The story of an android that raises alive in the deepest caves of the mayan zone in México and meets and old dying man. They will stablish a spiritual bond than enlightens the old mayan and... See full summary »

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Urara Kusanagi ...
Vera
Marco Antonio Arzate ...
Juan
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The story of an android that raises alive in the deepest caves of the mayan zone in México and meets and old dying man. They will stablish a spiritual bond than enlightens the old mayan and helps him to release himself out of his withered body. Written by <haizel@loquesea.com>

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16 May 2003 (Mexico)  »

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Вера  »

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A revelation
15 April 2003 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

Vera is a visionary tour de force that evokes the exhilarating cinematic madness of surrealist mindbenders like Jean Cocteau, David Lynch, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Andrei Tarkovsky. While possessing its own psychedelic loopiness, Vera definitely takes its place among classic "head movies" as El Topo, Viva La Muerte and Eraserhead.

Vera, while having a profound inner intelligence, follows the seemingly random flow and rhythm of dreams. Whether it posseeses meaning or not (it does), Vera needs no justification. Like all great art, the act of seeing is enough. Vera 's plot is minimal: an old man is trapped in a cave, the walls and ceiling of which have collapsed. The man may or may not have been killed. What follows could be a dream, a shaman's ayahuasca vision, a death trip, let your imagination take you where it may. What we see is a blue-skinned extraterrestrial/ally/guide, the Virgin Mary, hot Aztec sex, a dancing skeleton, a severed penis, a digitized Jesus and a myriad of tryptamine-like hallucinations, visions and symbols. Vera might be interpreted as a passage through death - a Bardo experience that kaleidoscopically spins out images of the afterlife, including those of the Tibetan and Egyptian Books of the Dead, Mayan myth, the binary code and Catholic purgatory. Director Athie's cosmic point of view exists in the same realm as Carlos Castaneda's peyote trips, Artaud's yage meta-mindf*cks and shroom guru Terence McKenna's dmt-fueled riffs on the links between Mayan symbolism and visitors from outer space. On the visual tip, Athie has made magical use of natural locations: awe-inspiring scenes of the mountains of Yucatan and some fantastic underground caverns. Brilliant cinematography and seamless computer-generated imagery add to the overall lysergic intensity of Athie's vsion. If you're interested in seeing what kind of movie Spielberg or Lucas might create after eating a few dozen psilocybin mushrooms, seek out Vera. It is a cult classic just waiting to be discovered.

Vera features a stunning performance by Urara Kusanigi, a world renowned butoh dancer. Her otherwordly beauty and ethereal grace is reminiscent of the female ghosts in Kwaidan. She got her weight down to 57 pounds for her role as the blue-skinned guide. The film was shot by Ramon Saurez, the cinematographer of such classics as Alea's Memeories Of The Underdevelopement, Arrabel's Guernica and Ruiz's Darkness At Noon.

Vera was the big hit of the Taos Talking Picture Festival. It sold out all of its screenings and created an enormous buzz among filmgoers.

Marc Campbell


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