April 1, 2011

Films / Películas (03-2011)

March is now over but I did manage to watch one film every day, which is something that I probably won’t be able to do next month, unless I include more short films. I had the opportunity to watch or re-watch classics such as Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Victim (1961), a brave production and a most controversial film in a difficult time, tackling an aspect of British law that would condemn homosexuals to be locked behind bars. To read a complete review on the latter please check the following IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055597/usercomments?start=30  

Other movies of interest were The Age of Innocence (1993), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), The Hanging Garden (1997) and Prick up Your Ears (1987) a British production based on the life of playwright Joe Orton and his neurotic relationship with an older man.

Now, in the international front we have interesting short-films such as Serene Hunter (2007) and VGL Hung (2007); and also films like Apo tin akri tis polis (1998), from Greece, that try to define nationality and sexuality. To read a complete review on it please check the following IMDB link http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181547/usercomments?start=10 however a movie like Skin Gang (1999) was a disappointment.

To choose French films this month I decided to focus on Stéphane Rideau a young actor that has worked with great directors, in several films including Les Roseaux Sauvages (1994), a riveting take on sexuality, war, desire and self-discovery (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111019/usercomments?start=10); À toute vitesse (1996), a story of a bisexual writer that seems to profit from gay outcasts (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118230/usercomments) ; Presque Rien (2000), a story that analyzes the nature of teenage desire and homosexuality (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0242795/usercomments?start=20).

Other French films of interest were Comme un frère (2005), which deals with narcissism, sexuality and self-discovery (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0470715/usercomments) and Juste un peu de réconfort (2004), about how to chase the object of our desire (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0404165/usercomments).

And to finish with the international section I also watched Sugar (2004), a Canadian production inspired by Bruce La Bruce's short stories about a world of male prostitution, heavy drugs and depravation starred by Andre Noble and Brendan Fehr one of the protagonists of the late 90s series Roswell (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0374252/usercomments?start=10); 2:37 (2006), an Australian film that deals with teenage suicide clearly influenced by Gus Van Sant; Tan Lines (2007) is also an Australian coming-of-age story, that deals with homosexuality in teenagers but done in such a way that it becomes fascinating from the very beginning. 50 ways of saying fabulous (2005) from New Zealand takes on teenage confusion and gender roles (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0429482/usercomments).

Getting back to American cinema, we have appealing films such as The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) and Dear John (2010). However, my passion for horror films forces me to emphasize other works such as Jennifer’s Body (2009), with lots of supernatural elements but also extraordinary incursions into humor, recommended if only for fans of Megan Fox and hellish creatures. I spit on your grave (2010) is a remake of a suspense story from the 70s, graphic and violent it sure deserves the attention of gore fans. Nevertheless, the best horror film I’ve seen this month is The Signal (2007), a film divided in three parts, directed by three talented filmmakers, each part has a different tone, black humor and suspense mingle perfectly in this highly recommended production.

Although if I had to choose my favorite films of the month I’d probably go with two: the first one would be Charlie Bartlett (2007), starring Anton Yelchin, a young actor that has succeeded in blockbusters such as Star Trek and Terminator Salvation, but that has also acted in independent films like Alpha Dog or series like HBO’s Taken; and other important works like Hearts in Atlantis with Anthony Hopkins. I highly recommend Charlie Bartlett. Do yourself a favor and watch it. And the second one would be Imaginary Heroes (2004), a remarkable story of a gay kid coming to terms with his own sexuality, interpreted by Emile Hirsch, another young actor with very noticeable and relevant roles in other films, definitely recommended too. Latter Days (2003) also includes one of my favorite young actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, subtly but firmly it analyzes the daily life of a Mormon teenager that is forced to deny his true sexuality until he meets a boy that exemplifies most of the clichés associated to gay people.

And at last but not least, Winter’s Bone (2010) is an independent American film that shows the dark side and misery of the US without being too preachy about it. I would say that The Fighter (2010) is in the same line, as it presents the reality of an impoverished American town and the ambitions of a boxer that seems doomed to failure. 127 Hours (2010) may not be my favorite Danny Boyle’s work but it has strong and intense moments, and the magnificent performance of James Franco. Invictus (2009) is a good Eastwood film. Unknown (2011) is quite an entertaining thriller that proves the ability of Catalan director Jaume Collat-Serra.

If you find my IMDB reviews useful please vote for them, I’d really appreciate that.

