City Paper is not for tourists.
We glimpse a gun in the first act of Hostage of Illusions, and another goes off in the last, but they belong to different women: The first is among a procession of discarded characters who haunt a successful Argentine novelist, Pablo (Daniel Fanego), in the film’s early moments; the second woman is his mistress Laura (Romina Ricci), a former student who is half is age, and who occupies his carnal attentions for the remainder of the film. And so what begins resembling a Charlie Kaufman story—an artist is tortured by his own creations—turns into something more out of Woody Allen, or, since the sex is abundant, let’s say Philip Roth: A writer, facing mortality and a sexless marriage, finds himself in an alluring and then sticky situation he can’t pen his way out of. What complicates this affair isn’t jealousies, but the fact that Laura’s, well, nuts: In one scene, she blasts music from her apartment at a nearby army barracks while marching back and forth in her underwear. Later, Pablo isn’t sure what to make of Laura’s increasing paranoia, or chooses to ignore it, even when her parents have her committed, because, in Subiela’s telling, that’s just what lust does to you. In the end, it’s a point the director punctuates with a bullet.
At 9 p.m. at Avalon Theatre; also on Sunday, April 10 at 5 p.m. at Avalon Theater and on Friday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. at AMC Mazza Gallerie.