EL CLUB is the fifth feature film from Pablo Larrain, the author of the highly acclaimed No. He has been selected in competition at the last Berlinale and won the Jury grand prize – the second place in the sum. The film has also been selected to represent Chile at the upcoming Oscars for the film.
Chile is the main place of the story but you find yourself in a remote village and almost banal, where the racing dogs seem to punctuate daily life. EL CLUB is very interested in a mysterious group of men – priests – holed up in a house under the motherly supervision of Monica. They also raise a dog and are determined to make the king of the competitions. One day, another priest settled in the house ; a stranger will accuse her publicly of various sexual crimes, which affects immémorialement the hypocrisy that reigns in the village. Pablo Larrain is tackling a thorny topic with EL CLUB. The scandals of the Church are directly pointed out : homosexuality, pedophilia, and abuse are being denounced without compromise in dialogues in the language believed the evidence of an acidity to the religious dogma. Chile is also scratched – as a society – through various and incredible stories of the villagers. It is clear that the feature makes frontal attack on the non-said and the lies.
But the lies will last more, one (another) man of the Church is sent to the village to do – some kind of – “the household”. As well, the Club has no other choice than to come together to face this new individual who is at risk of revealing their secrets the more shameful. This process story can denounce the omerta that governs the Church, and the complete absence of responsibility of these “messengers” of God. In addition, EL CLUB wonders about the place of homosexuality within the Church itself, and the frilosités of religious institutions on this subject.
“EL CLUB is not in half measures and paints an unflattering picture of the Church. Pablo Larrain delivers a critical acid of a company which is going from bad to worse, through a closed stuffy.”
The achievement of Pablo Larrain is cleverly successful with, in particular, the photography of the film. Using filters, lightening blue and grey, the final rendering is sticky, cold and deadly. Thus, the atmosphere becomes unbreathable and black. Subtle counter-days under-exposed to bring down to the dark silhouettes unrecognizable echoing throughout the darkness of the characters. In fact, the talent of Pablo Larrain is reflected by its achievement. It would have been easy to stage a scandal to a larger scale – for example, at a national level. This is exactly the opposite that is done in EL CLUB: the action takes place in a remote village, the slightest perturbation of the semblance of harmony is springing up immediately all the power of the drama that is playing out before us. EL CLUB is a closed abasourdissant carried out with the help of close-in distortion effect which increase the perdition of the characters. Finally, the whole story walks a very orchestrated towards a climax heartbreaking and superbly interpreted.
Finally, EL CLUB is not in half measures and paints an unflattering picture of the Church. Pablo Larrain delivers here a critical acid of a company which is going from bad to worse through a camera suffocating.
THE OTHER OUTPUTS OF THE 18/11/15
• Original title : El Club
• Realization : Pablo Larrain
• Screenplay : Guillermo Calderón, Daniel Villalobos and Pablo Larraín
• Main actors : Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farias, Antonia Zegers
• Country of origin : Chile
• Output : 18 November 2015
• Duration : 1h37 min
• Distributor : Wild Bunch
• Synopsis : In a coastal city of Chile, of the priests marginalized by the Church are living together in a house. The arrival of a new boarder will disrupt the semblance of balance that prevails.