Liverpool is an unusual project, eliciting an emotional response by deliberately not showing much emotion on screen. As with all of Lisandro Alonso’s films, the drama is implicit, and very little dialogue is used to convey Farrel’s story. It is only his dominant presence on screen that allows the viewer to begin to feel for him in his isolation. The title Liverpool, seen briefly on a keyring, is little more than a placeholder for emotion in the film, but is apt for Alonso’s intentions. Farrel never comfortably fits into the family ambience of his mother’s home – given the unpredictable nature of his life at sea, his visit feels merely like one stop of many. Alonso, as usual, does a wonderful job of carrying the narrative in the photography, but some viewers might need a lot of convincing.
Monday, 9 August 2010
After a hefty season working at sea, Farrel takes his shore leave as an opportunity to revisit some home truths, travelling to Tierra del Fuego to meet his mother, with whom he has grown literally and figuratively distant. Once on land, Farrel traipses from bar to bar, his original mission apparently forgotten. The next morning brings with it a sense of purpose, and Farrel braves the snow and ice to travel to a community in the mountains where he finds his mother living with a man and a young girl. The relationships between the group are never expressly stated, and Farrel punctuates his sojourn with swigs of vodka to make the experience bearable.