El Profe is a Funny, Awkward, Erudite Treat

By  · Published on November 18th, 2016

Short of the Day

The film is loosely based on a scene from Don Delillo’s revered novel White Noise

Communication and how it can both bring us together and set us apart, and the way small talk can bridge into larger conversations are two of the themes at the heart of El Profe (The Professor), a short film from writer/director Gus Gavino which takes as its loose inspiration a scene from Don Delillo’s novel White Noise, as well as the films of Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki.

In El Profe, a nebbish American is taking Spanish lessons from a tutor of Latin descent. When the lesson ends, however, their causal conversation morphs into something much more personal as the tutor starts to divulge detail after intimate detail about his personal life while his student can only stand, listen, and try to make sense of how a conversation about pronouncing his “r”s has turned into this.

Shot with only two actors (Joaquin Rodriguez as the tutor and Erik Martin as the tutee) in a single space, Gustavo makes much out of little, keeping the audience entertained with his fluid and poignant camera work as the actors feed off of one another’s nervous energy with a result that is simultaneously squeamish and humorous. And by film’s end, what began as a ordinary encounter has transformed into something way, way beyond that.

The film premiered online at – a must-bookmark location for fans of grassroots, unimpeded, honest films from a variety of voices – and deserves to be shared far and wide across your social media platforms. So check it out and share, then get thee to NoBudge, there’s some more amazing stuff like El Profe over there and new flicks, both shorts and features, are released weekly.

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