Neil Young’s Film Lounge – Intacto



Intactoaka Intact : Spain 2001 : Juan Carlos Fresnadillo : 108 mins

Fresnadillos debut feature is a wildly ambitious attempt to blend the worlds of Jose Luis Borges and David Mamet: in the alternative universe of Intacto, luck is a commodity which can be absorbed and accumulated by especially fortunate individuals such as Holocaust survivor Samuel (Max Von Sydow). When his long-time protg Federico (Eusebio Poncela) offends his mentor, the old man steals his students stock of luck. Seven years later, Federico burns for revenge which means finding an individual even luckier than Samuel. Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia) seems ideal, after walking away the sole survivor of a plane-crash. But the wayward kid proves a less than perfect pupil

The story gets only more complicated from here occasionally even Fresnadillo and his co-writer Andres Koppel don’t seem sure about how everything fits together. And Sams concentration-camp experiences, so movingly recalled by Von Sydow in a lengthy monologue, sit rather tastelessly alongside the scripts more gimmicky aspects. But even if it doesn’t quite come off and falls a long way short of the coincidentally-similar Unbreakable – there are some remarkable ideas and images here: any film featuring a huge, phosphorescent, treacle-hunting winged insect is pretty hard to resist.

19th March, 2003
(seen 15th August 2002, UGC Edinburgh – Edinburgh Film Festival)

For the longer, in depth version of this review click here.

For and interview with the director Juan-Carlos Fresnadillo click here.

For all the reviews from the 2002 Edinburgh Film Festival click here.

by Neil Young