“Amat Escalante’s The Untamed variously dazzled, horrified, shocked, and, in the case of some very nervous viewers, tickled the Venice Film Festival when it played in competition,” Film Comment's Jonathan Romney wrote in a dispatch from Venice last fall. Spinning a surreal story of marital disfunction and a sexual frenzy-inducing extraterrestrial life form, The Untamed brings the director of brutally realist festival fare like Heli into decidedly new territory.
A Q&A via Skype with director Amat Escalante will follow the 7pm show on Friday, 8/4!
«The Untamed does that very rare thing in cinema in that it blends mystery, horror and pseudo-reality with a kind of dark subconscious arousal» — The Film Stage
Winner: Best Director, Venice Film Festival. Official Selection: Fantastic Fest and Toronto International Film Festival.
Alejandra and her husband Angel live with their young sons in Guanajuato, Mexico. While the swaggering Angel lords it over his family, he’s also lining up his next furtive hotel room hook-up with Fabián, Alejandra’s brother. The gentle humanitarian in the film, Fabián works in the local hospital and he too strains under the yoke of the domineering Angel.
One day a young stranger arrives at the clinic, strung out but strangely exhilarated, with what appears to be a dog bite. Soon she befriends Fabián and Alejandra and observes that maybe they should be getting some of what she’s been getting. She directs them to a chalet in the countryside where a scholarly elderly couple harbour the mysterious guest. But not everyone granted access to the chalet comes out exhilarated.
Hypnotic, perturbing, and utterly enthralling, The Untamed is a bold portrayal of a chauvinistic society characterized by homophobia and misogyny. Escalante overlays this family drama and social commentary with truly bizarre elements of science fiction and horror, expertly bending genres to create a wholly unique and mind-blowing piece.
Directed by Amat Escalante. Written by Amat Escalante and Gibrán Portela. Mexico /Denmark/ France/ Germany/ Norway/ Switzerland. 2016. 100 min. DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles.