Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
5.7 rating is for a reason
This is a kid who gets all the money he wants (he can even wake his parents up in the middle of the night to ask for money, no problem), who goes regularly to brothels at age 13, who takes piano, tennis and karate lessons and doesn't seem to enjoy neither. And we are supposed to care for him because he has a fierce acne attack (for which, after seeing several specialists, he is taking the most expensive medicine in the market, without much improvement) and because he has never kissed a girl? Character identification really fails in this movie, and there's not much of an ironic distance, either.
Neither we learn much about the Jewish community in Montevideo, which is the supposed cultural backdrop. Well, maybe we do learn a couple of things: that they do fairly well, and that your classmates will laugh at you if your father happens to be a bricklayer.
This is not a badly made movie, only a pointless one.
El general (2009)
Difficult task, great accomplishment
What do you know about your great-grandfather? At best, some fragmented memories that you received from others. Now, imagine that your great-grandfather was the president of the country and you want to make a film about him. What do you do? The only thing you have are some old audio tapes where the president's daughter tries, not very successfully, to remember and portrait her father, and you don't really have any of the privileged access that one would assume for being a part of the family. This is the challenge that Natalia Almada had to face for this film.
Almada approaches the problem with grace and intelligence. More filled with questions than answers, the director tries to look at the past, as much as possible: she includes a good amount of historical footage, looks at period newspapers, and gets the most of the old tapes. But she also is at all times looking at the present, exploring the fascinating carnival and chaos that Mexico city is today. For some strange reason, the two lines of the documentary, the past and the present, although almost belonging to two different movies, end up matching quite well. It is the magic of film, or at least, of Almada's film.
A bullfighting story
Personally, I don't like bullfighting, but I don't hate it either, and that's what sort of happens to me with this film. The real story -with generous amounts of fiction, I suppose- of Mexican bullfighter Luis Procuna, from his childhood dreams to his initiation and consecration in the arena, from the terrible hazards of the job to the overcoming of the adversities and triumphal return. Half fiction, half documentary, it has a good mix of both, but otherwise is a simple story of success without interesting twist. The best parts are the ferocious spectators that are much harder to tame that the bull itself, and the sequence of the bullfighter's fear that keeps him far the bulls for a long time.
El círculo (2008)
Sure, there's been so many movies about the dictatorship years on Argentina and Uruguay in the 70s. But this is not just one more of them. This is the story of Henry Engler, a medical student at the time that got involved in the MLN Tupamaros guerrilla movement, became one of its high-rank leaders (number two, according to the press of the time), was caught and spent 13 years in prison, 11 of them in complete isolation. In 1985 he was released among hundreds of political prisoners, self-exiled to Sweden where he could finish his studies and, amazingly enough, became a prominent neurologist, leading state-of-the-art research about Alzheimer disease. The character is amazing for himself, the filmmakers follow him in his comeback to Uruguay, his public appearances, his re-encounter with former militants of the movement, his re-visiting of the barracks where he was held prisoner. He tells us amazing stories about his life, his imprisonment, and specially his sheer fight with madness. Highly recommended.
One thing you should learn in a film school is that if you want to find a good story to tell, you should just look around you. Yulene Ozazola understands this well, and she turns the camera on her grandmother, who is an amazing character. But it's not her own story which the director is interested about, but the story of an enigmatic young men called Jorge Riosse, painter, singer and schizophrenic who lived for eight years in her grandma's boarding house and became a very close acquaintance to her. Yulene keeps us interested in knowing more about the complex and contradictory sides of this mysterious character. She includes the defunct's recording, paintings and writings and interviews several people but focusing mainly in the testimony of her grandmother. Near the end, she surprises us with an amazing twist which she cleverly chose not to give away beforehand, although at this point we understand that this is what all the story was about. Yulene has a talent for choosing the right images and pulling them together, and this is what cinema is about, isn't it?
Los que se quedan (2008)
The talented son of Juan Rulfo delivers a fresh view of a fairly explored topic: the Mexican immigration to the US. But as the title makes clear, the directors choose this time not to follow the traveler, but those who he leaves behind. Every migrant is also a son, or a father, or a husband and sometimes he wants to take his family with him to the new country, other times he wants to come back for good, or perhaps only temporarily.
Rulfo and Hagerman explore all the variants of this basic story of separation, dreams of improvement, fulfilled or frustrated and loneliness. They do so by selecting different families from several regions of the country (the north, the south, the west) and accompanying them for quite some time, silently attending the comebacks and returns of their beloved ones, new births, social ceremonies and daily work. The editing is amazing, so is the music.
Juan Moreira (1973)
an Argentinean legend
This is an adaptation of a 19th century novel, which was in turn based in a real story. It's also the first Leonardo Favio film that I've been able to find. It tells the story of a 'gaucho', the rural population of the Argentinean provinces that in the nineteenth century are beginning to be swept by the expanding 'civilization', and who turns into a criminal, a 'bandido', and then starts to get involved in politics. The film's been beautifully shot, with very carefully thought compositions and a photography tending to the poetic or the picturesque. The story is romanticized and epicized, the acting is quite unsophisticated, but all in all, is an enjoyable film. 7 out of 10.
Bicycles and Civil War
Nice portrait of the Spanish Civil War, based on a play from the renowned actor-director-writer Fernando Fernán Gómez, "Las bicicletas son para el verano" is the story about a family and their neighbors and how their lives are completely transformed by civil war. Although most of the characters have only slight political preferences, they will be affected one way or another by the ups and downs of the conflict. Unlike some other films dealing with the Spanish Civil War, this movie is not about the opposing forces in conflict, but about the middle class citizens and their strategies for survival. Moral, sexual and family issues continue to occur during the war, but the approaches to deal with them have changed considerably. Great acting by Agustín Gonzalez as Don Luis. A very young Victoria Abril.