Recalling Jean Vigo and other prodigious directorial talents whose lives ended well before their time, Argentinean helmer Fabián Bielinsky burst onto the scene at age 39 and died eight years later, leaving in his wake only a handful of shorts and two features -- all surrounded by international acclaim that suggests decades of untold, unrealized promise.
Born on February 3, 1959, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bielinsky had filmmaking in his blood from the word go. He started shooting films at 13, joined the ranks of the cinema group at Buenos Aires National High School, and helmed a short, Continuidad de los Parques, which he adapted from a story by Julio Cortázar. Bielinsky later attended the National Cinematographic Institute, where he crafted another well-received short, the follow-up La Espera. It not only enabled him to graduate, but won the prestigious first prize at the International Festival of Huesco in Spain. Bielinsky subsequently began his film career as an assistant director, and in the process threw himself head-first into the industry, contributing to around 400 commercials and several high-profile feature films including Marco Bechis' Alambrado, Mario Levin's Sotto Voce, and Carlos Sorin's Eterna Sonrisa de New Jersey.