Thursday, October 28, 2004

sunday afternoon and latin american movies.

After what feels like eras ago since the last, I fin'lly got to click open my DVD-ROM and load some long-stacked, oh-well-bootleg-yeah-but-what-the-hell-it-kicks-ass kind of movies. That's all I needed to turn an idly bumming Sunday afternoon into a somewhat orgasmic, well-spent time.

The whole thing turned out to be a Long Live Latin American Filmmaking (or something like that) two-feature festival. Fahrenheit 9/11 was supposed to be included but curse piracy for making poor quality pirated products! My PC won't read the DVD. I had it returned but what they give me as a replacement still doesn't darn work.

So I ended up with, as I've said, two films: the Brazilian Cidade de Deus (City of God) by Katia Lund/Fernando Meirelles and the Mexican El Crimen del Padre Amaro (The Crime of Padre Amaro) by Carlos Carrera.

Here are my takes on 'em. Don't worry, these are spoiler-free munches. Fat-free even.

Cidade, as of this writing, is top 23 of IMDB's Top 250 Movies of All Time and it's been getting rave-oh-rave reviews. These reviews, I thought, live up in soaring heights with where I feasted my eyes on for two hours. I love films that give early generous treat to the audience with its opening. Grandiose, ball-grabbing screen starter. It can be with how they present the cast or how they lay down the foundation of the plot. Cidade's opening owned me with the first scene. Domesticated scenes that was miraculously turned into a chaotic, gripping kickstart. Not to mention, that the look and feel of the setting being introduced felt so Pinoy. With just the first few sequences, the camera was so already everywhere. The filmmakers gave their audience soon enough what they're about to experience. And it's like telling, This is what this stuff is made of, you should know what you're up to! Brave, brave filmmaking.

What you have at the back of your mind after being so absorbed with the movie's appetizers is one thing: consistency. And what the f*ck, Cidade delivered! Hence, the bravery! It was brave for them to give out a fine start to think that no waterfall approach will work; they have to be consistent althrough out. But as I've said, the movie delivers! Unwaveringly. After watching it, I remember what Jessica Zafra said in one of the articles in Twisted 6, Why is it that good movies are always about violence? If not violence, drugs? Cidade is, apparently, about both. Word-deprived, I wonder the same as Ms. Zafra as I stared at the rolling credits on my computer screen.

I temporarily emptied my head about Cidade after watching it; to give way to my next watch. Okay honestly, the very first reason why I bought Padre Amaro was -- need I say it? -- Gael Garcia Bernal. Oh boy! I am yet to see Y Tu Mama Tambien and Amores Perros though. This man really chooses his projects very well. Padre Amaro was no exception. With some flubs like some dragging scenes and predictable turn of events, I still think it's a good drama. Or maybe I'm just partial to this drop-dead hotness called Gael. But what can I do? Can't help it! I can't even give out a decent review of this film as what's in my mind is only Mr. Bernal's luscious screen presence. So before this becomes all too erotic, let's end it here. All I'm saying is that you would want to see this, if not for the dynamic and powerful characters in the movie, then at least just to see Gael bare-chested. Errr.


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1:53 PM  

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