The film takes place in Ireland – an Ireland where people speak Catalan with a Fassbinder accent – from the 1930 to today, and follows in several parallel directions the sprawling saga of two rival gold mines, the exploitation of artists by Capital, and the simultaneous opening of a brothel where women do not like men. Because he does things
his own way, Albert Serra’s most narrative and wordy film was not meant for cinema: produced by the Venice Biennale, it was part of an installation, its chapters shown simultaneously on several screens. Singularity could very well have been called “Velvet Goldmine”, as it sings the meeting of brothels and tunnels, of a golden stud and lustful bodies (both shown as abstractions). In all its monumental and relaxed length, it ofers us at once an intense aesthetic ride and a detailed reflection on the balance of human urges (the libidinal kind, especially). The film is carried by all of Serra’s regular actors, it is saturated with purely theoretical homosexuality and endless conversations, and its period-sitcom plot progressively unfolds until it dissolves into the uncertain future of humankind.
- Albert Serra en libertés