You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Tree

Gustavo Fontan's exquisite alternative pic "The Tree" builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker's father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. The pic is a triumph of personal filmmaking, drawing universal feelings out of specific details. This is a gorgeous fest item and counterprogrammer to just about anything, and should find a passionate international following on vid.

With:
With: Julio Fontan, Maria Merlino.

Gustavo Fontan’s exquisite alternative pic “The Tree” builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker’s father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. Filmed on superbly realized high-def video over a few seasons in Fontan’s boyhood home, where parents Julio and Maria still live, the pic is a triumph of personal filmmaking, drawing universal feelings out of specific details. This is a gorgeous fest item and counterprogrammer to just about anything, and should find a passionate international following on vid.

Maria is certain the tree, planted the day Fontan was born is dead; Julio isn’t sure, determined to find some way to keep it alive. Fontan isn’t interested in the psychological background of this gentle, low-key disagreement, and avoids making judgments about the merits of either perspective.

Rather, Fontan’s eyes (with gifted lenser Diego Poleri) are trained on the tiny details of everyday existence: The outside leaves swept up by Maria’s broom, Julio’s various eyeglasses, the army of ants crawling in and out of the dead tree, and most impressively, the shifts in weather from startlingly sunny to the growling rainstorms that appear to have the final word in the tree’s fate. The faces of young and old in Fontan’s extended family become part of a fascinating mosaic, and a lovely tribute to the role families hold in Argentine life.

The film’s aural scape (sound man Javier Farina making a crucial contribution) is a stunning montage of natural sound that adds to the pic’s poetic feel. Vid lensing recalls the heights of Sven Nykvist’s work with Ingmar Bergman, and will convince skeptics that HD cinematography is a real tool for artists.

The Tree

Argentina

Production: A Tercera Orilla presentation of a Stella Maris Czerniakiewicz production. (International sales: Tercera Orilla, Buenos Aires.) Executive producer, Czerniakiewicz. Directed, written by Gustavo Fontan.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Diego Poleri; editor, Marcos Pastor; sound, Javier Farina. Reviewed at Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival, April 13, 2006. Running time: 65 MIN.

With: With: Julio Fontan, Maria Merlino.

More Film

  • 'Midnight Runner' Review: A Topical, Unnerving

    San Sebastián Film Review: 'Midnight Runner'

    Gustavo Fontan’s exquisite alternative pic “The Tree” builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker’s father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. Filmed on superbly realized high-def video over a few seasons in Fontan’s boyhood home, where parents Julio and Maria still live, the pic is […]

  • 'Operation Red Sea' Floated as Hong

    'Operation Red Sea' Floated as Hong Kong's Oscar Contender

    Gustavo Fontan’s exquisite alternative pic “The Tree” builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker’s father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. Filmed on superbly realized high-def video over a few seasons in Fontan’s boyhood home, where parents Julio and Maria still live, the pic is […]

  • Parity pledge 2018

    San Sebastian Festival Signs Gender Parity Pledge

    Gustavo Fontan’s exquisite alternative pic “The Tree” builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker’s father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. Filmed on superbly realized high-def video over a few seasons in Fontan’s boyhood home, where parents Julio and Maria still live, the pic is […]

  • Danny DeVito'Donostia Award' photocall, 66th San

    Danny DeVito Receives San Sebastian Donostia Award

    Gustavo Fontan’s exquisite alternative pic “The Tree” builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker’s father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. Filmed on superbly realized high-def video over a few seasons in Fontan’s boyhood home, where parents Julio and Maria still live, the pic is […]

  • M-appeal Closes Sales On Pair of

    M-appeal Closes Sales on Pair of San Sebastian Titles (EXCLUSIVE)

    Gustavo Fontan’s exquisite alternative pic “The Tree” builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker’s father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. Filmed on superbly realized high-def video over a few seasons in Fontan’s boyhood home, where parents Julio and Maria still live, the pic is […]

  • Hirokazu Kore-eda on ‘Shoplifters’ Polemics, Shooting

    Hirokazu Kore-eda on ‘Shoplifters’ Polemics, Shooting in France

    Gustavo Fontan’s exquisite alternative pic “The Tree” builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker’s father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. Filmed on superbly realized high-def video over a few seasons in Fontan’s boyhood home, where parents Julio and Maria still live, the pic is […]

  • San Sebastian: Natalia Meschaninova On ‘Core

    San Sebastian: Natalia Meschaninova on ‘Core of the World,’ Inhibited Masculinity

    Gustavo Fontan’s exquisite alternative pic “The Tree” builds a resonant experience from the filmmaker’s father trying to figure out what to do with a dying tree in his Buenos Aires yard. Filmed on superbly realized high-def video over a few seasons in Fontan’s boyhood home, where parents Julio and Maria still live, the pic is […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content