Living Stars (Mariano Cohn, Gastón Duprat | Argentina | 60 min.)
No script, no plot, just music and gyrating bodies—from a precocious body popping prodigy to a cross-dressing pizza delivery guy and even a Spice Girls loving Gaucho—Living Stars is a sixty minute dance party and everyone’s invited! Traveling through Buenos Aires, directors Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat set out to capture real people, in everyday settings, dancing to their chosen pop songs. The result is a euphoria-inducing portrait of the city and its remarkably rhythmically-inclined inhabitants. Young and old, coordinated and not so, dancing to everything from hip-hop to swing Living Stars presents a cross-section of society, brought together by movement.
Made up entirely of a series of static wide shots in which an array the participants—identified solely by their name and occupation—are invited to dance; Living Stars is wonderfully simple in its essence, yet nevertheless manages to resonate beyond the rehearsed movements at its core. As each dancer executes their scene with varying levels of creativity and commitment (and, indeed, skill)—the backgrounds of each set-up become as much a part of the performance as the dancing itself. Real life carries on around, or just behind them, intermittently creeping in and disrupting their carefully choreographed movements. People nonchalantly play video-games, one girl’s middle-aged mother hijacks her Britney Spears’ routine—it is in these moments of unintentional spontaneity where Living Stars transcends the sum of its parts. While clearly taking its cues from the modern phenomenon of YouTube dance videos, Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat’s documentary attests to the ability of dance to bring people together and in doing so subtly counteracts the atomizing effects of the internet.
Following a riotous reception at Sundance, Rooftop Films is thrilled to present this wonderfully infectious and ridiculously fun documentary. Although chairs will be provided for the screening, and dancing is by no means mandatory, it will be very much encouraged and believe us, you’ll have a hard time resisting.
- Cressida Greening
Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat have produced and directed a number of experimental film works, created and produced dozens of television shows, and founded and directed two TV channels in Argentina. They have made seven feature films, acclaimed in the most prestigious film festivals around the globe, including the highly successful The Man Next Door, which won the Excellence in Cinematography Award in the World Dramatic Competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and premiered in more than 15 countries.