Mariano Pensotti's Cineastas Feb 2, 2015

by Kenzie Rose

To what extent does art influence real life, and real life influence art? This is the question the audience consider during Cineastas, On the Board’s most recent installment. A two-tiered stage, stocked with the artifacts of both daily life and cinematic endeavor, serves to frame the dramas of four Argentinian filmmakers struggling to reconcile fiction with reality, and, likewise, reality with fiction.  

As evidenced in Cineastas, the relationship between the creator and his or her art is dynamic, fluid, symbiotic. As examples: a father grappling with his inevitable demise transforms his film into a testament to his daughter. A McDonald’s employee vents his corporate subjugation into a disturbing thriller. A struggling recipient of unprecedented success struggles to adapt to the mold forced upon her.  An adoptee longing to connect with her parent’s Soviet roots chases un sueño efímero.

“I’m not sure if I liked it,” my girlfriend admitted...

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Step Inside the Camera Obscura: Mariano Pensotti’s Cineastas Feb 1, 2015

by Jay Kuehner

Standing on a typically cobbled San Telmo street corner in Buenos Aires, I unintentionally stumble upon Bar Sur, the milonga eternalized on screen to quite ambient effect by the presence of a careening Ho Po-Wing (Leslie Cheung) in Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together. The sight conjures the film’s score of Astor Piazzolla’s sadly wheezing bandoneons eddying around the tango of two Hong Kong lovers fighting, drinking, smoking, sleeping, breaking up and getting back together, while time flows by like the revolving kitschy souvenir lamp of Iguazu Falls that sits tableside in their exquisitely despoiled hotel flat (somewhere in La Boca). Suddenly, I’m pleasantly embalmed in a ‘filmic’ moment, albeit one that is, essentially, an illusory projection of a Hong Kong filmmaker’s nostalgia for a place he had never seen until shooting but rather intuited through the novels of Manuel Puig and the records of Piazzolla. The street I now inhabit has become a stage, full of...

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Ambassador Project | Timeframes Jan 30, 2015

by Monique

A project by Ambassadors Seth Garrison, Theresa Crim, Neil Ferron, Shin Yui Pai, and OtB Development Intern Matthew Manowski.

This project is a result o fa discussion about influences of film on our personalities and reality - specifically from the perspectives of an artist/creator. Mariano Pensotti works in fiction but yet part of his subtext realizes moments of real lives - for example, using the split stage in his work Cineastas. Our question became: How do the fictions we encounter as an audience influence or impact our reality?

Listen to their finished audio:
Timeframes I 

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Yeah Yeah Einstein Jan 30, 2015

by Erin Pike

Cineastas presented two worlds implying a third, that third one composed of a romanticized version of humanity and self-reflection (or self-absorption, depending on your mood).

My mood was kind of nostalgic and sappy and sure, self-absorbed, so I clung to a few moments as if they represented some type of sexy truth about my life that no one else knew.

Particularly relevant was a deeply-buried memory of how my first job ever was working at a McDonalds. The reason this memory came up will be pretty damn obvious about 30 minutes into the show.

So yeah I worked at McDonalds, I was 15. And you what know the exceptionally shitty thing was about that? I interviewed and didn't get hired. I didn't get hired at a fucking McDonalds. Like I was such an unforgivable waste of a human at that age that even McDonalds was like, "pass." 

Luckily, my friend's parents owned the local franchise so I told my friend's mom and she made a phone call and boom, I had my first...

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Notes scribbled during a performance of Cineastas, expanded upon and turned into ten rules to live by Jan 30, 2015

by Margo Lauritzen

  1. Two lives are more balanced than one. A double life is preferred, and keeps people guessing.
  2. Objects reconstruct life. Look around a space, how everything is placed tells our story.
  3. The juxtaposition of two things paves the way for a third idea. The superimposition of fiction upon a life creates a hybrid existence, clarified, rare, potentially immortal.
  4. Everything that belongs to us will someday be part of someone else’s film set.  Take as a case in point, adultery.  A husband or a wife is as apt to show up in someone else’s drama as an ascot or a handbag.
  5. There’s little time left.
  6. “To Moscow we must go!” Ever since Chekhov wrote Three Sisters, this expression has exemplified a longing for poetry and art and culture and a desire to escape the low-brow and the mundane.  In Cineastas, the character goes on to ask, “What will I do once I get there?”
  7. We see fictions.  We see our lives through fictional...

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The Work of Mariano Pensotti Jan 29, 2015

by Erin

What are the moments we wished we had lived -but we didn’t?
What are the songs that should have accompanied those unlived moments? 
How can we categorize the lives we could have had but we didn’t?

Observers at a train station. An encyclopedia of wishes. Six neighbors in an apartment building. Theater and death. James Joyce.
Pensotti's work encapsulates all this and more. 

Learn about his work, see photos and watch clips at his website. 

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"Could something be built in theatre that actually lasts?" Director Mariano Pensotti on Cineastas Jan 27, 2015

by Erin

I am the ultimate artist
My time is personal, excessive.
If a guy lives until he is fifty,
I want to spend fifty years filmmaking.
Leonardo Favio

I started with fiction and discovered the real;
but behind the real is again fiction.
Jean-Luc Godard

Only the ephemeral lasts.
Ingmar Bergman


Are works of art time capsules that preserve our ephemeral lives for posterity? Or are our lives actually the vehicles through which works of art become eternal, making us repeat the things that we’ve seen in them hundreds of times before? Do our fictions reflect the world, or is the world a distorted projection of our fictions?

Cineastas revolves around the stories of four filmmakers in Buenos Aires, and the four movies they film over the course of a year in this city. The performance...

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"It's remarkable how many films are made here" - Mariano Pensotti on Argentinian cinema and inspirations for Cineastas Jan 23, 2015

by Erin talks with Mariano Pensotti about the creation of Cineastas:

Cineastas began, the genre-jumping artist reveals, as a documentary project to interview filmmakers involved in Buenos Aires’s booming movie industry. “It’s remarkable how many films are made here and how much variety there is. They really reflect a city in the eyes of a filmmaker,” says Pensotti. “There has been a democratization of different classes of people to make movies. The mix of technology has changed but there has also been a strong contribution from the state in funding movies. There’s also been a generational change: people from other fields that are making movies, coming from theatre or literature.”

As Pensotti became more and more interested...

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