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Monday, April 5, 2010

THE MAN NEXT DOOR (EL HOMBRE DE AL LADO)

By D.E.Levine

A New Directors/New Films 2010 Selection

DIrector: Manano Cohn and Gaston Duprat
Writer: Andres Duprat
Cast: Rafael Spregelburd, Daniel Araoz, Eugene Alonso, Ines Budassi, Lorenza Acuna, Eugenio Scopel, Debora Zanolli, Barbara Hang, Enrique Gagliesi and Ruben Guzman
Producer: Fernando Sokolowicz
Executive Producer: Maria Belen de la Torre
Line Producer: Fernando Sokolowicz
Original Music: Sergio Pangaro
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Country of Origin: Argentina
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Genre: Comedy, Drama

The premise of the story is very simple and unfortunately it's universal and people throughout the world can relate.

Casa Curutchet, the only home that Le Corbusier built in the Americas, is located in Argentina and occupied by a successfully, wealthy, elitist designer and his family.

Since the house has perfect, modernistic white walls, when the family awakens to the noise of a sledgehammer one morning, they are devastated to find their neighbor, in putting a window into his own home, has created a gaping hole in theirs.

Audiences initially feel tremendous sympathy for the designer, his wife and daughter. After all, their beautiful, iconic, pristine home has been somewhat destroyed by their neighbor, a man of lower class.

Initially the film plays as a comedy of sorts as the neighbors demonstrate their actions, reactions and interactions to the situation.

The friction builds as the situation becomes more tense and there is uncertainty regarding what each man is capable of doing to achieve his goal.

Victor, the neighbor, simply wants some light streaming into his home. Leo, the designer, is considered to be intelligentsia - a higher social class, and his friends mock Victor's attempts to befriend Leo and settle the matter,

The home by Le Corbusier is stunning architecturally and brilliantly shot for the film. Audience members feel a strong attachment and sincere "love" for this house, although not necessarily for its occupants who prove to be snobs.

The film is a vivid statement on class distinction and prejudice with a rather shocking ending and accomplishes exactly what its director/cinematographers wanted to accomplish.