An experience of time in a highly intimate and original style
Who said that one must have a screen play first and then add the images to make a film? How about having visual images first and then thinking about what narrative can build out of the images? Well, the Mexican director Jonás Cuarón's first feature AÑO UÑA is exactly such an experiment. This, however, is not the only refreshing aspect of this film. Unlike other experimental films which can be disturbing, AÑO UÑA demonstrates that an experimental film can simultaneously be light (a love story between a horny teenage Mexican boy Diego and a twenty-something American girl Molly) and personal (Diego is Cuarón's younger half-brother and Molly Cuarón's girlfriend). With thousands of pictures he took during a year of his life but no prewritten script, Cuarón was totally free to compose the narrative. Viewers have to remain patient for the first few minutes (as the film begins slowly with a sequence of his beautifully shot photos) before the story gradually unfolds. By literally imposing a fictional narrative onto reality (spontaneous slices of daily lives), Cuarón's AÑO UÑA makes us rethink the relationship between fabrication and reality. Composed of only photographs and dialogues, AÑO UÑA is probably not considered a film. Strictly it is not a film. It is more than a film, as it offers us an experience of time in a highly intimate and original style. The delightfully funny comments about the cultural differences between America and Mexico as well as about growing up are assets of the film.
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