Like Wild Strawberries, to which it's heftily indebted, The Window is an exploration of mortality and memory, a movie built around a big day in the life of a moribund old-timer as he steers toward some sort of closure. Argentinean director Carlos Sorin handles it gracefully, imbuing a measure of poetry into the simple story through extended stretches of silence and richly composed frames. Still, how many quiet films about dying old men do we need? Sorin, though, saves the film from banality by always keeping one eye on the relationship between life and cinema—The Window doubles as a challenging movie about the movies’ capacity for affording immortality.
Antonio Larreta, a noted screenwriter, plays Antonio, a helpless dotard tethered to his IV and thus to his bedroom, where a five-foot trip from the bed to a writing desk requires the extensive effort and preparation that the able-bodied might apply to overseas travel. His nurses tell him what he can eat, where he can sit, what he can wear, where he can go. They deny his nearly every wish. As a character study of a sickly man, The Window intricately chronicles life’s aural minutiae and the gravitas they assume when one is knocking at death’s door. Sorin accentuates the sound of a bee’s legs clicking against a windowpane, the buzzing of flies, and, especially, the unceasing tick-tocks of a clock and the thudding pulses of a pendulum: rhythmic reminders of impermanence, time’s irreversible march.
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