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Esteban Sapir’s exhilarating black-and-white feature freely cribs from a century’s worth of silent-film auteurs, from Géorgès Melies to Fritz Lang to Guy Maddin. There’s an abundance of visual gamesmanship that’ll please film nerds—a handful of shots are explicit nods to A Trip to the Moon and Metropolis—but it’s all in service of a sweet and simple fable about our collective failure to communicate. Set in year “XX” (though the set design suggests the ’30s and ’40s), an unnamed city is almost completely silent and ruled by the local TV station, which seduces the populace with the vocals of the mysterious La Voz (Florencia Raggi). Her son, Tomâs (Jonathan Sandor), lacks both a voice and eyes, and the plot largely revolves around the efforts to literally bring him to his senses. The film’s message about the numbing powers of TV couldn’t be more obvious, but its riffs on gangster films and Lang’s angular cityscapes do right by the plot, and they’re visually compelling to boot. Sapir has great fun treating the Spanish intertitles like props: They float like vapor, spin like clock hands, and fill the screen during cries for help, mute yet loud as sirens.