PRODS Sandra Gómez, Maximiliano Cruz
SCR/ED Nicolás Pereda
CAM Alejandro Coronado, Pedro Gómez
PROD CO Interior13 Cine / IMCINE
Nicolás Pereda makes films where fiction, documentary and experimentalism coexist, often in the same scene, often in the same take. To date, he has mostly worked with that Mexican axiom of cinema, Gabino Rodríguez, and Teresa Sánchez, who play son and mother. Reunited in Pereda’s latest, their partnership is expanded with the addition of the third variable of the family unit: the father. Greatest Hits takes on a theme of parental responsibility that’s typical of Mexican culture; it deals with the ramifications of the father’s return home after having split decades earlier. But, by shooting his interiors in cramped widescreen, Pereda has chosen a form for this subject that deals up front with the privileging of the processes of representation; he’s interested in spurring on a discussion about reality, and how we as viewers relate to it. Why are there two fathers? How much of the dialogue consists of the actors speaking as their characters, and how much are the actors talking about themselves? What exactly is going on here?
Scenes are repeated, with slight changes, linked by bursts of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Rehearsals are filmed, and written “rehearsals” are filmed, to the point that the characters—sometimes playing themselves—reach an emotional rawness. The term “Greatest Hits” comes from the CD that Gabino sells, whose endless list of romance songs he repeats throughout the film as an incantation, but it’s also an acknowledgment from Pereda that after this “best of” package, he’s primed for change.