Posts tagged “Argentina

The Fish Child / The Dentist: Part 1


The Fish Child  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseLala, (Inés Efrón) a teenager from the most exclusive suburban neighbourhood in Argentina, is in love with the Guayi, the 20-year-old Paraguayan maid working at her mansion.  The pair hatch a plan to rob Lala’s family to fund their dream of living together in Paraguay, but while Lala waits to be reunited with her lover, she is detained in a prison in the outskirts of Buenos Aires for a crime she committed long ago.  Desperate to be with her girlfriend, Lala devises a dangerous rescue plan to get her back.  Boasting beautiful cinematography and electrifying performances from its two female leads, celebrated Argentine director Lucía Puenzo (“XXY”) returns with a gripping tale of forbidden lesbian romance and a crime heist gone awry.

2009 –  Certificate 15  –  Argentinean Film
Rating Details: Strong sex
7.0 out of 10

I spent well over an hour at the dentist last week, whilst she explored the inside of my sore tooth.  Given all the sawing and drilling that went on I was expecting to be presented with the oral equivalent of a handmade chest of draws, but all I’ve got out of it is a bill for £100, no reduction in the agony I’m feeling and an extra visit to go back a third time for more treatment on the same tooth.  Four hours or so?  What’s she up to in there?  Rebuilding my entire mouth at the molecular level?  Not only this, but my sore tooth has made a friend, another tooth that thinks it’s hilariously funny to give me pain and misery.  So now I’ve also got a wisdom tooth that needs removing in a completely different place in my mouth.  My dentist got one of her colleagues to come have a look at it.  Once he’d finished with the paramedics that came after he’d fainted from horror at the sight of it, he did make a remarkable effort to appear blasé about things, but suggested that he couldn’t deal with either and I really ought to have it removed at hospital.  Why don’t they just cut out the middle man and sent me to see an undertaker?  My tooth is clearly that bad.  I’m starting to forget a time when I didn’t have excruciating agony and was able to open my mouth properly.  Gosh, it’s lucky I’m not the sort of person that makes a big song and dance about things.  This is going to cost me an arm and a leg to get sorted out too, although ironically, the limb replacements I’ll then need I can get on the NHS for free.  The next American who suggests that Brits have bad teeth will need a visit to the dentist himself soon after.  I’m glad to say this film has no teeth-focussed scenes whatsoever.

I’m pretty sure there’s a great movie in here somewhere, trying to get out.  Trouble is, it got a bit buried under the non-linear timeline and suffered at the hands of my presently reduced mental capacity; (which sadly is more tooth-ache than alcohol related).  At its heart this is an out-and-out romance, which collides with a crime thriller in a less than satisfying way.  Oh, there’s also something about a legend regarding the Fish Child that swims around in a lake near a tree.  I imagine there’s some analogy between the latter and the characters or the plot, but in my painkiller induced drug high I did struggle a bit with everything.  It doesn’t provide an especially glowing reference for Argentinian parenting either.  Visually it’s a nice looking film with an intense feel and the two lead actresses are both talented and attractive, although in quite different ways.  Unfortunately it’s all a bit of a confused muddle at times, although it does gradually sort itself out a bit.  I probably ought to watch it again; I think I’ll get a lot more out of it the second time around.

There was one especially jarring and frightening scene with what I can only imagine is South America’s version of One Direction, (which can be seen for a brief moment in the trailer), but overall the soundtrack is pretty good.

The trailer tells you as much about the film plot as watching the whole movie will; i.e. not a lot.

Recommended for housekeepers, messed up families, lesbians, dog trainers and vets.

1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations.  A big black cat plays dead as it’s rudely removed from the vet’s operating table so he can deal with someone with a gunshot wound.  Oi!  Get you’re priorities sorted out mate!

Top badass moment?  Lala goes in search of her lover, who’s been ‘rented’ from the local prison by a powerful ‘businessman’ for his own ‘entertainment’.  His house is protected by dogs and  armed guards, but that doesn’t stop her.  Love is blind and all that, but deliberately walking into a ‘situation’ that you clearly have no way of getting out off (unless you’re Batman) is quite obviously top grade badass.  (Note to self:  why all the inverted commas all of a sudden?  What’s wrong with you?)

