Inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 short La Jetée, the young Mexican writer/director Jonás Cuarón (son of filmmaker Alfonso) has constructed a feature film that consists entirely of still images. Over the course of a year he photographed his friends and members of his family, before writing a fictional narrative about a platonic love story between a 14-year-old Mexican schoolboy Diego (Diego Catano) and a 20-something American student Molly (Eireann Harper). And to blur further the boundaries between ‘reality’ and fiction, Cuarón got the subjects of his photography rather than professional actors to record the dialogue of their characters.
Unfolding over four seasons, Año uña explores the tentative cross-cultural romance between its protagonists with charm and humour. Throughout Cuarón uses inner monologues to convey the gulf between how Molly and Diego appear to others and how they actually feel about themselves. Nor is this a film which avoids the darker aspects of peoples’ lives, as Diego’s grandfather is treated for throat cancer, and the skilful fusion of form and content leaves the viewer with a strong sense of time’s inevitable passing.
Cameo, Edinburgh from Fri 28 Nov; GFT, Glasgow from Sat 27 Dec.