Princess of France: Matia Pineiro’s New Film

Argentinean director Matías Piñeiro’s “The Princess of France,” revolves around a director of a small theatre company, which rehearses a production of Shakespeare’s of “Love’s Labor’s Lost.”

 

The strategy pf Pineiro, who’s known for his original and playful sensibility, is to draw parallels between the characters in the play and the real-lives of the actors, while commenting on the members’ passion, ambition, and commitment to the artistic process. As romantic intrigues unfold, they don’t just reflect the play, they also influence the production.

For Piñeiro, backstage drama offers its own significant artistic history. As such, it should not be just be looked at as merely secondary, or background, material but as first-rate dramatic experience.

The action takes place in streets and bedrooms, studios and museums.  The opening scene, a depiction of a soccer game in a Buenos Aires courtyard, is particularly impressive.  

The film’s running time is only 65 minutes, but the text and subtext are richly dense.  Using extended long takes and intimate close-tp suits well a tale that is dull of false starts and endings.  The director, returning to a city he left behind, spends a good deal of time running into ex-girlfriends.