The Aura 

Directed by Fabián Bielinksy

The late Argentine director Fabián Bielinsky made his name with his late-blooming debut feature Nine Queens, a piece of genre machinery so well-oiled it was remade nearly shot for shot as 2004’s Criminal. The Aura, completed before his death this June of a heart attack, is similarly neat-o: an epileptic taxidermist (Nine Queens’s Ricardo Darin) with a latent knack for heist planning takes a hunting trip and ends up posing as the frontman on an armored car job. When it gets remade here, though, it’ll likely receive a serious boiling-down. The ailment and the occupation that define Darin’s character function solely to establish an air of portentousness (the title refers to an epileptic’s premonition of an imminent seizure), and he’s a mostly withheld presence in scenes shaped by narcotized pacing, a lunar palette, and a constant radiator thrum on the soundtrack. With all that atmosphere, it’s pretty hard to breathe; it hardly seems fair to flag the last work of a prematurely deceased artist for self-indulgence, but, well… there you go.

Opens November 17 at IFC Center

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