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2006-11-26 - 11:25 a.m.

Saw the excellent movie The Aura last night.

This is the second, and last, film by Fabián Bielinsky, who died shortly after making this.

His previous film, Nine Queens was a snappy and enjoyable li'l caper, but this is a much more ambitious movie in every way. While it also features a heist plot, that aspect is secondary to the real story, which is a meditation on masculinity and identity: what does it mean to be a man, an adult, someone who commands respect from other men, from women, and even from forest creatures and dogs (yes, there's a dog subplot!) How much of one's identity depends on context, on the responses of the people around you? How easily can a person change his or her entire life?

These are the questions this film attempts to answer, and it goes about it in a slow, tension-filled way, with lots of somber woodland colors (it's filmed in Patagonia) and understated performances.

I saw the above film at the IFC Center. It was my first time there, and it is now my favorite movie theater in New York (sorry, Landmark Sunshine).

Seats: comfortable!

Screen: big!

Decor: stunning!

Location: unbeatable--right by the W.4th subway station!

General atmosphere: this is a theater for people who love film. They have cool events and screenings, no commercials or annoying pre-movie music/slideshow, and instead of endless previews, they show a short film before the feature.

It made me happy just to be there.

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