16 September 2009

The Decade List: El custodio (2006)

El custodio [The Custodian] - dir. Rodrigo Moreno

Illustrating in stark minimalist detail the unifying theme of fading identity in the Argentinean New Wave, El custodio centers on Rubén (Julio Chávez), the head bodyguard of a wealthy politician (Omar Núñez). The bulk of Rubén's job consists of waiting in hallways and cars as his employer attends and conducts business meetings. These doldrums, made worse by the politician's family's inherent classism, reduce Rubén to set decoration, a role he can't shake even when he's off-the-clock (or was that why he happens to be so good at his job in the first place?). Writer/director Rodrigo Moreno fills his film with menacing silences and a stillness that's almost disconcerting. Even as one becomes aware of the direction the film is headed, El custodio remains utterly enthralling.

With: Julio Chávez, Omar Núñez, Marcelo D'Andrea, Elvira Onetto, Cristina Villamor, Luciana Lifschitz, Osvaldo Djeredjian, Julieta Vallina, Guadalupe Docampo, Vanessa Weinberg
Screenplay: Rodrigo Moreno
Cinematography: Bárbara Álvarez
Music: Federico Jusid
Country of Origin: Argentina/France/Germany/Uruguay
US Distributor: N/A

Premiere: 13 February 2006 (Berlin International Film Festival)
US Premiere: 22 March 2007 (New Directors/New Films)

Awards: Alfred Bauer Award - Rodrigo Moreno (Berlin International Film Festival)

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