Shot in glorious, color-saturated, 35mm film and framed in the classic academy ratio, Jauja takes a basic Western scenario—a man rides off into the desert looking for his kidnapped daughter—and follows it to a point that defies elucidation, where what felt archaic proves to be timeless and the horse opera becomes a fairy tale. The film begins in 1882, with Danish military engineer Captain Dinesen (Viggo Mortensen) searching for his missing daughter Ingeborg across the starkly changing, hostile wastelands of Patagonia, but soon grows into a meditation on the very nature of time, space, and reality. With the sublime Jauja, Argentine auteur Lisandro Alonso takes a bold leap beyond the minimalist hyperrealism that made him a festival favorite and Viggo Mortensen confirms his reputation as one of the most adventurous movie stars of our era. Together they have created an offbeat masterpiece grounded in the history of cinema but ultimately a thing unto itself. Part revisionist Western, part metaphysical puzzle, Jauja is as open to interpretation as its desert landscapes are to the wind. But what cannot be questioned is its sheer beauty and grandly theatrical manner of placing the human figure in an ecstatic wilderness.

Lisandro Alonso

Lisandro Alonso, Fabián Casas

Viggo Mortensen
Viilbjørk Mallin Agger
Ghita Nørby
Adrian Fondar

Spanish, Danish
108 min.
France, 2014
Blu-ray, DCP, DVD

The Cinema Guild

$350 for Blu-ray and DVD
$450 for DCP