Argentina’s Ana Piterbarg Readies ‘Alptraum’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Obsession drama follow-ups Fox-backed Viggo Mortensen-starrer ‘Everybody Has a Plan’

MAR DEL PLATA – Ana Piterbarg, who caught international attention with her debut, Viggo Mortensen starrer “Everybody Has a Plan” – produced by Haddock and Tornasol (“The Secret in Their Eyes”) and distributed by Fox Intl. Productions – has advanced on her second feature, the long-in-gestation and considerably different “Alptraum.”

Shot in black-and-white, sometimes recalling German expressionism, and much more of an art film, though a seemingly  accessible one, “Alptraum” does not mean that Piterbarg has given up on larger movies with studio backing or stars. But “Alptraum” allows an outlet for creative exploration that, she argued, will allow her to be a more distinctive director when confronting bigger-budgeted fare.

Produced by Piterbarg and Alejandro Giulani, initiated before “Everybody Has a Plan” but now in post, “Alptraum” is a potential highlight at Mar del Plata’s Work in Progress, the Argentine fest’s industrial highlight that unspools Thursday and Friday. It turns on a young playwright-actor whose romantic obsessions – his ex-girlfriend’s infidelity, his new love interest’s disappearance – prove self-fulfilling paranoias. Simultaneously, he suffers a recurring and ever more intense nightmare– alptraum in German – of being pursued by Krampus, a horned beast of ancient Bavaria legend.

“Alptraum” should be ready for delivery spring 2015, Piterbarg said. A genre blender, it features an indie pic-style protagonist gradually absorbed in a psychological thriller reminiscent of early Polanski, which attains moments of oneiric surrealism.

Bearing the imprint of Argentina fantasy masters – Jorge Luis Borges, Bioy Casares, in turn influenced by Edgar Allen Poe –“Alptraum” works as a parable of the dangers of creativity.

“Like Icarus, following his intuitions, the protagonist ends up destroying himself. As a creator, if one thinks one always has to pay attention to certain dictates of extreme sensibility, sometimes one can lose touch with reality.”

But “Alptraum” is a film that Piterbarg feels she had to direct.

“Every project, every story needs its own type of treatment, its own special touch. There’s also a personal need on my part to try out things, to create stories that probably aren’t so conventional, ” said Piterbarg.

She added: “I’d go so far as to say that I think that much of the very industrial, commercial cinema needs this type of exploration: Both languages – the industrial and less conventional – necessarily feed off each other.”

All “Alptraum” will be shot in black-and-white, Piterbarg said. Used initially for dream sequences, a framed 3:4 ratio format will gradually become more frequent as the playwright-actor falls victim of his obsessions, she added.

More Film

  • Jennifer Lopez Owen Wilson

    Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson Film 'Marry Me' Moves Back to Universal From STX

    The Jennifer Lopez-Owen Wilson romantic comedy “Marry Me” has moved from STX back to its original home, Universal Pictures. STX previously took over the project in April. Kat Coiro is directing from a script written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill. Colombian singer/rapper Maluma has joined the cast and [...]

  • Austin Butler to Star as Elvis

    Austin Butler to Star as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann's Biopic

    Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic has found its king of rock ‘n’ roll. After numerous screen tests, Austin Butler has been tapped to play Elvis Presley in Luhrmann’s next feature film for Warner Bros. The studio tested with a handful of actors in full hair and make-up at the end of June to see who [...]

  • 'The King's Man' Trailer Debuts With

    'The King's Man' Trailer Showcases Secret Service's Origins

    Disney is promising plenty of sword-fighting, gunplay and devastation in its first teaser trailer for the Fox spy comedy prequel “The King’s Man.” The studio unveiled a first look Monday that sets the stage for an origin story of the private British  intelligence service, portrayed in the two previous films in the franchise: 2014’s “Kingsman: The [...]

  • Emma Stone Damien Chazelle Babylon

    Emma Stone Eyes Damien Chazelle's Next Film 'Babylon'

    “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle is heading back to Hollywood for his next feature film “Babylon,” and Emma Stone is in early talks to star. Sources say Chazelle has met with a handful of suitors over the past couple weeks, and Paramount and Lionsgate are both vying to land the project. While Chazelle previously [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    2019 Imagen Awards Nominations: Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas and More

    Jennifer Lopez and Antonion Banderas are among this year’s Imagen Awards nominees, which span a range of categories including informational programming, on-air advertising, outstanding individual performances and prime time programming in film and television. The Imagen awards were first established in 1985 upon recommendation from TV veteran Normal Lear in an effort to recognize more [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content