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King of “Queens”: Fabián Bielinsky’s “The Aura”

King of "Queens": Fabián Bielinsky's "The Aura"

Fabián Bielinsky died of a heart attack in his hotel room while on a trip to São Paulo working on a commercial. It was the summer of 2006, and he was 47. With only two features completed, he passed away before he could be definitively rated with his compatriots that make up the New Argentina Cinema—a media-designated movement but arguably still the most vital and prolific of any country’s in South America. What seems discernible from his pop-informed debut, Nine Queens, and his work (with Wim Wenders and others) on television ads is that Bielinsky seems to have had more generally mainstream ambitions than the more personal, experimental Lucrecia Martel or politically calibrated Pablo Trapero. Bielinsky’s death may not have robbed Argentina’s New Cinema of its edgiest or most groundbreaking card carrier, but with his passing it lost a filmmaker that, based on the scant evidence, might have earned the movement yet wider attention with his devotion to quality, accessibly inventive entertainment. Read Justin Stewart’s entry in Reverse Shot’s American All-Stars symposium.

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