LIVERPOOL has thrust Argentine director Lisandro Alonso to the forefront of world cinema. Expanding the brooding mystery of his La Libertad (2001) and Los Muertos (Cannes Selection, 2004) into the realm of family drama, the film succeeds with a “stunning grace and total confidence.” (LA Times).
While exploring Tierra del Fuego, Alonso met the stoic Juan Fernandez, who worked clearing snow from the streets. Fascinated with his haunting personality, he built the story of LIVERPOOL around Fernandez and his isolated town, casting the non-professional in the lead role of Farrel. As the movie opens, he is employed on a massive cargo ship and requests shore leave to visit his sickly mother, who lives in a remote logging town in Tierra del Fuego. Farrel depends on booze and the unkindness of strangers to make the grueling journey southward. Hinting at unspeakable tragedies beneath the surface of Farrel’s impassive face, Alonso sculpts a “bold, successful attempt at a film narrative in which images are everything and words are few.” (LA Times)
With luminous cinematography “in the manner of John Ford and Jean Renoir” (Variety), LIVERPOOL exhibits a striking new cinematic style that is still rooted in the old masters. It’s a rich, mesmerizing work of art.