Terminó el mes de marzo, pero esta vez me las arreglé para ver una película por día. Quizá no logre mantener el ritmo en abril, a menos que incluya más cortometrajes, pero en todo caso en marzo pude ver (o volver a ver) clásicos como Rear Window (1954) de Hitchcock, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) y Victim (1961) una producción sumamente atrevida para la época, en donde se critica la legislación inglesa que en ese entonces condenaba a los homosexuales a ir a prisión. Para una reseña más detallada lean mi comentario en http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055597/usercomments?start=30  

Otras películas que me llamaron la atención fueron The Age of Innocence (1993), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), The Hanging Garden (1997) y Prick up Your Ears (1987), una adaptación inglesa de la vida del dramaturgo Joe Orton y su neurótica relación con un hombre mayor.

En el frente internacional vi dos buenos cortometrajes Serene Hunter (2007) and VGL Hung (2007); y también películas como Apo tin akri tis polis (1998), de Grecia, en donde la nacionalidad y la sexualidad son redefinidas (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181547/usercomments?start=10), lástima que vi también Skin Gang (1999) simplemente decepcionante.

A la hora de elegir películas francesas me concentré en el joven actor Stéphane Rideau que ha trabajado con talentosos directores en películas como Les Roseaux Sauvages (1994), una original interpretación sobre el deseo, la sexualidad y la guerra (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111019/usercomments?start=10); À toute vitesse (1996), relata el éxito de un escritor bisexual que aparentemente se aprovecha de gays marginados (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118230/usercomments); Presque Rien (2000) indaga sobre el deseo y la homosexualidad en dos adolescentes que se conocen durante el verano (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0242795/usercomments?start=20).

Otras películas francesas que pude ver fueron Comme un frère (2005) que encuentra una relación entre narcisismo y sexualidad (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0470715/usercomments) y Juste un peu de réconfort (2004) sobre el significado del objeto de deseo y cómo perseguirlo (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0404165/usercomments).

Y para acabar con la sección internacional, vi Sugar (2004) una producción canadiense insertada en un mundo de prostitución masculina, drogas duras y deprevación (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0374252/usercomments?start=10). 2:37 (2006), es una película australiana que aborda el tema del suicidio juvenil, con influencias de Gus Van Sant. Tan Lines (2007), también de Australia, narra la historia de amor entre dos adolescentes homosexuales de una manera tan original y fresca que uno se engancha desde la primera escena. 50 ways of saying fabulous (2005) de Nueva Zelanda es un magnífico trabajo sobre adolescentes confundidos y roles de género invertidos (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0429482/usercomments).

Regresando a la cinematografía norteamericana vi interesantes películas como The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) y Dear John (2010). Sin embargo, mi pasión por el cine de horror me fuerza a hacer énfasis en Jennifer’s Body (2009) con seres sobrenaturales y Megan Fox en un papel que se adapta muy bien al humor. I spit on your grave (2010) es un remake de una cinta de suspenso de los 70s, ideal para todos los fans del gore. No obstante, la mejor película de terror del mes es The Signal (2007) dirigida por tres cineastas, dividida en tres partes, cada una con un tono particular, suspenso puro, humor negro, etc., realmente recomendable.

Claro que si tuviera que elegir lo mejor del mes ya tengo dos candidatos: Charlie Bartlett (2007) protagonizada por Anton Yelchin, un joven actor que ha tenido éxito en Star Trek o Terminator Salvation, pero que también ha participado en cine independiente (Alpha Dog) o en series de HBO como Taken, así como otros trabajos importantes como Hearts in Atlantis con Anthony Hopkins, si pueden encontrarla, véanla. La otra alternativa sería Imaginary Heroes (2004) con Emile Hirsch, otro joven actor que escoge muy bien sus proyectos, en este caso interpreta a un chico que debe aprender a aceptar su propia sexualidad. Recomendable. Latter Days (2003) incluye a otro de mis actores predilectos Joseph Gordon-Levitt, esta película se enfoca en un joven mormón que se ve obligado a negar su verdadera opción sexual.

Y ya para terminar, también vi Winter’s Bone (2010) un gran ejemplo del cine independiente norteamericano, en la misma vena también se encontraría The Fighter (2010). Otras películas que me gustaron fueron 127 Hours (2010), Invictus (2009) y Unknown (2011).

Como siempre los invito a votar por mis reseñas en IMDB. Adelante.


  1. One of these days you need to explain me how do you manage to see that many movies in one month.
    I hardly find time to watch a medium of 3 or 4 per week.

    Um destes dias vais ter que me explicar como é que arranjas tempo para ver tantos filmes num mês.
    Eu dificilmente arranjo tempo para ver uma média de 3 a 4 filmes por semana.

  2. Well, keep in mind I'm not working so I have lots of free time !