El Conde

El Conde
El Conde
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Larraín’s descriptive biographies as well as his thriller and historical epics have made him an iconic figure in the biopic genre that we admire with all our hearts. Thus, we can clearly say that his work is exceptional in the context of this particular film genre. Among his recent films are the Oscar-nominated films Spencer and Jackie, which feature Kristen Stewart as Diana Princess and Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy respectively, but he also made an incredible biographical film about Pablo Neruda. The reaction to these films has been quite polarized; some people love them while others hate them. Therefore, will El Conde, Larraín’s satirical horror comedy born at the Venice Film Festival 2023 bring people closer together or just become another movie from him?

El Conde imagines Jaime Vadell playing Augusto Pinochet who is a bloodthirsty vampire that exists even after dying allegedly in 2006 and continues to feed off the world. This is a fascinating idea used by Larraín to full effect. El Conde speaks of fascism, societal norms and complicated politics such as these other issues are cleverly presented within its dark tone. With bits of subtle jokes inserted here and there in various cryptic dialogues throughout the scenes of comic framing … All these subtle humorous hints scattered around are much appreciated for their funniness by me! Undecided on whether you liked it or didn’t? Larraín has established a reputation for himself as one of the best directors ever who continually offers something innovative to his audience though not always unique like El Conde.

Apart from being a great satire however El Conde is simply beautiful on film. Its black-and-white filter looks stunningly gorgeous and through it appears an atmosphere filled with tension throughout feeling like a dream one cannot wake up from easily. It creates a timeless feel when combined with jaw-dropping cinematography that has marked this film out. Like his previous films, El Conde is not for everybody. Pacing in the movie, its weird stylistic choices, being too political and generally bizarre that are likely to push a few people away from it. And yet, once you survive the boredom up to this far… its final act was quite amazing.

El Conde begins by introducing us to Augusto Pinochet who is a vampire count now old and weak and no longer the tyrant he used to be. A British narrator then comes on every now and then with important details about what happens in the movie. She describes how Count was a young vampire living in France when hookers tried killing him after finding out that he had been biting women all over the country while tied up to a chair (he later killed them though). To get some blood, he used to hunt those whom guillotine decapitated.

The Count is made ruler through violent means and becomes a ruthless dictator as we know him today. Thus, as history unfolds, until his death; but of course “the count” isn’t dead but “undead”. He finally ends up alone together with his wife and servant yearning for demise at some point.

Nonetheless, his end cannot come just yet, for those around him from the wife and her help to several kids are after his money. Count is therefore compelled to be visited by a nun in this remaining town of his who will assist in sorting out these issues. However, she has a hidden agenda that involves purifying the count’s heart which is monstrous and eliminating evil from the whole world.

El Conde easily ranks among 2023’s most stunningly shot films. Veteran cinematographer Ed Lachman who worked on such previous efforts as Carol and Erin Brockovich crafts a beautiful but at the same time haunting gothic atmosphere through his striking framing and black-and-white camera tint.

Lachman’s innovative use of black-and-white here harks back to old monster movies that never lose their appeal. Every frame looks like a meticulously painted picture. No matter how much disgusting scenes there are (and trust us, they would seem very bloody), yet still, an artistic eye catches glimpse of beauty in these shots wrapped in atmospheric suspense and gloominess.

The comments made about El Conde are deeply moving because of Pinochet’s far-right ideas about people’s lives that had been so horrifically experienced by Chileans . Turning one of history’s most evil dictators into a vampire who feeds on blood is an ingenious way to address fascism with contemptuous sarcasm. Larraín does this subtly through mocking fascism as something absurd while at the same time maintaining its monstrous center without making it too serious however!

El Conde contains subtle humor that will make you giggle at times but nothing you will remember except maybe some shocking mouth watering moment towards the end of this movie we shall discuss later. It doesn’t have universal appeal when it comes to humor though – analytical rather than joke-based or physical comedy based exchanges dominate “The Count” by Larraín which include metaphoric expressions laden with layers of meaning beneath them. This is not to say that the film wasn’t any good since there are people who enjoy that brand of comedy and they will find El Conde hilarious. But if you do not like that kind of humor, then El Conde may not be your thing.

A lot has been seen in 2023 including weirdest films out there in cinemas such as barbie or Oppenheimer which are far from being the mainstream dumbed down thrills that have characterized previous years blockbusters. Watching El Conde is something most people would walk out on or switch off before the end completely at a loss as to what they had just watched. It’s definitely not an easy watch. The story line may appear linear but still, many viewers will be left with questions due to striking wit, symbolism employed by the movie besides its totally crazy nature.

In particular, towards the end of this film we meet the narrator for a moment, in fact he turns out to be very funny character. After all it does not stop here but continues where the narrator goes on describing how closely related she was to count and things become even stranger. Even though it’s quite impenetrable for some, it may be beautiful and original enough for someone who is ready to take up a challenge.

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