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Social Isolation

Pretty easy to do, I've been doing it my entire life. This my dear reader is a lifestyle... and also a class privilege, but that's for a different moment, I've been having a bunch of homework lately, but I do find time to watch some films and listen to some podcasts and books, sadly not enough to update this site, but I'm waiting 'till spring break to do it.

What has Poncho been watching/listening/reading?

Chavela (2017)

Directed by: Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi
Genre: Documentary, Archive

"Chavela is an unforgetable figure, with an artistic legacy that goes through all Europe, through the entire American continent, and far away, this film, builds the biography of Chavela Vargas, through video archives, photographs and interviews with everyone she was in touch, from how her parents abandoned her because she was a niña-niño ("she-male") and how she eventually found a refuge in las rancheras, one of the most prominent music genres of Mexico in the 40's, characterized for it's countless aparitions in the Mexican Golden Age Cinema, Chavela recalls, how she tried to start a career just like any other female, but then realized that wasn't normal for her, so she became, the first woman who sang love song to other women, after that, the film delves on her time in the oblivion, how alcoholic she became and how that became a threat to her health, it recalls how she restarted a career when everyone thought she was dead, and how she was called to Spain where she meet with Pedro Almodovar and friends, who helped her restablish a career, filling theathres even in France where she was unknown, the film does it in such an emotional way, supported for the most part in the way that Chavela tells her own story, in a fashion characteristic only to poets, in a way that feels surreal, Chavela is one of the most emblematic women of the mexican music landscape, and without her, with a huge ammount of work that can reach the depths of any listener, and this film, does retell in that exact same vain, what Chavela represented."

Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997)

32/39

Da 5 Bloods

"Da 5 Bloods" was reviewed on Cinema para promedios

La libertad del Diablo

8 ½ (1963)

The Rose of Versailles (1979-1980)

"The Rose of Versailles better known as Lady Oscar (Because of the same year version by Jacques Demy), tells the story of a fictitious royal guard, leader of a group whose job was to protect Marie Antoniette of Austria, Oscar was born a female, however, her father, real-life character, the General François Augustin Regnier de Jarjayes, wanted to have a son, so he decides to grow Oscar as if she where a man. Oscar grows to become a beautiful androgynous female that enchants males and females, even from a pretty young age. The first half is quite entertaining, with nicely made battles and infatuating characters that surround the spectator in a fictional France that looks like a dream, this first half makes a wonderful work in leaving something pretty clear, Versailles was a bubble of privilege, where nobody knew the outside happenings, it also depicts the hell that aristocracy represented and how even if it was not put in the world had a strong political power that could even lead to wars. However, the second half deviates from the development Oscar had made in the previous first half, only to establish Oscar as a person pretty comfortable in the aristocracy, which is kinda contradictory to the first half of the show, but whatever, and starts paying attention to the romantic interests, and not so much to the character development of Oscar to a revolutionist. The first half was very fun and interesting, but the second half felt quite dishonest, even in the reasons for which Oscar decides to battle in favor of the people, and used abusive actions and grooming actions as a device to represent one of the characters romantic interests in Oscar, you may say that it was the '70s but those actions appeared in this version and where romanticized a lot. This version wanted to take us to a place, especially with the whole metaphor the entire work represents but eventually didn't land that well."

June 29, 2020: Reconsidering the text, lately I've been thinking about the last half and have been finding a lot of stuff, however, I need to think about it even more.

Ya no estoy aqui (2020)

Writen and directed by: Fernando Frias
Cinemaography by: Damián García
Genre: Drama

"Ya no estoy aquí" was reviewed on Cinema para promedios
"I'm no longer here is set in the city of Monterrey, one of the biggest Mexican cities, but more specifically, in the lower class neighborhoods of the cities, where during the late '2000s early '2010s a contra cultural movement began, centered in the so-called enjoyment of a subgenre of cumbia known as "Kolombia", their followers had a pretty particular way of dressing, one directly inspired in the Californian Chicanos and Cholos, but that went further to differentiate itself from those. The protagonist is Ulises, the leader of a group named "Los terkos", after a misunderstanding with a local gang, Ulises is forced to escape into the States, where he settles in New York, Ulises is an odd fellow there, from his very characteristic haircut to his peculiar musical tastes, he's a total misfit, not even fitting between the group of Latinos that live in the pluricultural New York, eventually, Ulises meets Lin, the daughter of a Chinese man who has a small grocery store, Ulises doesn't speak English, Lin doesn't speak Spanish, but somehow they connect. The film is very sour-sweet, with it's huge and lovely reminiscence of a past that will never be again, two cities that neglect, two countries that reject, a conglomeration of cultures where not even the oddest ones find hope in. You should check it out, it's streaming on Netflix everywhere."

Bellas de Noche (2016)

Writen and directed by: Maria Jose Cuevas
Genre: Documentary

"Beauties of the Night follows a small group of ladies who used to be showgirls in the '70s, women who jumped to fame thanks to their talent, their physical appeareance and their constant apparitions in a type of cinema particular to Latin America sometimes called "Cine de Ficheras", while the genre was also popular in Europe, in Mexico it took a pretty particular low budget style that reminisces more of the techniques that would become overused in future evolutions of the Telenovela. The women in the film are still active, some still dance and give shows, but the movie makes sure to clarify that these women are not only that, they have families, hobbies, interests, some are activists, some write."

Vampyros Lesbos (1971)

Directed by: Jesus Franco
Writen by: Jaime Chávarri, Jesús Franco
Genre: ¿?

"If there's one way to describe this movie, is defining it as kitsch art: a good looking film, in photography and colors, with pretty actresses, and a nice soundtrack that overall amounts to an absolute lack of narrative sense and artistic meaning. Vampyros Lesbos is super entertaining and overall a good experience with a good dose of soft porn that does not go further than some homosexual erotic scenes. The film is not particularly good, but at least it was entertaining.

Muriel, ou le temps d'un retour (1963)





Have you heard of this, hum... it's pretty alternative, I think it's called public television.

