Mirror on the Moon

A former archaeologist and forger of relics (Barton Fink’s David Warrilow), awaiting the arrival of a former colleague (film critic Berenice Reynaud), revises the story he plans to tell her about the disappearance of a Mayan hieroglyphic tablet from an excavation in the Yucatan many years before. Writer-director Leandro Katz, an Argentinean now based in New York, has been making experimental shorts since the 70s, but this ambitious and daunting first feature represents a fresh and exciting departure. A metaphysical puzzler that suggests at times a novella by Adolfo Bioy-Casares adapted by Alain Resnais, it straddles the space between memory and fantasy, often suggesting a Victorian fever dream. You might find the proceedings a bit heavy and dry in spots, but the verbal and filmic quotes from Dreyer’s Vampyr are far from superfluous–this film too is conceived as a series of teasing question marks. With Stefan Brecht and Andrew Sharp; the haunting score is by David Darling. (Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont, Saturday, September 19, 8:00, 281-8788)

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