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D'A 2021

Review: ¡Corten!

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- In his zany fourth film, the cheeky Marc Ferrer yearns to be murdered in the style of a silly actress from an Italian horror film… And he almost manages it

Review: ¡Corten!
Marc Ferrer in ¡Corten!

Boasting the same transgressive, unbridled, sassy spirit of the early works of John Waters and Adolfo Arrieta, based around outrageous situations, dreadful actors, a shoestring budget, a lightning-fast shoot and a total lack of shame (and believability), Barcelona-born Marc Ferrer has gradually been building up a unique and colourful filmography, beyond the more accommodating and conventional boundaries of the Spanish film industry. His latest outing is called ¡Corten! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a movie lasting barely 78 (insane) minutes, which has just been presented at the 11th edition of the D’A Film Festival in Barcelona, in its Direccions section.

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With a shamelessly absurd idea serving as the driving force behind its mise-en-scène, ¡Corten! is a feature that possesses the wholesome virtue of not taking itself seriously even for a single second of its running time. Starring a cast of friends and with incredible appearances by the queer diva known as La Prohibida and a polysexual youth idol who’s all the rage at the moment, Samantha Hudson, one would also be forced to name Dario Argento as another character in this pop fever dream, as his famous lighting style featuring intense colours illuminates the film, which thus holds him up as a great source of inspiration. Also lurking around are those beautiful, glamorous characters of his – characters that nevertheless have low IQs, always venturing down dark, deserted alleyways and leaving the windows open so a murderer can easily climb in and carve them up.

But it’s not only giallo that Ferrer thrives on, because the Catalonian filmmaker also pays tribute to Pedro Almodóvar (and even Iván Zulueta’s Rapture) in endearing fashion. His admiration for them is clear to see, but it backfires, as it ends up being all too easy to recognise various elements of Bad Education, Volver and, above all, Law of Desire in ¡Corten!’s situations and dialogue. Because here, it’s a film director (Ferrer playing himself) sorely lacking in critical and commercial success who is the protagonist: engrossed in the production of and shoot for a movie steeped in blood and other bodily fluids, a series of real-life crimes point towards him as the prime suspect, while at the same time, a young – and gifted – actor from Madrid arrives in Barcelona, in the hope of getting to know him much better and obeying his every order.

However, the helmer behind low-profile but entertaining queer flicks such as Puta y amada, La maldita primavera [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Nos parecía importante tackles his fourth feature by injecting a new twist: through metafiction (which one of its stars savages mercilessly), he builds up a riotous form of self-criticism and rails against his work with the guts of a kamikaze pilot who, deep down, proudly makes himself out to be the gay grandchild of Jesús Franco.

“Because films need to be made… No matter what!” exclaims the main character at one point in the film: a very cocky slogan that Ferrer himself takes on board to the letter, like a tireless mouse, ever on the lookout for cheese. Not only is it terrific that he’s making them, but also that he has already built up a loyal audience and even his own trademark style, which fuses camp and B movie with unbridled send-up.

¡Corten! is a production by Filmin Originals, Canada and Películas Inmundas, the company run by Marc Ferrer himself. Its distribution and international sales are handled by Filmin.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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