Writen and directed by: Alain Resnais
Cinematography by: Sacha Vierny
Genre: Drama

"Just like most of Resnais work, Muriel reflects on the war and the horrible brute force soldiers made people from other countries suffer, but not just that, it also evaluates how the war breaks people, the hypocrisy that these men developed. In this town everyone has a turbulent past, and this eventually comes back when Hélène reencounters with an older lover, this man accompannied by his cousin, a woman of almost the same age as Hèlene's stepchild. This is a difficult film, I might need to rewatch it."

La vérité (2019)

Directed by: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Genre: Drama, Comedy

"The truth is a film that is in the other extreme to Shoplifters, the previous film from Kore-eda, an actress, interpreted by the unforgetable Catherine Deneuve, has published a book of memories, reaspn why her entire family came to France to celebrate, however, her daughter, is quite intrigued by her book and while going through it discovers, that the book The truth is actually not the truth. A battle starts to develop, between a mother who never knew how to be affectionate and a past where she never made her emotional needs meet, a tall pile of sadness that eventually became the body of a strong acting portfolio. The truth was quite heartwarming, and so much simpler than Manbiki Kazoku, Kore-eda elaborates a funny and quirky story of redemtion, and in the same way as Shoplifters, a few characters esence is shared, the kids bewilderment, the carelesness and turbulence of a learning father, and a mother that perhaps knows too much. La Verite it's in the same aesthetic as Shoplifters, same tones and sequences shot during sunsets and dawns. Not particularly french, but not particularly stereotypical storytelling, neither in american nor japanese story structures.

Flor en Otomí (2012)





This film doesn't have a title card.

Written and directed by: Luisa Riley
Genre: Documentary, Interview

"This film tells the story of a woman, named Deni, who in the 70s' -during an era of mexican history known as "La Guerra Sucia"- tells her parents that she's leaving and that "she'll come back later", and just like that, Deni, the daughter of academic inmigrants from the US, joined to a communist resistance that batled for the people's rights. Through interviews to the relatives of Deny, the film develops the biography of a female, and how she became an important figure in their group of revolutionaries, and how it all eventually led to her death. Flor en otomí is elaborated as a tale of love, not as much about Dení, whose name means flower in otomí, it's actually the story of how people felt about her, and what she believed in."

8 femmes (2002)

Written and directed by: François Ozon
Cinematography by: Jeanne Lapoirie
Genre: Musical Comedy, Mystery

"I reviewed this one on Cinema para promedios. Long story short, I really liked it, it was so much fun."

Fallen Angels (1995)

Written and directed by: Wong Kar-wai
Cinematography by: Christopher Doyle
Genre: Drama

"A sequel in essence to Wong's Chungking Express, this one goes over the story of a hitman and a woman who worked for him, without ever seeing each other, they start to long for one another, and the story of a man who doesn't speak a single thing, whose personality is almost maniac and somehow manages to make some money, he knew a woman, she saw her constantly and somehow started feeling something about her. Fallen Angels is a weird and pretty different film to the rest of Wong's work, I really liked it. Also, the non-speaking guy reminded me of a person I constantly found on the streets and creeps the f out of me."

Shanghai Express (1932)

Directed by: Josef von Sternberg
Writen by: Jules Furthman, Harry Hervey

"The story of a prostitute living in Shanghai who re-encounters with an old lover on the Shanghai Express, the ride seems to be going smoothly even if there are a few eccentric characters on the train, until they're intercepted by a group of revolutionists. The film doesn't fear to be eccentric, and as it should be expected by the pre-code Hollywood, it portrays kind of controversial characters and topics, the film is funny at times and thrilling and confusing most of the times. Also, it's always a pleasure to see Anna May Wong's acting."

The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

Writen and directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

"One of the least favorite Miyazaki works of Miyazaki is this story of Lupin the 3rd, this story presents a more cartoonish and light-hearted version of the already well-known protagonist of the story and the rest of it's cast, the film is elaborated as a thrill ride, with highly energetic sequences and a well-elaborated, but kinda simple, the mystery about a man who lives in a big castle and wants to force a woman into marrying him. The film is quite entertaining, fun and while not one of my favorite interpretations of the characters of the franchise, it keeps fairly close to what many consider the essence of those characters."

Claire's Camera (2017)

Writen and directed by: Sang-soo Hong

"A story about a Korean woman who is working on Cannes, she's mysteriously fired there without any explanation and asked to go back to Seoul, however, she decides to stay, at the same time, a famous film director meets Claire, a Parisian teacher who's staying on Cannes and who likes to take photos. It is a very enjoyable film but I had a very hard time following it, also as a non-native English speaker I had a bad time trying to understand the Korean and french accents of the film, I might need to rewatch it with subtitles."

Sunrise (1927)

Directed by: F.W. Murnau
Writen by: Carl Mayer
Genre: Drama

"Sunrise tells the story of a man who wants to kill her wife to be able to run with another woman he's in love with, the plan is perfectly elaborated and he was supposed to kill her on a boat and make it seem like an accident, however, the plan is not carried out, and the wife runs into the city, the man follows her and slowly starts to repent and fell in love again with her. I have nothing much to say about it with the exception that the way the effects and fades where used was amazing, it was sometimes quite funny and the production design was amazing"

Princess Tutu (2002)

"I had been procrastinating into watching this show, but I eventually did and found myself completely absorbed by it within the first three episodes,the first half of the show is amazing, and it makes for a continually engaging story, while it follows the TV formula sometimes, it still keeps itself following a main conflict and doesn't get away from it ever, the character development is certainly well done, with amazingly writen story archs that define clearly the main topics and interests of the story. While I would have wished the orchestral music to become more integral to the show more than that of soundscape, it was nice to see the ballet inspiration going farther than just production design. I loved the voice acting for Ahiru, it was a perfect fit for the character, even in the "most serious" (I hate that expression) moments. Overall a good experience that offers a funny, engaging and musically rich experience that is not affraid of question it's own universe mechanics."

The Cabinet of Dr. Calligari (1920)

Directed by: Robert Wiene
Writers: Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz
Genre: Drama

"This one is a really amazing film, in both is disturbingly complex characters, and the dramatic story it represents, that plays with the expectations the film made you conceptualize at the very beggining of it, the film is quite clear, and super enjoyable to watch, it makes all of its story correctly and every nook and cranny of the story is revised so it makes sense eventually, until it doesn't because they wanted you to believe it did, I love this one.

