But it’s Larraín’s English-language debut Jackie that western audiences perhaps know the director best for. The Jackie O drama starring Natalie Portman as the former first lady is rich and absorbing to a transcendental level, and though it had a low success rate in the awards season, Larraín has since found his fans.
After the short detour to the States, Larraín has returned to his home country and reunited with Bernal for Ema, a family drama which descends into something more unsual. This is par for the course for Larraín, who has always played around with genre conventions to uncover something simultaneously introspective and ambitious.
The titular character, played by Chilean actress Mariana Di Girolamo, is a dancer married to Bernal’s choreographer. When their relationship is damaged beyond repair after an unthinkable incident involving their adopted son, they go their separate ways as Ema rediscovers her street dancing roots.
As is expected, the symbolic power of dance plays an integral role in Ema. 'Instead of yelling, they go out and dance,' Larraín told Indiewire last year. 'They’re expressing themselves by leaving a trace on the city. It’s very visual.'
The film is competing for the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, but it will also make an appearance at the London Film Festival this October as the Festival Gala. For now, revel in the film's visceral and hypnotic first trailer.
|What||Ema: Gael García Bernal and Pablo Larraín reunite for Chilean dance drama|
11 Oct 19 – 11 Oct 20, TIMES VARY
|Price||£ determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|