Respect: Jaime Rosales

Embajada_eslovaquiaJaime Rosales is a successor of the European auteur tradition. In his five feature films, he analyzes themes such as loneliness, communication problems, coping with a tragedy, inability to understand other people’s feelings, and even more abstract issue of the point of view. On no account, however, can we talk about repetition of the same things over and over again, since Rosales is constantly trying to find new methods of dealing with these themes.

He always keeps a distance from his characters. We come to know very little about their lives, we only see some fragments. Though he depicts powerful dramas, the characters’ feelings are hold back – likewise in Robert Bresson’s films. Rosales does not try to elicit a superficial emotion, he tries to elicit a certain kind of empathy through intellect, a feeling more complicated and more difficult to handle, radiating from the whole film. That is why he often shoots his characters from a distance, often with objects in the foreground, which hinders the audience from having a “direct contact” with the character. What is more, he does not eschew displaying events out of the picture.

Even though he uses the technique of Polyvision (we can observe one scene from two different points of view), he, paradoxically, does not offer a more complex picture for us to learn more about the characters, he rather emphasizes the break-up (of the point of view; of narration). He shows us that, although we have two points of view at our disposal, it is still not enough to reach the “inner self” of the character. Showing us a crying character and pretending that we can find out what this character is going through by an ordinary close-up of their face – such films are deceiving us. To understand what a person is going through is much more complicated and requires other cinematic means. Rosales’s exceptionality dwells in the fact that he is constantly seeking them.