El puño de hierro (1927)

This one is also english subtitled: Click

Pedro Páramo: El hombre de la media luna (1978)





Have you heard of this, hum... it's pretty alternative, I think it's called public television.

Writen and directed by: José Bolaños
Cinematography: Jorge Stahl Jr.
Music: Ennio Morricone
Genre: Drama

"This was a difficult one, it starts developing as a kind of scary story, with a kid arriving to the town of Comala looking for his father, Pedro Paramo, in the way, he meets with another son of Pedro Paramo, who sends him to seek refuge with Eduviges, however, when the night arrives, the town starts showing the face of a population horrified by the terrible greed of a rich man. The story develops in two different timelines that are told in a kind of unorthodox fashion, developing it's central themes instead of characters, giving it all the time necessary in it's three hour runtime, the film roses that of magical realism, but also allows itself to present us a kind of creepy and confusing world. The film is awfully hard to watch, it develops at the speed of a decomposing corpse (Yes, that was a joke) and seems to only tell the story in a way that the public doesn't receive anything back, it's not as succesful as the original work, which Rulfo wrote wonderfully a big critic of the absent, egoistical figure that a mexican father holds, relating it to the idea of the one who controls everything, while Rulfo definitely wants the reader to make thousands of interpretations, these adaptations does... not?
Something about the film that put me off was the production design that clashed directly with the costumes of the entire film, somehow I felt like it didn't worked together, but I can't explain why. The music by Morricone was amazing as always.

Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer (2019)





Reminder: Snapshot the title card

2/3

The Insect Woman (1963)

Directed by: Shôhei Imamura
Writen by: Keiji Hasebe, Shôhei Imamura
Cinematography: Shinsaku Himeda
Genre: Drama

"Sorry, I might need to watch it again."

North by Northwest (1959)

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Writen by: Ernest Lehman
Cinematography: Robert Burks
Genre: Adventure, Drama

"You'll be impressed but I'm not very familiar with english-spoken classic cinema, this is the first I've ever seen of Hitchcock, and it was really entertaining, some knots of the story were deffinitely desegned in such a way that you can detect them before they're actually made, and the way the film is writen so you feel sometimes as confused as the character is great, the no-background type of character always helps to make them more emphatetic to the public and in this case is used masterfully until the moment this trope is no longer useful (And it stops using it, when it's no longer necessary), it's a pretty well made mystery. (LuL)

A Secret Love (2020)

Director: Chris Bolan

Writer: Chris Bolan, Alexa L. Fogel, Brendan Mason
Cinematography: Stephen Kazmierski
Genre: Documentary

"This one was so very tender, I specially enjoyed the moments when these ladies recalled their days of youth, the way they meet, and how they fell in love, and eventually lived together their entire lives while somehow managing to keep their entire family in the unknown about their homosexual relationship, the end became hard for me, it made me remember parts of my own life, you know how life ends, it's almost always the same everywhere in the world. I loved the way the film was mounted and how the way the backstory was told through the entire film, what I mean is that the entire story wasn't told from the very beginning, this story is told in different part of the movie and helps to lighten the mood of the work, while not very introspective in the issues the LGBTQ+ community faced and still faces, it is a very heartwarming story."

Hollywood (2020)





Hey, are you planning on shooting this title card?

I don't think I'll finish this one

Hasta los dientes (2018)

Director: Alberto Saúl Arnaut Estrada
Writer: Pedro G. García
Cinematography: Jaiziel Hernández
Genre: Documentary

"During March of 2010, the state government officials of Nuevo Leon announced the death of two hitmen in the city of Monterrey outside the doors of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, no one said anything, some were even relieved, but in a different part of the city two families were looking for two of the students of this university, only to found out a few days later that the hitmen that were killed outside the university, were actually students of the institution, killed by the military who made everything they could to hide away the truth. The film is masterfully mounted in such a way that puts you in the shoes of the people who lived this nightmare, the story is told in such an intriguing way and developed also as a tribute to these two guys, best friends that were killed together, it is also a critic to a government who still hides and evades the truth, were justice can never become real and were the military uses brute force against those innocents citizens, it also expands to look with disdain to an institution that still doesn't acknowledge their part in the hidding of the truth and how some students comment may have had a very different outcome if the victims of this story had been the children of the entrepeneurs and rich people who are at the very foundation of what the institution represents. An intense an sad film, highly recomended."

Frances Ha (2012)

Directed by: Noah Baumbach
Written by: Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach
Cinematography: Sam Levy
Genre: Comedy

"I've always found something very relatable in the films of Greta Gerwig, specially in it's later Lady Bird (Film that changed my life forever), that yearning for someone special, and that economical tale were all victims of, the true behind oportunnity that only comes to those who can afford it, but one of those stories that makes you feel like everything will be okay. The movie is quite funny and highly enjoyable, and Gerwig's character was so fascinating, with it's quirky attitude and a fascinating cosmovision that defines a pretty characteristical way to see the world, a woman who is pretty dissapointed but eventually learns to work around that. I love this movie."

The Unvanquished (1956)

Written and directed by: Satjayit Ray
Cinematography: Subrata Mitra
Genre: Drama

"Satjayit Ray has always been such a master in the creation of beautiful and complex stories, Aparajito is no exception, tells a story that is so horribly saddening. I still need to think about it."

El hilo

Podcast
Genre: Narrative news
Click on each episode to listen

Coronavirus, la encrucijada de America Latina 'Do it yourself', edición coronavirus

X Minus One (1955-1958)

Radio Drama
Genre: Sci-fi
Click on each episode to listen

Tunnel Under the World

Written by: Frederik Pohl
Adapted by George Lefferts
"This has become one of my favorite episodes, depicting the fears that a new consumist age presented to the people living inside the USA, the acting and the sound were absolutely amazing, and I love how the mistery is developed in such a subtle way" Nightmare

Written by: Stephen Vincent Benét
Adapted by George Lefferts
Based on the poem "The Revolt of the Machines"

"Woah, this is such a thrilling episode, the machines make a resistance, but is the whole tale real or just a guy who lost his mind?"

