10 items from 2011
"The circus is tough and beautiful" says Tino, the ringmaster and central character of Aaron Schock's documentary Circo (2010), charting the ups and downs of a Mexican troupe. One could say the same of Schock's film. The film follows the Ponce clan, who have worked in the circus for over a hundred years but mounting debts and Mexico's erratic economy strain both the business and family life.
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- Daniel Green
If you have ever had an illusory dream to join the circus, Circo, a documentary film by Aaron Schock, will dispel any myths about the reality of what it takes to live life in the ring. Filmed throughout rural Mexico, Circo is a bittersweet portrait of the Ponce family, and life in a traveling circus. Exploring both the economic and cultural pressures facing their traditional way of life, the film expressively captures the ups and downs of a life on the road in rural Mexico.
A century-old family business, the Ponce family circus has survived extinction thus far, due to the dedication of its family members. In order to ensure its long-term survival, the circus requires a no-exit policy. But much to the chagrin of Grandma and Grandpa Ponce, the owners and solo shareholders of the family circus, with love comes marriage and with marriages comes the possibility of losing a valuable circus member. »
- Clare Halpine
The baseball season has begun, but the weather in most of the country still frustratingly refuses to move forward into actual spring. That's why this weekend might be best spent at your local cinema, and luckily there are plenty of options at your disposal. In addition to some still-around must-sees like "Jane Eyre" and "Rango," there is a lot opening this weekend. You could check out the haunted house movie "Insidious," which is directed and written by the team of James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the creators of the first "Saw" flick. There's also "Super," the dark indie action comedy featuring "The Office" star Rainn Wilson as a wannabe masked hero. Another option is "Hop," the animated adventure starring Russell Brand as the Easter Bunny. And if you're tastes are extra-indie, there's the action comedy "Cat Run," the devastating cyber-stalking flick "Trust," the Mexican circus documentary "Circo" (which features music »
- Kyle Anderson
Contemporary circus life hasn’t changed much from the previous century. Families still pass down acts from generation to generation, and troupes still rely on sensationalistic attractions like “The Spectacular Globe Of Death” to draw in the rubes, and on sickly sweet refreshments to pad out their take. The troupe featured in Aaron Schock’s documentary Circo is more family-bound and archaic than most. For over 100 years, the Ponce family have been circus folk, scattered into small ensembles that that tour the parts of Mexico where people are often too poor to pay admission. One of those circuses, Gran »
Under the big top world
We all need the clowns to make us smile
Through space and time
Always another show
Wondering where I am
Lost without you -- "Faithfully," by Journey
Those Jonathan Cain lyrics kept flashing through my mind while I watched "Circo," a melancholic documentary about the slow dissolution of a Mexican circus family. To the folks in the stands, the circus is excitement and thrills. To the men, women, and children who run that circus it's a job, and not an especially glamorous one, either. Like Steve Perry sang, there's always another show, and that grind takes its toll.
The family grinding away is the Ponces who have operated the Circo Mexico for decades. Three generations of Ponces work the circus; patriarch Don Gilberto inherited the life from his own father and his three siblings each have their own traveling circuses as well. Though Gilberto runs the business, »
- Matt Singer
By Sam Weisberg - April 1, 2011
From its premise alone, "Circo," Aaron Schock's documentary about the struggles of a traveling, multi-generation family circus, seems to have "small" written all over it. With all the horror stories you hear about crime, poverty and industrial exploitation in Mexico, a story about one little tight-knit brood, acting out this insufferably cheesy form of entertainment seems doomed to fade fast in the memory. And yet, clocking in at a slender seventy-five minutes, "Circo" achieves an abundance of chilling, unforgettably sad moments—perhaps more than a probing exposé on the current state of rural Mexico would.
Among them: a camel dies, most likely from exhaustion, and is laid to rest unceremoniously in an open field. A pre-teen child, his arms and pecs prematurely ripped, tries in vain to hammer down a tent spike, petrified that his errors will anger his father. In two non-consecutive scenes, »
- Screen Comment
Opening Friday at IFC Center, Aaron Schock's Circo draws back the curtains on a hardscrabble family circus struggling to stay intact despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and a simmering family conflict. Circo follows the Ponce family along the winding backroads of rural Mexico where they have lived and performed for over a hundred years. Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead his parents' circus to success. Undeterred by Mexico's collapsing rural economy, he corrals the energy of his whole family, including his four young children, towards this singular goal. But Tino's wife Ivonne is determined to make a change. She feels exploited by her in-laws - who appear to be the only ones to benefit from the family's hard work - and laments over the childhood her kids have lost to the circus. Through this intricately woven story of a marriage in trouble and of a »
This interview with "Circo" director Aaron Schock was originally published during indieWIRE's coverage of the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival. "Circo" hits select cinemas this Friday, April 1. Gorgeously filmed along the back roads of rural Mexico, "Circo" follows the Ponce family's hardscrabble circus as it struggles to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and a simmering family conflict. Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead »
Circo, a documentary that follows a family-run Mexican circus, was shot by a one-man crew made up of first-time feature director, Aaron Shock. After a successful tour of the festival circuit, First Run Features is releasing Circo in New York on April 1st. But, you can get a look at the trailer now:
Gorgeously filmed along the back roads of rural Mexico, Circo follows the Ponce family’s hardscrabble circus as it struggles to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and a simmering family conflict. Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead his parents’ circus to success and corrals the energy of his whole family, including his four young children, towards this singular goal. But his wife Ivonne is determined to make a change. Feeling exploited by her in-laws, she longs to return to her kids a childhood lost to laboring in the circus. Through »
- Kristy Puchko
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers? Circo Trailer Here in the southwest I think you can take a band like Calexico for granted. They have a dusty, desert charm that draws »
- Christopher Stipp
10 items from 2011
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