23 June 2005

peliculas con pasión

My impressions of the movie Bad Education. Click below if you want to read the post and don't mind hearing about the plot.

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This confused me for awhile, and I thought I might just be getting jaded, but that's not it. The problem is that the intricately twisting plot, in which every character, every scene and every relationship is doubled and redoubled, in a film script, a flashback or a fantasy about what might have been. When the terrifying Father Manolo is knocking one by one on the bathroom doors, it's like the knock on the door in Rear Window, or maybe the late-night bathroom crackdown in Apocalypse Now, and even when he's sitting behind his desk being blackmailed, you feel like he holds the cards. But then he follows Juan puppy-dog style to the film set, and when asked by Enrique to identify himself, self-consciously says "I'm the villain in your film." This right after we see that the claustrophobic office that had trapped Ignacio is part of a set that gets taken apart while the camera slowly zooms farther and farther out. So it's all very postmodern and fascinating, but emotionally totally pulls its punches. Then at the end Manolo has taken the place of Ignacio as the one desperate for love and for control, who tries blackmail and only ends up getting killed.

It's hard to really believe that anyone is suffering when the movie moves so fluidly between different realizations of the same drama. It's as though halfway through Schindler's List, the Jews went to Israel and started bulldozing Palestinian homes while the Germans started going to onion cellars to make themselves cry, and then AIDS victims in San Francisco adopted the onion cellar idea to deal with their own pain. Yes, they're all very tragic stories, but really it gets hard to take any of this stuff seriously after a while.

Still a really nice movie (beautiful, thought-provoking, well-acted) if you don't mind the passion not being there.

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