The Mysterious Traveler (1943 - 1952)

Radio Drama
Genre: Horror sometimes?
Click on each episode to listen

The House of the Death

"A super intriguing episode with a very regular ending"

The Midnight Gospel (2020)

TV Show

"Woah, this is such a great show, I thought it was just going a weird and irreverent show but I have to say I was very wrong, I found an amazingly produced show with deep human characteristics and a great lot of stuff to talk about, and more than anything, wonder, I believe the show is an amazing introduction to everyone who wants to start to understand the most complicated things to newcomers related to budism and meditation, it is such an amazing work, I really love it."

Radio Ambulante

Podcast
Genre: Documentary
Click on each episode to listen.
"Radio Ambulante is one of the best spanish spoken podcast available and being produced right now, they tell stories that are incredibly human, and emotional, and they all happen on latinamerica, you should really check it out."

Leonela quiere ser tu amiga Interrumpimos el programa

Undone (2019)

TV Show


"I wanted to see this show for such a long time only to find myself completely absorbed by it, the first thing that grabbed my attention was that it is a rotoscoped animated TV show, an style of animation that for the longest time has been avoided by many because of it's huge costs, however, there was no way this show weren't animated, it goes miles in developing a particular style that to many could reminds us of Satoshi Kon, but that actually in it's first half feels crazyer than Kon's works, the story is quite revolting and the world it presents to you is vastly fascinating, obligating you to wonder about the possibilities that this world can offer, but also, the rotoscope tie us into our own world, offering us the option that these could all may be a dream as well. The scripts of the show are amazingly written and are full of suspense, also the first episodes are highly particular and weird, a total experience, you should totally watch this show, is one of the best things I've seen."

The Indicator from Planet Money

Podcast
Genre: Narrative news
Click on each episode to listen

Coronavirus and the Digital Divide

Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1949-1953)

Radio Drama
Genre: Drama, Mystery
Click on each episode to listen

2. Ralph Chase Case

The edge of democracy (2019)

Directed by: Petra Costa
Written by: Petra Costa, Carol Pires, David Barker, Moara Passoni
Genre: Documentary (Archive, Interview)

"Woah, such a scary film, I'm still overflowing with emotions about it"

Daisies (1966)

Directed by: Vera Chytilová
Screenplay by: Vera Chytilová, Ester Krumbachová, Pavel Jurácek
Music by: Jirí Slitr, Jirí Sust
Cinematography by: Jaroslav Kucera
Genre: Comedy

"🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃"

Frozen II (2019)

Directed by: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee
Story by: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Marc Smith
Music: Christophe Beck
Production designer: Michael Giaimo, Lisa Keene
Genre: Musical Comedy

"I definitely like this movie a lot, the music is so good, and it expands the universe of Frozen in a wonderful way, also the production design is exquisite, this time I watched the Latin American Spanish dub version, the sound design of the dubbed version is not as good as in the original, some words and dialogues get lost between all the sound, specially during the musical sequences where most of it becomes gibberish, despite all that, I still cried, if you happen to speak Spanish, I wrote about the film when it released, you can read my full review in Cinema para Promedios.

El año de la peste (1979)





Have you heard of this, hum... it's pretty alternative, I think it's called public television.

Directed by: Felipe Cazals
Screenplay by: Gabriel García Márquez, Juan Arturo Brennan
Genre: Drama

"A doctor discovers a dangerous illness in a mexican city, possibly the bubonic plague, he tries to alert the government official, only so they could decide to not say anything because they don't want to alert the public, despite people's disbelief, would they be able to hide it?
The film criticizes how head politicians don't care about economic devastation, public health degradation, loss of government structures, what they really fear is the loss of the public, they fear to be the ones where a catastropical event happened, specially in underdeveloped countries where they have advantages to maintain a disinformed population, funnily enough, the film makes some unexpected paralels to the actual situation where it is rumoured that the numbers are higher, that said, the film is also a perfect example of what some call a film writen like a book, people generally say it as a bad thing, but for me is not necessarily a bad thing, is just a narrative structure that we aren't accustomed to, and it has been efective before, however, in this film, the first half is super interesting and fascinating, full of a real intrigue and wonder, but in the second half, the film pushes it protagonist to the background and focuses into developing it's own central topic, in this way, the film becomes heavy and starts looking like it's going nowhere, it is definitely interesting, but is definitely not the best of Cazals and García Márquez.

What did Jack do? (2017)

Written, directed, edited, and sound designed by: David Lynch
Genre: ???
"You know you're into something when you look for David Lynch."

I lost my body (2019)

Directed by: Jérémy Clapin
Written by: Jérémy Clapin, Guillaume Laurant
Music by: Dan Levy
Genre: Drama

"Now I really wish Netflix had released this one in Mexico's cinemas, I waited for a long time to watch this one, and due to having no internet I couldn't watch it until now. This film is mesmerizing, it is amazingly written and keeps your heart on the throat at all times, the different timelines in the film definitely make for a more engaging story and that combined with the magical realism of it make for a great film, the sound design is incredible and I would dare to say that is one of the most important elements of the film, it is definitely a beautiful looking film, for the moment I have nothing else to say, I need to think about it."

The Devil wears Prada (2006)





I couldn't take a snapshot of the film's title card, why is this classic not streaming anywhere?

Directed by: David Frankel
Screenplay by: Aline Brosh McKenna
Cinematography: Florian Ballhaus
Costume designer: Patricia Field
Genre: Comedy

"Don't be too harsh on me, but I had never seen these one before, yes, I know it is a classic, I know it is fun, and yes, now I can confirm that Meryl Streep is amazing in this one, the film is quite enjoyable and super entertaining, I love that style of the classic 2000's comedy where there are tons of pop music that always fit and set an energic tone (I would love to make films with that style), despite of what I've heard about the original novel, this films is amazingly writen, some plot twists are really unexpected, but make sense, and yes there are some story knots that aren't tied to anything, but overall it's a pretty good film. Meryl Streep is unrecognizable in this one, and becomes really a fascinating character, possibly the entire essence of the film, and while she doesn't go through an essential change until the very end, she's the perfect causation for a change in the main character. I love the on-the-nose references to some of the top designers of the time, and the way the film constantly makes amazing elypsises through editing, such a good film. Also, the costumes are quite good!"

