Filmed in a stunning 4:3 aspect ratio with rounded corners, Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja creates an intriguing story of Danish engineer Captain Dinesen travelling through the Patagonian desert with his daughter. Viggo Mortensen does a pitch perfect Danish-infused Spanish, and as he loses himself in the Argentinian wilds, a parable emerges; Alonso’s film takes its name from a mythological yet elusive paradise of abundance and happiness, which all those who go in search of end up lost in a wasteland. It’s the fate awaiting Captain Dinesen when he goes off in search of his daughter Ingeborg (Viilbjørk Malling Agger) who takes off with a dashing young captain. Filmed in long takes with an often static camera and spare dialogue, Jauja morphs into a fantasy realm beyond time, which goes deeper than its seemingly simplistic teenage girl’s dream. It’s elliptical, drawn out and challenging, but a beautiful slideshow of delicately composed frames.
Jauja is showing on Oct 17th & 19th at the 58th BFI London Film Festival