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Adam Neal Smith,
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Juan Carlos Ortuño,
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This movie is a work of art on several levels. But art is intended to stir some emotion and it should be fairly obvious that what stirs one person's emotions will often leave another person searching for the exits. I'm pretty sure that in order to be stirred by this movie, the minimum requirements would be that you are gay and that you have an attention span longer than that usually available to the proverbial gnat ... the latter requisite might prove an insurmountable hurdle for many younger viewers who tend to prefer reality shows, MTV and mirrors.
I know I would be unable to sit through over two hours of nothing but a small number of women interacting intimately no matter how beautiful they might be or how passionate. I very much doubt most heterosexual men, and maybe a majority of women, would be able to genuinely enjoy this film. That doesn't reflect negatively on the artistic merit of the film or the intellect of those reduced to fidgeting in their seats. "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like," at least the second part, is not always the signature line for cretins. No one should tell us what art we must like or that what we enjoy isn't really art.
While I lack the technical vocabulary to gush very meaningfully about the photography, I considered the use of varied backgrounds, light & shadow, focus, color and movement in this film to be amazing. Either the time & effort that went into the photography were monumental or the director and photographers are extraordinarily talented ... probably both.
But the acting was the real art. Over two hours with virtually no dialogue sounds like a recipe for disaster, but quite quickly you realize that words would just get in the way and dilute the emotional impact. Every movement, every bit of body language and every facial expression spoke far more eloquently than words would ever manage. At times I was reminded of a ballet, where music and movement, not spoken words, can express emotions so elegantly.
And at one point I definitely thought of opera, not least because Renee Fleming was singing an aria from Dvorak to accompany a beautifully photographed scene that might have gone well in Carmen or even Madama Butterfly.
I've seen a lot of gay-themed films that had no shortage of pretty much standard Hollywood one-size-fits-all emotion, passion, sex and intimacy copied from the hetero romantic mold and played out as you would expect ... heavily reliant on dialogue and histrionics... but in this movie every nuanced hesitation, misgiving, conflict, indecision, fear, self-doubt and most importantly the driving force of love faultlessly and consistently performed by these actors registered in my gut. Their chemistry, amongst themselves and with the viewer, was amazing.
For some people this movie will evoke goose bumps, tears and smiles. For others, not so much, but then the same thing can be said about most works of art.
My first viewing was on my computer monitor, but I've ordered the DVD so I can see this (several more times) on a somewhat larger platform ... although I suspect it might lose some of the intimacy and passion if shown on a much larger theater screen.
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