Los Barbaros (EXTRACT) from Francesco Pedraglio on Vimeo.

Los Barbaros (‘The Barbarians’) (2015) is the recording of a live event, a non-choreographed, spontaneous performance that takes place at the Villa Pedregal on the outskirts of Mexico City from a Saturday afternoon to the early hours of the following morning. With no script, no storyboard and no specific instructions to the participants, twenty acquaintances are invited to dine, drink and talk, to freely roam and rummage around the vast house and its garden, to leave whenever bored or invite other friends to join. Meanwhile, a camera discreetly records the event by adapting to the occurrences and reacting to the unexpected developments of the evening. As night takes over, drunkenness and tiredness ease away social restraints and reservations, overcoming shyness and slowing down reactions.

For this first edit of the film, the narrative is developed though the use of only two voices, two abstract characters speaking over the top of the images: the voice of the house (a rational voice, the voice of the act of writing, of creative ordering) and the voice of the night (an aggressive, instinctual utterance, the gut irrational feeling ascribed to certain kinds of fiction). The two monologues, albeit similar, never completely overlap; one fades slowly onto the other, both maintaining a certain distance from the event itself, menacing and yet oddly remote, disconnected from the real action, even gratuitous.

Some stills from the film.