Monday, June 28, 2021

Performative Lives

Fauna (2020) - Pereda Fauna Fauna, Nicolás Pereda's new film, starts with a couple, Paco (Francisco Berreiro) and Luisa (Luisa Pardo) arguing in the car on the way to Luisa's parents's house. It's an arid rural area with no wi-fi reception. When they finally arrive at their destination and soon finds Gabino (Gabino Rodriguez), Luisa's brother, also marooned because their parents are not home. Paco takes off to get a cigarette and this sets up one of the most awkward meet and greet of a boyfriend & parents of all time. And it's not a good start for Paco who has to endure many awkward, long stretched moments with Luisa's family.

Paco is a bit actor from the TV series Narcos. And he has to 'act out' a scene from the show again and again by Luisa's dad's request. And in the middle of Fauna, Pereda shifts the narrative to concentrate on narrative within the narrative, enacting a pulpy book Gabino was reading. Pereda toys with the stereotypical roles in these scenarios from countless narco shows that dominate and perpetuate Mexican roles, mixing with reality in rural towns where local mine owners perpetuate violence on its citizens on a regular bases. There's telling scene where anxious Luisa wakes up her mom (Pereda regular Teresa Sánchez) to recite the lines with her for an audition, highlighting the difference between acting and lived in experience. Clocking in short 71 minutes, Fauna is another delicious experiment on identity and performance from Pereda.

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