The Fish Child at IMDB (5.9 / 10)
The Fish Child at Wikipedia
The Fish Child Trailer at YouTube


Historias Mínimas / Hell is 16,000 Rectangles


Historias Minimas  -  Front DVD cover (UK)A charming and affecting tale charting the fortunes of three small town heroes pursuing their dreams, Carlos Sorin’s “Historias Mínimas” offers further evidence of the current riches to be found in Argentine cinema.  Awarded a special jury prize at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, it’s a deceptively simple, yet delightful road movie concerned with three disparate characters heading for the Argentine city of San Julian amid the beautiful landscapes of Patagonia.  Roberto (Javier Lombardo) is a travelling salesman hoping to impress a young widow by surprising her child with a birthday cake.  Don Justo (Antonio Benedictis) is an old man with poor vision who sits in front of his son’s grocery store and entertains passing children by wiggling his ears.  Maria (Javiera Bravo) is a shy young mother who has won an appearance on TV game show “Multicoloured Casino”.   Gently probing the hopes and aspirations of his characters, Sorin uses the interconnected, tripartite structure to offer astute observations both on a culture relatively unscathed by modernity and on contemporary Argentina itself.

2002  –  Certificate: 15  –  Argentina
7 out of 10

I work for a charity.  Ironically, considering we’re basically penniless (because we use all our dosh on doing ‘good stuff’) we spend a lot of time counting our money.  We count it up, we count it down, we count it sideways, we even lend it to one another (a loving and intimate experience we call an “internal transfer”) so we can count it some more.  Every year, to punish ourselves for not having enough money with which to save the planet, we like to spend ‘quality time’ counting what little we have.  It’s a quasi-religious experience for us all, where staff from far and wide go back to their offices and sit in front of a computer, before subjecting themselves to a living Hell.  In the ‘old days’ we called these bi-annual events “budgeting” or “forecasting”.  Then, discovering we actually had less money than we thought, we decided to count it four times a year instead and call it “financial planning”.  These are watched over by a group of pan-dimensional super-intelligent beings we call the Leadership Team, (although throughout the annuals of human history they’ve sometimes been given many other, less flattering titles).  Their names are known to everyone, but few claim to have met any, (which certainly helps to keep the God theme going).  Like visiting a priest, this is a time for people to confess their sins and fess up to all the non-existent income they’ve been claiming they’re going to raise.  The naughtier you’ve been, the longer you’re required to do this for.  This year I’ve been really bad, so I’ve just spent 6 days in Purgatory, filling in around 16,000 rectangles that needed a number put into them, mostly, as you might imagine, zeros. There were also about 100 pages of notes, to explain what all the noughts mean.  I guess I could have spent six days filling in forms to gain some money to put into all the boxes that have nothing in them, but what do I know?   I suppose if you add enough noughts together, they’ll end up equalling more than nothing; there must be some ‘weird’ maths somewhere that results in that happening, or maybe there’re just typos.  That reminds me, I must go and spend my HMV Vouchers on Saturday.  This is a film about some people without a great deal of money, who seem to get by okay.

This is a cute drama/comedy about three people undertaking different journeys in Argentina, from the same, small village to a (not so) nearby town.  Unlike the last film I watched, “Say Yes”, which was a road trip movie about a psycho hitchhiker in Korea, this one is slow, nothing much happens and it’s really quite boring.  Yet despite this it’s actually quite engrossing.  There’s something very ‘reality TV’ about watching ordinary people going about their business and seeing how important seemingly small things are to them.  Those little events that mean you have a good day or a crap day; in the big scheme of things they don’t make the slightest difference, but to us individually they’re immensely significant.   This movie also highlights the fact that most people are inherently quite decent, which isn’t something you see in a film very often. If there isn’t at least one person trying to fuck up someone else’s life, then it’s just weird.  If you remember “The Fast Show’s” Chanel 9, you’ll be able to relate to the Multicoloured Casino part.  There’s something quite funny about watching a film in Spanish featuring a really crappy game show, which uses the word “multiprocessor” too many times.  Some of scenery is pretty inspiring too, so it’s a shame the quality of the picture isn’t that great.  Nice film, go watch.

Recommended for people who can manage 88 minutes without any aliens, explosions or superheroes.  It’s tough I know, but someone has to do it.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  I’m going for the workman who helps Don Justo get his dog back.  True, it’s probably not actually his dog and the workman does have to buy it from some guy, but considering he didn’t really know Don Justo, that was a pretty badass thing to do.  And there I was, thinking that all that Argentinians are heartless bastards who just want to reinvade the Falklands.  I guess that’s what happens when you confuse politicians with human beings.

Historias Mínimas on IMDB (7.3/10)