International Film Industry – Argentina
This is a classic Argentinian film released in the summer of 1969, directed by perhaps one of the best directors that this country has ever given birth to; a sort of Argentine Ingmar Bergman, namely Leonardo Favio. It is definitely not an easy task to choose one film from the exquisite filmography built by Leonardo Favio. In any case, El Dependiente, (or “the clerk” if one is to translate it to English), released five years after the no less extraordinary Chronicle of a Boy Alone, stands as perhaps Leonardo Favio’s most overwhelming and hard work. Those who have seen the film, starring Walter Vidarte and Graciela Borges, will probably agree that, on a script level, not a lot seems to happen. However, the film is not built from an external point of view, but quite the opposite.
The story revolves around a man who simply awaits the arrival of that day when he will finally be able to become the owner of a hardware store. So here, the most relevant of the story is the internal, mental processes of the character, which are all contained within him and the way the camera captures that.
Leonardo Favio, who co wrote the screenplay with Roberto Irigoyen and Jorge Zuhair Jury (author of the homonymous book on which the film is based), appeals to economy of resources. This strategy enables the picture, the imagery to be put in the center of it all. From the initial credits and the opening sequence of the film, everyone already gets the sense of the film’s character, which can be summarized as the protagonist’s everlasting wait, as observed through music and a camera lens. The film is Favio’s representation of Statism, which is portrayed with a certain degree of poetical, yet nightmarish tone.