En Tu Ausencia ( In your absence ) is a movie I have heard a lot about before getting a change to get a hold on the DVD and watch it for myself. I have heard all kinds of rumors about it – being the ultimate coming of age movie , powerful tale ,provocative scenes…etc. At the end when I saw it I was mostly impressed with the nature shots and felt a bit disappointed . The whole movie feels more like a reportage than a film in itself – either that or a documentary. Add the surrealism and beautiful visuals and you have a perfect arty festival film- which however won`t be understood by everyone and don`t really have a chance for a commercial success .
As I am writing this review I am pausing and watching the directors commentary – its quite comprehensive in fact – over 1 hour and 40 minutes meaning that virtually the whole movie is commented by Ivan Noel. Some of the interesting things he mentions were that the movie was shot with ” No budgets , no production help – nothing ” , it had only 2 professional actors in the cast and more over no make up was used at any moment of filming . A film which main idea was ” Covering the grounds of that transition between a childhood and adolescence ” . As a rite of passage movie En Tu Ausensia did pretty well – even trough I admit that I started to believe more in that after watching it once again with the directors comments – in fact the DVD is worth having just for them . My impression is that Ivan Noel would do a wonderful job directing short movies on the topic and does seem to have a pretty intriguing and truthful views . ( I have checked some other things written by him online in addition to the film itself )
The movie had several scenes ( nudity mostly – nothing that weird for Spanish movie anyway ) that made my mom who was watching it with me shrug her arms. I guess she was thinking that the plot was going in a certain direction – while in fact the story evolved in quite an interesting manner. Definitely there were few seduction scenes if I may say that – but noting that goes overboard or too different that what happens in the real life anyway ( I myself felt quite as Pablo did kissing my first girlfriend – and I am sure many of you share similar experiences )
Of course Ivan Noel talked a lot about the music used in the film – written and performed by himself and Gonzalo Sánchez Salas ( or Pablo in the film ) . He mentioned that Gonzalo expressed interest in the guitar in the filming process and learned incredible fast – so he accompanies Ivan in recording some of the vibes . While I am on the sound I should mention that I had a bit of trouble following the dialogues in the film – I think most were pretty silent – and while I am not a native speaker of Spanish I watched the film with one and he had troubles with that too. If the idea was to make it sound like an overheard conversation that definitely that was achieved as I had to really pay attention to get some of the dialogues .
Overall is the movie worth seeing – my answer is yes , will it appear to everyone – I doubt – but many movie`s dont. Will I will foreward for another movie of the director – definitely ! Go figure …
Ivan Noel is currently working on another feature movie called Brecha – more info