Long Shot (2017)

Directed by: Jacob LaMendola
Cinematography: Adam Newport-Berra, Gus Sacks
Genre: Documentary

"Films like this one always make me believe that reality is always stronger than fiction, the film tells the events about how a man was saved from death penalty when he was acussed of a murder, turns out that day they were filming an episode for HBO's "Curb your enthusiasm" and he appeared in the tapes, what a casualty."

ROAD TO ROMA (2020)

Directed by: Andres Clariond, Gabriel Nuncio
Written by: Pedro G. García
Cinematography: Marcelo Galán, Juan Pablo Ramírez
Genre: Documentary

"I think I enjoy Roma even more after watching this BTS, I found it so fascinating the process behind it, and how Cuaron was so specifical about a series of things, also, it's mesmerizing how Roma was always on every one of his films."

Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown (1988)

Written and directed by: Pedro Almodovar
Cinematography by: José Luis Alcaine
Genre: Comedy

"I felt like watching something more classy and fun, and I never stopped listening about this film, which turned out to be very different from the contemporary Almodóvar I'm so used to, these film is so crazy and hilarious somehow, but like a good comedy always has something introspective, the narrative is developed similarly to a crime drama, and you can say it's actually a crime drama, with a bunch of women who are literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Pepa was definitely an enjoyable character, and while crazy, I have to say I loved her overly dramatic and destructive attitudes. The climax of this film is definitely one of the craziest things I've seen ever. I highly recommend you watch this one!

My Blueberry Nights (2007)

Directed by: Wong Kar-Wai
Screenplay by: Wong Kar-Wai, Lawrence Block
Cinematography by: Darius Khondji, Pung-Leung Kwan
Music by: Ry Cooder
Genre: Drama

"This is the first time Wong Kar-Wai made a film in the U.S. and it's just about that, the first time also that one of his films didn't leave a melancholic impression on me, this one is definitely not one of his most popular, and even if it's controversial, I would dare to say it was kind of nice, so characteristical of Wong Kar-Wai, you know, the huge ratio, the inexplicably personal shots, and a lot of lights and camera movements that made this so tender and similar to the rest of his work, work that he references all the time, from In the mood for love to 2046. This one tells the story of Elizabeth, a new york girl who just got her heart broken by an asshole, she meets a cafe run by Jeremy, a guy who saves the keys of everyone who has ever asked for them, however, Elizabeth can't stand being herself anymore, sho she runs away through the United States in look for her true self, just like most of Wong's films, My Blueberry Nights develops in a highly episodic way, this time a little more americanized with three highly differentiated episodes that tell stories of heartbroken people, Elizabeth keeps sending letters to Jeremy in New York for some reason, and they inexplicably fall in love through that way. While highly divisive, I found this film to be super tender and sweet, it reminded me a lot of Paris, Texas not specifically for being a very north american film made by someone who never lived there before, but in its tones and some topics, also the music's made by Ry Cooder, there's one connection (Not to obsess over it). The film is overall a very enjoyable, highly sweet film, similar to most of Wong Kar-Wai's work but also peculiar.

Shoplifters (2018)

Writen and directed by: Hirokazu Koreeda
Cinematography: Ryûto Kondô
Genre: Drama

"The story of a family of crooks who one day found a small girl in the cold, when the family discovers she's neglected by their parents, they decide to keep her and raise her as part of their family. At the beginning, even when we can debate over the morals of their actions, the relationships depicted between the characters feels tender and nice, the characters all seem to be enjoying and having a good time with each other, however, truth is that this is all a lie, or is it? Where they really deceiving one another? Or was there real love within it? An entertaining film, I liked it, but I can't say anything beyond that it's good."

Birds of Passage (2018)

Directed by: Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra
Screenplay by: Maria Camila Arias, Jacques Toulemonde Vidal
Cinematography by: David Gallego
Genre: Drama

"A Wayuu family decides to get into the business of marijuana during the '60s, fast enough, they found out that this market is highly profitable, and they become rich fast, however, the human greed is unavoidable, hate starts to divide the family, and the blood doesn't take long to finally appear, a war inside the family starts, the relationship falls apart, and with it the honor, the soul and the identities of these people. The film it's an epic story, a political tale of sorts, spoken almost entirely on wayuu, tells a strong story with very human and deep characters who soon enough realize that no one is safe from hate and revenge."

The Trial (1962)

Writen and directed by: Orson Welles
Cinematography: Edmond Richard
Genre: Drama

"You're asking what is this movie? Well, I don't know, it's as confusing and unraveling as reading an old Kafka translation, it keeps that Kafkaesque tone pretty well, but somehow makes it seem so surreal and far away from the reality, I couldn't really localize the real irony behind the crazy legal system, but it's weird, baffling and confusing, so I guess I get what is refering to. Respecting the rest of the film, I still need to think about it."

Ralph Breaks the Internet (2019)





I didn't take a snapshot of the film's title card

Directed by: Phil Johnston, Rich Moore
Screenplay by: Phil Johnston, Pamela Ribon
Story by: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, Jim Reardon, Pamela Ribon, Josie Trinidad
Director of cinematography: Nathan Warner
Genre: Comedy

"It was fine I guess, a few jokes where fun I guess, that selfaware Disney is not cool I guess, some things about the internet where spot on I guess, and some were total misses I guess, why is the version on Amazon Prime Video shorter than the theatrical version? Didn't the Sugar Rush machine had two screens and allowed for two players to play at once? Why did my sister cried watching it? It was fine, it was a good time, I guess"

Tristana (1970)

Directed by: Luis Buñuel
Screenplay by: Luis Buñuel
Cinematography by: Jose F. Aguayo
Genre: Drama

"I've never understood any of Buñuel's films, however, these one felt like it made more sense than the rest of his works, somehow this doesn't feel as surrealistic, and it shows, specially being his return to, still fascist and under Franco's reign, Spain, so the statements about the culture don't land as much as he did on his Mexican or French works, I can't say too much about it, but it made me think a lot about the relationship between Tristana and her father, incestuous and with a huge age gap, I don't know what to conclude about it, I'm also wondering, who dubbed Deneuve and Nero in this film?"

