Monday, January 05, 2009

Lake Tahoe

I was really curious about this movie that has been around many festivals and is one of the films nominated for this year Goya Award for Best Spanish Speaking Foreign Film. Perhaps because some extraordinary Mexican directors -like Carlos Reygadas- I had big expectations and as happens once in a while, my expectations were not met this time as I believe that this movie is one of the most “dry” movies I have ever seen and the director did his best effort to make it truly hard to watch.

The main problem with the movie is the too many black screens that lead to absolutely nothing, except to everything becoming dark around you. Then the story is slowly developed, which is not bad, but here there are too many still camera shots that just show characters or things passing by with no purpose and totally annoys viewers as exasperates you that not much is happening in the shot or there is not much to watch in the compositions.

Performances are plain and dry in a story that is compelling as tells about a day where everything goes wrong for Juan who is grieving the death of his father, but you will not know that until after more than half the movie and even if everything you have seen starts to make sense story-related, you’re already tired with so much cinematic nonsense.

The film premiered at the 2008 Berlinale were won the FIPRESCI Prize and the Alfred Bauer Award and since has won other awards including being screened at the Semaine de la Critique at 2008 Cannes in a special event as the film was named FIPRESCI Revelation of the Year. Think that I understand the awards as the film tells an unusual story in the most unexpected way, but the cinematic style is so arid that truly is very hard to watch.

I cannot recommend this movie and if you feel like giving it a try be prepared to have lots of patience with the style.

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