Azor is the debut film from Andreas Fontana. A private banker from Switzerland travels to Argentina to replace his partner (who is never shown during the film) during a period of political unrest.
Fontana breaks the film into chapters- “The Camel’s Tour”, “A Duel”, “The Gala”, “Lazaro” (used throughout as a clue word- it is a military island)- and so on.
The film stars Fabrizio Rongione as Ivan de Wiel and Stephanie Cleau as his wife Ines.
At the 10-minute mark there is an impressive shot from inside the hotel room looking out where Ivan and his wife are talking on the balcony with flowers set in the foreground right.
An immaculate cinematic painting at the 35-minute mark (above)- on horseback in a sea of trees
Much of the discussion in the film is about Ivan’s partner Rene Keys- who has disappeared. Keys is the Harry Lime character from The Third Man – so damn intriguing- “so much talent, and such a fall”- except here he never surfaces (which Fontana uses as a narrative tool beautifully).
This is a cool and confident debut- this is sharply written; these characters are intelligent (Ines is even smarter than Ivan). He is on a business trip mending relationship with powerful (and potentially dangerous) people in Buenos Aires. It has a bit of Pakula’s paranoia- maybe The Parallax View feel to it. There is talk of a coup, The Godfather Part II in Cuba sort of atmosphere of change- fear and influence- great writing and acting.
Ivan makes for a compelling detective as well- different than Philp Marlowe or The Dude from Lebowski– he does not drink, does not swim.
Azor essentially means “be quiet” I believe, or something along the lines of “to not say too much” or “careful what you say”.
The music is slightly reminiscent of Wendy Carlos’ work from A Clockwork Orange– especially heavy for the ominous ending of history repeating itself.
[…] Azor – Fontana […]