Metropolis (2001)

Directed by: Rintaro
Screenplay: Katsuhiro Otomo
Genre: Action drama

"An adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis, which is in itself a more lighthearted version of Frits Lang's Metropolis, the film is quite stunning visually, but I sometimes felt like it went for too long or that it wasn't very engaging, somehow I felt the chemistry between the characters felt very artifitial, and the huge ammount of weird animated shots helped me lose control of where, how, and what happened in the events of the film, the animation is quite nice, and it's probably one of the main reasons people recognize it, with a nice mesh of Tezuka's characteristic style and new designs made purely for the film. The movie tries poorly to criticize the politics behind the great creation of money, but instead redirects it and evades the topics related to Marx and communism that were presented in the original works, it just presents it's villain as a merelly evil being whose actions are not entirely explained, and I feel that the, only mentioned a few times, oppression of the machines could have been explored in more detail or on a different way. It was a fun time, I guess I expected a little more, however I enjoyed most of the visual aspects of it, especially the designs in the Zone-2."

Hell without limits (1978)

Directed by: Arturo Ripstein
Screenplay: José Donoso, Arturo Ripstein, Jose Emilio Pacheco
Cinematography: Miguel Garzón
Genre: Drama

"A tragic film, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, and an eternal hate to one's true nature, one of those classics that in Mexico settled the idea that the people in the LGBT+ community, somehow we can't be considered neither male or female, film, that criticizes that very same structure, and the violence that trans people find even in their own families. The story follows Manuela, a transgender woman who own a brothel on an empty town, they're the only ones left after Don Alejo buys almost every other house in town, properties he wants to sell or rent for profit. Pancho just arrived in town, and he came back to pursuit Manuela; Manuela knows he's back, and she's scared after what he did to her and her girls last time he went. Manuela lives with a pair of women and her daughter, who refuses to recognize her as a female, she's the product of a relation between Manuela and the Japanese, the old owner of the stablishment, she died a long time ago, however, her daughter can't forget about her. The film takes place between two timelines, one in the present and one in the past, that describes the relationship between Manuela and the Japanese. There are a few knots in the story that are not completely explained and somehow I felt the film needed a little more, however, I enjoyed it, and I had never heard Perfume de Gardenias on a film before, so that's more props to it."

Woman in the dunes (1964)

Directed by: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Screenplay by: Kôbô Abe, Eiko Yoshida
Cinematography by: Hiroshi Segawa
Music: Tôru Takemitsu
Genre: Drama

"Woman in the Dunes is an intriguing story about an entomologist that after falling into a trap gets trapped in a hole in the middle on the desert with a woman who works on shoveling sand for a group of people, the man tries to escape in several ocassions until he realizes he's trapped, slowly, he starts realizing that he and the woman are both enslaved, and he starts wondering about her past life before he was trapped. The film reminded me a lot about the recent release 'The Lighthouse', specially in it's tone, and the first half of the film where the two protagonist are entirely on their own. The film doesn't fear to question the spectator at every moment, about the futility of living in such a world that exploits you to reach an impossibility (I wonder if its roots are related with the japanese student movement of the time), the fear of the man is real for us, but so is the fear of the woman, who has been alone for a long time, and as she says "would have no chance in the big city". I'm still wondering about this one, definitely an introspective and strong film."
PD. I think it's funny how a man that works trapping small animals is trapped exactly the same way."

2046 (2004)

Directed by: Wong Kar-Wai
Screenplay by: Wong Kar-wai
Cinematography: Christopher Doyle, Pung-Leung Kwan
Music: Shigeru Umebayashi
Genre: Drama

"A man who moves to a hotel after learning that one of his old friends, Lulu, lives in the room 2046, in that place he meets several women who make him fall on love, or that interest him, at least a little, however, it's unavoidable that they don't leave effect on him. The man is a writter, he is writting a sci-fi novel about a group of people looking for 2046, a place of happiness, however, the characters that start to appear in this fiction are the people that he meet in real life, the same as their stories. 2046 is as sensible as the rest of Kar-wai's work, however, in this one the timeline works on an uncommon fashion that lets you see, only bit by bit, the events that happened in the protagonist's life, and how these events had an impact on him. I believe this is my favorite of Wong Kar-Wai, I love how he carefully designs works that are so timeless through the evasion of topics too characteristic of a certain time in history, and how he also makes location relevant for the feelings of the characters but so irrelevant for the general arch of the story, and he always does it through the cultural miscegenation(Don't know if that's a term in english, but it sure exists in Spanish) that helps the story become more and more universal, the extensive use of close-up shots that keep being personal and close even when the film is shot in large ratios."

The Passion of Berenice (1976)

Directed by: Jaime Humberto Hermosillo
Screenplay by: Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, José Emilio Pacheco
Cinematography: Rosalío Solano
Genre: Drama

"Berenice is a young teacher, she's very pretty and attractive, she lives with her godmother, an old, ill and rich woman, Berenice takes care of her, she looks like she's living a regular life but she's afraid, every night she dreams of that time, when her husband died on a fire, the day she got the huge scar she has on her face, rumour has it that she caused the fire, but is nothing more than vox populli, after her godmother's doctor dies, Berenice meets Rodrigo, the son of the doctor who is also a doctor, he's a handsome guy, and he happens to fall in love with Berenice, so he'll do whatever it's in his hands to be with her, however, Berenice is not convinced, she doesn't want that to repeat, or does she?
The film is mesmerizing, it's like an unraveling dream, covered in a misterious enigma, the enigma behind the protagonist, but also the misterious men that follow Berenice, as if she was cursed with her beauty and a scar that somehow makes her more fascinating, the lines, long and weird as Hermosillo used to do in almost all of his works, have a melodical ring to it, that sets the tone of the film, an evocative film, a film that makes you wonder, what is going on? The constant internal movements of the camera and the elaborated blocking create a sequence of beautiful images, filled with color, filled with movement and characters everywhere, images that somehow cause the fear to be more and more present, the fear the characters feel."

