Yesterday I was finally able to catch a film at the Spanish Film Fest, Carlos Saura’s Goya En Burdeos. I really didn’t like it, unfortunately. I was intrigued because it was a biopic of an artist, but the storytelling fell flat most of the time and was haphazard. At the end of everything, you really didn’t know what the hell Saura wanted us to know about Goya, and the “love of his life,” Cayetana, had such a wafer-thin personality in the film you’re left wondering what made this particular woman so special. Erratic pacing and a long sequence at the end that seemed like it was a stage play instead of a film kind of sealed the coffin. At the very least, there were a lot of interesting filmmaking tools used, especially the use of screens and light. Some scenes were intended to be scary, where Goya’s paintings come alive and haunt him in his old age, but sadly these weren’t really followed-up on towards the end.
Later that night I caught Tesis with Neva and Mich, and enjoyed it more the second time around. Amenabar is one of the most exciting directors to emerge in the last decade, and his youth betrays his skill. It’s also quite obvious, and such a relief, to have a young director who is so literate. The layers that passed me by in my first viewing of Tesis had a second opportunity to strike me, and I was left marveling at how he weaved all these threads (reflexivity, violence’s effect/relationship with society, humor) into an exciting thriller.
And this afternoon I caught Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever, a film I only chose to see because I’d already seen Red Dragon and Mr. Deeds. It’s directed by some guy named Wych Kaosananda, who just credits himself as Kaos, and damn is it horribly bad. The best film of the year right here, folks! Wooh! Seriously, though, I actually enjoyed myself. It’s better to see it with someone else, though. But it’s one of those movies that’s so bad it’s good. You’ll have fun watching every action cliché unfold, every bad pounding rock song or faux techno soundtrack cut, every second of bad hammy acting. It has its moments for an action film, though it wastes its most visually interesting scenes in the first half of the film, so that the supposed climax is really quite uninteresting. The absolute best part, though, is how they use flashbacks to tell the backstory behind Antonio Banderas’s character. Not only is it told awfully, with horrible transitions, it’s a BULLSHIT story, so fucking stupid there is no way this guy could’ve been FBI. Haha. Definitely one worth watching, but preferably with wiseass friends.
Tomorrow, we watch Gore Verbinski's The Ring. Will it stand up to the test? Oh, and it'll be Quark and Ed's birthdays, so greet them.