle engine backfiring interrupt her idleness and begin a journey: Sofí holds onto Gina’s waist, and leaves the city to reach lush nature and pristine waters in which to swim. A little love is finally imprinted on the expired film negative. As time seems to stand still in this Edenic landscape at the world’s edge, the enchanted interlude suddenly gives way to an accidental drama, whose cruel and unexpected emergence is accompanied by the return of the scathing noise from the beginning of the film. As in his previous films, Simón Vélez handles the tension between a tragic death and an acknowledged sensuality with grace and skill. Once again, in the exploration of the ridge between life and death, lies all the beauty of Underground Rivers.
(Louise Martin Papasian)
- Flash Competition
LOS MAYORES RÍOS SE DESLIZAN BAJO TIERRA
- Flash Competition
Colombia / 2022 / Colour / 16 mm / 20’
Original version : spanish
Subtitles : english
Script : Simón Vélez
Photography : Mauricio Reyes
Editing : Melissa Jurado
Sound : Deimer Quintero
Casting : Sofía Jaramillo, Gina Caicedo, Daniel Cortés
Production : Simón Vélez (Triángulo).
La máxima longitud de un puente, 2018
Historia del agua, 2016
Por ver la luz en tus pupilas, decía mordicante el réprobo, 2015.