Persona 5 (2019)

Directed by: Ulises Conti
Short film
Genre: Documentary

"An extremely sad and poignant film, that follows a group of gamer friends in Japan, the story is told by Ima, a young woman who spends all her free time and money on game centers, the film analizes a culture that forces people into generating this kind of addictions that then turns against them, in this story, Ima remembers Hikaru, a friend of her's that died from a heart atack after playing Persona 5 for eight days straight. A quite saddening and strong film, you can watch it with english subtitles here (Available until April 17).

Enamorada (1946)

Directed by: Emilio Fernández
Cinematography: Gabriel Figueroa
Screenplay by: Benito Alazraki, Emilio Fernández, Íñigo de Martino
Genre: Historical Drama

"I had been looking for to watch this one for such a long time, everybody says it's a basic of mexican cinema, and it was even remastered a few years ago by Martin Scorsese, obviously, the remaster is not available to the public (yet), but I guess it just serves as proof to the goodness of this film, and I wasn't wrong, the film is indeed very charming, changing from a dark and moody tone into a more lighthearted as the film progresses. 'Enamorada' tells the story of General Reyes, a revolutionary that has arrived to the town of Cholula after liberating it from the government, after a series of events, he meets with Beatriz Peñafiel, the daughter of one of the richest man in Cholula, who Reyes almost kills, Beatriz hates the revolutionary movement, which he deems as nonsensical, and she's also about to get married with an american - Because her parents want to prove that there is no race prejudice in her family -, however, Beatriz founds something charming in Reyes, and now has to battle with herself. Could a rich independent woman like her can be with a revolutionary macho?
The film uses tropes that are particular about golden era mexican cinema, where there's the woman who doesn't fit into the gender roles, and that's the big obstacle for the man to make her fall in love, however, in this film, it is also explored the unnecesarity of those roles (Obviously to certain extent, it's the 40's) and how those beliefs are the real obstacle for any man to ever be loved. The film is fun, charming and very funny. Figueroa photographs this film masterfully, the way he always did, I still think that "Salon México" is one of the best of Figueroa, but I guess this is a classic of classic, so..."

Farewell my concubine (1993)

Directed by: Kaige Chen
Cinematography: Changwei Gu
Screenplay: Pik Wah Lee, Pik Wah Lee, Wei Lu
Costume design: Changmin Chen
Production design: Yuhe Yang, Zhanjia Yang
Genre: Historical Drama

"The story of a man who fell in love with the Beijing Opera, but he was not only in love with it, he was also in love with his stage partner, he has to battle with himself when his partner marries a prostitute and battle with the horrors of never really being with him. The film travels accross China's early history, events that end up breaking the lives of these three characters, lives that were entirely devoted to the stageplay "Farewell my concubine". This is the first time a Hong Kong actor appeared on a Main China produced film, and it was no one else than Leslie Cheung, who is most renowned for his work with Wong Kar-Wai and being one of the first actors chinese actors to come out as part of the LGBT, this film touches those topics in a way that they become the central conflict, Cheung represents his character in an almost masterful way, transforming himself entirely into this extremely feminine character, the film goes a long way into exploding Cheung's androginous characteristic, he becomes mesmerizing, and his fall into depression makes his actions seem more enigmatic and terribly real. It was a little difficult to watch, specially with it's 3 hour runtime, but it was worth it. It's also a very pretty film, with scenarios and elaborate costume design that are not only pretty but perfect. I watched it because of Leslie Cheung's death anniversary, he was definitely a master."

La revolución de los alcatraces (2012)

Directed by: Luciana Kaplan
Cinematography: Gabriel Hernandez
Genre: Documentary

"I remember when I watched Kaplan's last film 'Rush Hour', a tale about long conmutes that take our lives away, she explores it and elaborates an idea in the film only through the use of what was documented, in the US, in México, in Turkey, everywhere's the same, a cycle of unseen violence no one is willing to see. Her opera prima, is a film that follows an indigenous activist, Eufrosina Cruz, who, in opposite to the other faction of indigenous activists, wants that the government guarantees a healthy living for all the indigenous people, however, she founds difficulty in the 'dark part of the folklore' as she call it, where woman do not exist, where they're not protected, sold and victims of violence. The film narrates a sad story about forgotten communities and privilege, and how there's fear of losing that privilege lurks everywhere, but also is a story about manipulation, how she was taken by a right wing party, that would never support her beliefs and eventually ended up dumping her in 2018, and interesting film, that I want to speak about more extensively later."

Steven Universe Future (2019-2020)

"Oh god, with Steven Universe ending, I think I have closed an arch on my life, my good, when the show started airing I wasn't even on high school, and the fact that I've been watching it through the weirdest time of my life makes the show's ending feel more emotional. This show, apart from Twin Peaks it's one of the few that have ever gotten me so hooked up, but in this case, it was more related to the fact that I saw myself in the show's characters, their feelings were just like mine, and their issues were related to those I was going through, I found real comfort going through each of the episodes and it helped me to understand myself a little more, and most importantly to understand that whatever I'm feeling is relevant, and that everything human needs attention.

My overall perspective on the show's lasts is that it was really amazing to see Steven's PTSD unfold, the show crafted with huge attention the scalating tension and growing problems of these issues and the overall effect that may have even in those things we thought wouldn't be affected by our emotional states. The music, and the art tendency that the show started, and probably finished with is over, I don't hold back when I say that there has never been something like Steven Universe, and I'm glad that I could enjoy it this much, the biggest takeback is of course that love is never enough."

The Seven Samurai (1954)

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
Screenplay: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni
Cinematography: Asakazu Nakai
Genre: Drama

"I bought this DVD when I was in High School, and I hate to admit that at the time I thought this was kinda boring, but finally decided to watch it, and I found out that now I enjoyed it quite a lot. In this one, Kurosawa shows himself as a master of the suspense, controling your emotions masterfully but also giving you cues through the dialogue so you can also become part of this war. The small village becomes a character in itself, and the film wants you to know it as well as the rest of the actual characters, each one of the samurai are unique and they're designed in such a way that it becomes impossible to not like at least one of them. Just as it happened with "Stray Dog" -And something I forgot to write about it-, the sound is actually a relevant part of the film, on the contrary to the common belief that classic filmaking didn't include sound design, and definitely not to the extent we know it today, but Kurosawa shows it's there and that authors like him thought of it a lot."

