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María José Alfonso
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Such an inconsequential event - the unfortunate purchase of a package of cling film - reveals the character and behavior of a small group of individuals caught up in the chaos of today's society. Though it creates arguments and inner questioning, this event - and its various consequences - also creates bonds.
On a hot day in a highway gas station men's room, a man Michel doesn't recognize says they went to school together. He's Harry. He suggests they have a drink, so he and his girlfriend follow Michel and his family to their summer place. Michel is amazed when Harry quotes from memory a poem Michel wrote in school. Harry thinks Michel is a great writer, and he's distressed that Michel hasn't written in years. Harry stays awhile (since his father's death, he's a man of leisure) and sets out to eliminate distractions that might keep Michel from writing. First he buys Michel a car (with air conditioning) and then suspicious things happen. Michel picks up a pen, Harry is gratified, but he's not finished being Michel's self-appointed patron. Written by
The thing I appreciated most about this movie was the still moments, so unlike the average bombastic Hollywood product that never has a stop-and-listen moment, a stop-and-consider moment or a stop-and-feel moment. (Ever notice in American movies of the last ten years, even when the characters are stopping to think --rare as THAT is-- there is a veritable tempest of Wagnerian bluster on the sound track. Mainstream movies have gotten to where they never, NEVER shut up and let up, even for a moment; you must be manipulated every second you are in the theater. I walk out of "intense" movies, not exhausted, but rather, quite vexed by the hammy, heavy-handed obviousness of it all. --And a little deafened, usually, besides.)
There was nothing obvious in this film. At the end, you feel closure, and yet you are free to wonder at exactly what Harry's behavior meant and about the origins of his unique world-view. That is a thing to treasure, a movie that knows enough what it is about to offer closure, yet leave your mind free to wander over the relationships and lives of the people you have just watched briefly from a distance, and reflect on possible meanings.
A wonderful film.
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