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Matías Piñeiro’s Viola

Matías Piñeiro, Viola, 2012, HD video, color, sound, 65 minutes. Photo: Cinema Guild

WITH A GROWING NUMBER of hybrid films drawing on the restless energies of documentary, the Argentinean writer-director Matías Piñeiro stands apart for asserting the latent possibilities of drama. Over four wholly distinctive films, Piñeiro has devised his own variant on interdisciplinary cinema, one that treats theater as a mutable raw material for film and insists on the cinematic qualities of text and language. If many recent art films have made prominent use of nonactors, typically cast as some version of themselves, Piñeiro’s beguiling, hyperverbal movies revel in the transportive potential—and sheer pleasure—of actors acting. Instead of rooting stories in the soil of the real, they emphasize the alchemical properties of fiction, the power of the written and spoken word to warp the world and generate their own reality.

Piñeiro’s latest film, the hour-long Viola, which

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