Salesman (1969)

Directed by: Albert Maysles, David Maysles & Charlotte Zwerin
Cinematography: Albert Maysles
Genre: Documentary

"I had been planning to watch this one for such a long time, specially because Salesman is included in almost every top of the best documentaries of all time. The film follows four salesmen that sell bibles from door to door and the curious people each salesman encounters on every house. The Maysles's Brothers said they wanted to be the first to make a non-fiction film, of course, they weren't the first, but they were one of the first people to inaugurate a new kind of documentary style, one that has specially prevailed in the North American documentaries up until today. One of the amazing things about this low-budget film is that the directors let the film take its own personality and they just followed the film, they found the interesting vision about a few men that doesn't seem to be satisfied with their own lives, and who have big obstacles to actually be where they want to be. When the film progresses it becomes almost separate from it's protagonists and starts to invite you to take attention to the people, in such a mesmerizing and amazing way that is almost as if it was all planned, definitely worth a watch."

Stray Dog (1949)

Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
Screenplay: Ryuzo Kikushima, Akira Kurosawa
Cinematography: Asakazu Nakai
Genre: Drama

"One of the first detective films made in Japan, and by none other than master Akira Kurosawa, the film follows rookie detective Murakami, who, when on the bus, had gotten stolen his gun, he was new, so he almost had no way to track it down, until a series of murders involving his weapon begin to happen. Murakami starts to feel at fault from all this, so he founds himself in need to finding his weapon and the killer. The film presents us a post-war Japan, with high crime rates and a high poverty that we also see in Kurosawa's contemporaries like Naruse. Kurosawa presents an entertaining and intriguing story in a way that feels so characteristic of him, Mifune is as delightful as ever, and I don't say it only because I feel like he's one of the handsomest people that has ever been on this earth, but because he's an amazing actor, and while not his best, he presents a sensible Detective Murakami, that feels very human. At the end, Kurosawa always presents stories that question our morals and our values, and always reminds us about our free will, Stray Dog is no exception."

All about my Mother (1999)

Directed and Written by: Pedro Almodóvar
Cinematography: Affonso Beato

"Almodóvar has always been talented when he creates emotional and nuanced stories about real situations, he has never been reluctant to criticize anything and always includes some support to the LGBT community, this is no exception, All about my mother tells the story about a young guy named Esteban, who dreams of becoming a writter, but he also is intrigued by his own past and his father, Manuela, his mother, has never wanted to speak about it but she ends up being forced to go back into a past she had been running for, specially when she cannot retrieve from the relationship with Esteban's father, a man who decided to become a woman, with both, his mysoginistic attitudes and narsicistic beliefs ends up destroying the relation with her own wife.
This film without a doubt is a melancholic tale of repent, the wish of hope and an a woman who has to learn to live all over again."

Carmen Jones (1954)

Director: Otto Preminger
Screenplay: Harry Kleiner
Genre: Musical Comedy
Music: Georges Bizet
Cinematography: Sam Leavitt

"An adaptation of Bizet, except that the cast is made up entirely of afrodescendant people. The story follows Carmen Jones a woman who only follows her own desires, who falls in love with some Joe, who happens to be a soldier, however, unknowingly she fell right into an abusive relationship. It was fine, the characters sure had a lot more to give, and the music was good, however there are a few narrative lines that lead to anywhere and ammount to anything in the overall arc of the story, also, the character development could have been way better, but I'll give it some score for trying to tell a story from a perspective that wasn't usually told around that time."

Salón México (1949)

Director: Emilio Fernandez
Screenplay: Emilio Fernandez, Mauricio Magdaleno
Genre: Drama
Cinematography: Gabriel Figueroa

"I've already written something about this one, you can read here."

The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice (1952)

Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Genre: Drama.
Screenplay: Kôgô Noda, Yasujiro Ozu
Cinematography: Yûharu Atsuta

"I had been waiting for a long time to see this film because I love absolutely every work Ozu did on his career, in this film, Ozu criticizes the social norm of fixed marriages, with the story of a couple that has problems (Not as harsh as the ones in "The Munetaka Sisters") that can't stand each other, Saeko and Mokichi try to evade the truth, but eventually realize about the things they don't like about each other, that's when Setsuko, a young girl make Mokichi realize about their real feelings for her wife. A stressing tale that eventually arrives at a tender conclusion."

It's Always Fair Weather (1955)

Director: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
Music: André Previn
Genre: Musical Comedy.
Screenplay: Betty Comden, Adolph Green
Cinematography: Robert J. Bronner

"I've always been a fan of the classic Hollywood musical comedy, but I hate to admit that this is the first time I see one of Gene Kelly's outside of "Les demoiselles de Rochefort" and I have to admit that it was so much fun, a crazy and funny movie with a lot of dazzling dance choreographies and an amazing score about three guys that used to be friends and now can't stand each other. Excluding the small sexist jokes that happen four or three times through the film, I loved Cyd Chariss's character, she was pretty engaging and has that thing that I sometimes like to call aspie traits, wish the movie had given her more screen time. Also Gene Kelly dances on skates in this film, and that blows my mind"

Antonio Gaudi (1984)

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Music: Toru Takemitsu, Kurodo Mori, Shinji Hori
Genre: Documentary
Cinematography: Ryu Segawa, Yoshikazu Yanagida, Junichi Segawa

"I've never seen anything like this film before, such a trippy experience that explores the work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, the film approaches the alien characteristics of his work and explores its beauty in a way no other artist retrospective had ever been done, all thanks to master Teshigahara"

Les demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)

Director: Jacques Demy
Music: Michel Legrand
Genre: Musical Comedy
Screenplay: Jacques Demy
Cinematography: Ghislain Cloquet

"My favorite film of all times, I've seen it too many times to count. A film about happiness, love and hope, always lifts up the spirit. It tells the story of a pair of young twin artist who dream to live in Paris so they can make their dreams come true, however, a fair starts that same weekend, and they'll find more dreams to follow"