A Useful Life

Jorge has been devoted to his job at the Cinemateca in Montevideo for 25 years, and his cosy rut is neatly documented in the first half of this concise film. He wanders through the film library, tests and repairs broken seats, introduces tardy guest filmmakers, and struggles to drum up scant business on a local radio show.

When drastic funding cuts threaten the closure of the institution, this professional crisis precipitates a charmingly mild personal revolution for Jorge. We observe him awkwardly negotiating life in the outside world with the subtle assistance of the many movie lives he’s experienced while effacing his own.

This wry, melancholic film is slyly observed by second-time director Federico Veiroj, and graced with superb black-and-white chiaroscuro and an inventive soundtrack that juxtaposes old movie music with the raucous clatter of projectors and the monastic silence of libraries and archives.

Screening as part of our year-long season - CINEMA ON SCREEN

Programme Type: Film

Director: Federico Veiroj

Cast: Jorge Jellinek, Manuel Martinez Carril, Paola Venditto

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 67 minutes

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