Segunda Vez at the London Film Festival : boundary-pushing non-fiction

Three to see at LFF if you like… boundary-pushing non-fiction

“Second Time Around: Edward Lawrenson recommends three formally daring films at the BFI London Film Festival that blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction.

Second Time Around (2018)

What’s it about?

In the late 1960s Argentinian artist Oscar Masotta put on a series of theatrical happenings in Buenos Aires that fused experimental theatre with emerging Lacanian psychoanalysis. In Second Time Around artist Dora García restages these events with contemporary participants, and chronicles the process.

Who made it?

Based in Barcelona, Dora García is an artist whose works address contemporary politics, often focused on questions of performance. Perhaps better known in the art world – she has represented Spain at the Venice Biennale, her films include the 2013 documentary The Joycean Society, a quietly compelling account of a Zurich reading group’s attempt to grapple with Finnegan’s Wake.

What’s special about it?

Second Time Around is a work of understated virtuosity: it blends the documentary of a theatrical event with a poignant evocation of the atmosphere of creative freedom of late 1960s Argentina, which would end with the political repression of the coming years.

Under the patient and watchful analysis of García’s alert camera work, the modern-day participants of her restaging of Masotta’s happenings hint at past national traumas. The connections are all the more powerful for being implied rather than spelt out – this is subtly provocative and bracingly intelligent cinema. The title is an allusion to a Julio Cortázar short story. “