Tuesday, April 28, 2009
|6:30 p.m.||Lake Tahoe|
Fernando Eimbcke (Mexico, 2008)
Director of Photography Alexis Zabé in Person
It’s morning in a small seaside town on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, and teenager Juan (Diego Cataño) has just driven the family’s tomato-red Toyota into a light pole on an empty street. As he sets off on foot to seek help, the immobilized car becomes a vehicle for delivering Juan into the hands of a cast of local characters and their small but significant routines. No one, including Juan, seems to be in much of a hurry. His interactions with a paranoid old mechanic (Hector Herrera) devoted to his almost-human pet dog, a young mother (Daniela Valentine) with dreams of punk rock stardom, and a teenage mechanic obsessed with kung fu (Juan Carlos Lara) glow with a droll observational humor reminiscent of director Fernando Eimbcke’s much-lauded first feature, Duck Season (SFIFF 2005). As Juan is drawn into their lives and we learn more about a loss at the center of his family, the film’s emotional undercurrent deepens considerably. Cinematographer Alexis Zabé’s minimal camera setups and eloquently held shots create a rich field for exploring the characters’ interior states, and the film’s insistence on the here-and-now grounds its meditation on escape, hope, and connection. The cast’s natural interplay is utterly convincing, the film’s quiet humor earned, and its sweet, compassionate humanity is deeply moving.
• Written by Eimbcke, Paula Markovitch. Photographed by Alexis Zabé. With Diego Cataño, Héctor Herrera, Daniela Valentine, Juan Carlos Lara. (80 mins)