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The Monster in the Stone

  • France
Audio Tracks

Interviewing is a well-known exercise. Also well-known is Ignasi Duarte’s taste for roundabout ways, since his film Montemor (2012), in which he imagined a landscape inhabited by strange characters. This time, he intends to bend this exercise with a game. The rule is as simple as it gets : “All the questions I am going to ask you are questions you actually wrote” he proposes off screen to renowned Argentinian novelist Alberto Laiseca, who wrote many books including his masterpiece Los Sorias, a florid and erudite dystopia wherein myth is interspersed with comedy. And the writer, an old man figure slumped in an armchair, answers laconically : “Fine.” Simple enough, or so it seems. Then a dialogue sets in between the characters and the author, in the flesh, a worn out chain-smoking body, always with a beer close to hand. This literary huis clos is also a physical one, filmed in the enclosed space of a two-room apartment, like a mental space, with the camera focused on the writer only, until the final swing.

In this Borgesian game, Ignasi Duarte, the paradoxical and almost invisible interviewer, creates a dizzying space, dealing with fear, death, love, myth, not forgetting the taste of beer. A game of mirrors in which literature comes back in involutions into the reality of the interview with its share of undecidable fiction. Does Laiseca answer in his own name or by way of his characters? It is undecidable, for sure, and there lie the purpose and the stakes of the film. Thus when asked “Have you forsaken your imaginary personality?”, Laiseca simply answers: “I have no idea.” FIDMarseille



  • Original title
    El monstruo en la piedra
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Ignasi Duarte
  • Dir. of Photo.
    Andrés Fechtenholz
  • Editing
    Andrés Fechtenholz
  • Sound
    Daniela Ale, Mercedes Tennina
  • Duration
    50 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • France
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Production
      • Bureau monumental & Maison de l’Amérique latine
      • France
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
    • 2016 FIDMarseille, Marseille (FR)
    • 2016 Pravo Ljudski Film Festival, Sarajevo (B&H)
    • 2016 Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata (AR)
    • 2016 L’Alternativa – Barcelona Independent Film Festival, Barcelona (ES)
    • 2016 Transcinema – Festival Internacional de Cine, Lima (PE)
    • 2017 Solothurner Filmtage, Solothurn (CH)​
    • 2017 Mostra de Cinema Llatinoamericà de Catalunya, Lleida (ES)
    • 2017 DOC CORNER du Marché du Film, Video Library FIDMarseille, Cannes (FR)
    • 2017 FestiFreak, Special screening, La Plata (AR)
  • Awards
    • 2016 FIDMarseille, Prize: Special mention Prix du Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap), Marseille (FR)
    • 2016 L’Alternativa – Barcelona Independent Film Festival, Prize Panorama, Barcelona (ES)
    • 2017 Mostra de Cinema Llatinoamericà de Catalunya, Prize: Special mention, Lleida (ES)


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