Flânerie

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Writing Space

The singular utterance that introduces Cartas de la Soledad’s trailer foregrounds the crisis of spatial transience. This somberly pronounced proclamation of placelessness thickens with the very language of its articulation – Spanish – as it echoes within the confines of an old Spanish house, itinerant against local space.  The voice of the transient subject haunts the montage of its interiors, a specter accompanying us, cut through cut, from the house’s shadowy, obscured spaces to its lamp-lit artifacts. The visual movement finds its climax on the image of pen and paper, only to be cut dramatically by the directorial credit still written in Spanish against the black background.

From the darkness of this interruptive shot, we find the character writing by lamplight, visually reminiscent of the quintessential ilustrado writing to conjure the memories of the faraway homeland, writing in order to supplant his physical absence with a narrative self. This, the act of writing, already loaded by the semantics of the title (literally letters of solitude), we are shown, is the attempt at salvaging the lost space, and consequently, his lost identity. But how does one make sense of a concrete space when the constructing self is in itself in a state of spatial liminality?