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Esteban Lamothe (#110 of 1)

New York Film Festival 2011: The Student

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New York Film Festival 2011: <em>The Student</em>
New York Film Festival 2011: <em>The Student</em>

The Student, the debut feature of Argentinean filmmaker Santiago Mitre, is the kind of film that demands an audience’s close attention. But it’s not demanding in the same way as other New York Film Festival selections such as The Loneliest Planet, The Turin Horse, and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia—all films that require viewers to be alert to crucial narrative, thematic, and/or emotional information conveyed almost entirely by images. Mitre’s challenge is on the level of plot and dialogue. In his film, he throws us into the down-and-dirty world of Argentinean politics, at least as encapsulated within a college environment, and expects us to keep up with the various twists and turns of his plot, not always bothering to make specifics comprehensible for a wider international audience. As the film mostly depicts various negotiations for power and control, Mitre’s film ends up being a relentlessly talky affair, with dialogue delivered with the speed of an Aaron Sorkin screenplay.