Liverpool

Overview

The emotional wreckage left by one lonely man and his endless wandering is chronicled in this low-key drama from Argentinean filmmaker Lisandro Alonso. Farrel Juan Fernandez is a merchant sailor who has spent nearly all his adult life drifting from one job in one port to another. Farrel has never stayed in one place long enough to make many friends, and for all his freedom he's found little joy or contentment in his rootless existence. Farrel arrives in Ushuaia, a seaside city that's the closest thing he has to a...
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Overview

The emotional wreckage left by one lonely man and his endless wandering is chronicled in this low-key drama from Argentinean filmmaker Lisandro Alonso. Farrel Juan Fernandez is a merchant sailor who has spent nearly all his adult life drifting from one job in one port to another. Farrel has never stayed in one place long enough to make many friends, and for all his freedom he's found little joy or contentment in his rootless existence. Farrel arrives in Ushuaia, a seaside city that's the closest thing he has to a home, and pays an unannounced visit to Trujillo Nieves Cabrera, a longtime friend of his family. When Farrel went off to sea, Trujillo ended up looking after his daughter, Analia Giselle Irrazabal, after the girl's mother passed on. Trujillo feels a deep contempt for Farrel because of his failure to care for his own child, and while teenage Analia harbors her own resentments, a childhood without parental love or support has turned her into a young woman who has turned all her emotions in on herself. Liverpool was screened as part of the Directors' Fortnight competition at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
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Special Features

A Print Interview with Lisandro Alsono; Stills Gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
If you know the films of Lisandro Alonso, the Argentine equivalent of Béla Tarr, you are almost certainly a dedicated connoisseur of art cinema, and you will likely be enthralled by Liverpool, a gorgeously shot and meticulously composed meditation on how humans choose to distract themselves from the perplexities of life with the banalities of living. But if you are in the vast majority of people who are unfamiliar with Alonso, and if you have never been titillated by the possibility of combining observational cinema with storyboards, then there is little to recommend in this film, outside of its intense visual splendor. Liverpool follows a semi-pathetic protagonist named Farrel, embodied by actor Juan Fernandez, as he takes shore leave from a ship where he has presumably been working for a long time, and searches for his mother, not knowing if she is alive or dead. The Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz has chastised Hollywood cinema for its addiction to conflict in terms of plot, and though it is somewhat fallacious to conflate filmmakers based on their home continent, it would seem that Alonso concurs with that theory. During his endeavor, Farrel has no meaningful encounters and he overcomes no obstacles. He chain smokes, eats a few sparse meals, hitches a ride on a truck, and repeatedly sucks from a concealed bottle of liquor. The climactic meeting with his elderly, bedridden mother is abbreviated and confused, as the combination of her senility, his reticence, and the overlapping rhythms of their speech prevents any meaningful dialogue. It can easily be argued that a compelling narrative is not essential to creating outstanding fictional cinema, and, in fact, may often be a hindrance to an introspective examination of character. But Alonso's film lacks both narrative and character, relying entirely on aesthetics to generate insight and emotion in the viewer. Farrel's trek through this deteriorating landscape is so utterly devoid of drama and tension that the audience must eventually attempt to glean meaning from the wreck and rubbish of the landscape itself. Amazingly, the film almost succeeds regardless. As Alonso and his cinematographer, Lucio Bonelli, let the camera meander across the scattered clutter and flotsam of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, which lies literally at the bottom of the occupied world, the peeling paint, rust stains, and dirt-filled crevices evoke the entropy of human subsistence, such that the inevitability of the inorganic debris gives it an air of natural wonder. As the shine beneath the grime gradually emerges, so does the driving metaphor of the film, as the empty actions and banal banter of the characters are revealed as the behavioral equivalent of detritus, which may be transformed into treasure in a vacuous existence. Beauty is not only available in every aspect of life, it is prevalent, because such is the ambition of the seeker. There is ample beauty to be found in Liverpool, but it comes at the cost of boredom.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/30/2010
  • UPC: 738329069124
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Source: Kino Video
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 78,911

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Juan Fernandez Farrel
Giselle Irrazabal Analia
Nieves Cabrera Trujillo
Eddie Saeta
Technical Credits
Lisandro Alonso Director, Editor, Producer, Screenwriter
Lucio Bonelli Cinematographer
Micaela Buye Production Manager
Nieves Cabrera Producer
Sergi Dies Editor
Fernando Epstein Editor
Flormaleva Score Composer
Gonzalo Delgado Galiana Art Director
Christoph Hahnheiser Producer
Ilse Hughan Producer
Martin Mainoli Editor
Luis Minarro Executive Producer
Salvador Roselli Screenwriter
Marianne Slot Producer
Catriel Vildosola Sound/Sound Designer
Manuel Nieto Zas Asst. Director
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Liverpool
1. Nap [7:29]
2. Request [8:41]
3. Shore Leave [6:08]
4. Leisure [6:41]
5. Traveler [9:16]
6. Home [4:42]
7. The Canteen [7:59]
8. Legacy [7:09]
9. Mother [8:50]
10. Dinner [7:32]
11. Trapping [6:47]
12. The Gift [4:03]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Liverpool
   Play
   Chapters
   Stills Gallery
   Subtitles
      English Subtitles
         English Subtitles: On
         English Subtitles: Off
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