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Problemista

In order to obtain a visa for the USA, introverted dreamer Alejandro (Julio Torres) starts working for the eccentric and exhausting artist widow Elizabeth (Tilda Swinton).

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The protagonist of Julio Torres’ colorful comedy is dreamer Alejandro (Torres), a young man from El Salvador, raised in a magical children’s world, which his mother, an artist, built for him. Alejandro’s big dream, as Isabella Rossellini explains with her gentle voice, is to become a toymaker. He applies at Hasbro in the US and when that doesn’t pan out, he takes a job at the cryogenics company FreezeCorp where he is responsible for the frozen artist Bobby (RZA). When FreezeCorp fires Alejandro, his job as the personal assistant of Bobby’s widow Elizabeth (Tilda Swinton) is his only hope to get his sought-after visa.

Swinton plays Elizabeth as the mother of all Karens: she is in an eternal battle with phone hotlines of all kinds, sends back food at restaurants out of principle, and gets into fights wherever she goes. In contrast, the cautious Alejandro always goes along with everything and thinks things through calmly. The world has often already moved on before he can make his cautious objections. The duo's eccentric dynamic holds together a film that otherwise gets out of hand in every other way. When Alejandro takes one classifieds job after another in order to get money for his visa, PROBLEMISTA feels like a sitcom, then a single surreal scene captures the misery of immigration more precisely than most social dramas: thousands of hourglasses are in a large room and those whose time has run out, aka whose visa has expired, simply disappear from the picture. Individual scenes could be sketches, others develop a surprising depth, Swinton/Elizabeth is occasionally visualized as a theater dragon, then there are endless Filmmaker Pro running gags that are probably directed at older Mac users.

Usually the next idea comes before the last one has even come close to being worked out. PROBLEMISTA is hectic, uneven, and definitely not thought through to the end, but it is still one of the most interesting film releases of the month.

Hendrike Bake (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

USA 2023, 98 min
Genre: Comedy
Director: Julio Torres
Author: Julio Torres
DOP: Fredrik Wenzel
Montage: Jacob Secher Schulsinger, Sara Shaw
Music: Robert Ouyang Rusli
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Cast: Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton, RZA, Catalina Saavedra, James Scully
FSK: 12
Release: 13.06.2024

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  • OmU Original with German subtitles
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  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
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Problemista

USA 2023 | Comedy | R: Julio Torres | FSK: 12

In order to obtain a visa for the USA, introverted dreamer Alejandro (Julio Torres) starts working for the eccentric and exhausting artist widow Elizabeth (Tilda Swinton).

Screenings

Neukölln

Freiluftkino Hasenheide

Monday 22.07.

TicketsBuy Tickets OmU21:30

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