Get up, go out, watch a movie, fall in love...

Thursday, August 21, 2014


There's more than one reason why everybody, specially those who know about film, are talking about Boyhood. 

I had to give myself a few days to write this. You know when you are walking out of the theaters and you have no idea if you either LOVED it or HATED it?? 

Well, that doesn't happen to me very often, but from time to time, it does. And when it does, and I end up loving the film. It stays in my head for a long time. It's sort of an acquired taste. The more you watch it, the more you like it.

Boyhood is definitely one of those. A film that had already built some expectation in me because of the obvious press coverage and the fascinating challenge of filming it over a period of 12 years. It's always hard to be 100% unbiased when you are going to watch a film with such press and an impressive 100/100 at the IMDB critics score. Taking this into account, I tried to let all predisposition aside. And this is what happened: 

1) Complete AWE: 

I was absolutely impressed by the creativity and originality of such a project. It was so impressive to see the physical development of the characters and the environment. There was no makeup and it DID make a difference. There was not set design and it DID make a difference.

2) A bit boring but still intrigued: 

When the novelty and excitement of seeing the characters grow and sets accurately match the times, the repetitive and sort of mundane dialogues become a little boring. Except for a few very philosophical lines, I have to say I found myself doubting the press and everyone who had spoken wonders of this film. 

3) It all makes sense:

The kids become adults and they begin a more serious inner discovery, which takes, not only them, but all the other characters, including myself, into a process of philosophical questioning. What is life all about? What is time all about? 

And just like that, as I walk out in the streets, thinking about the last 3 hours, I realize this is one of the most beautiful and deepest pieces of art I've seen in a while. 

Besides taking the crazy adventure of shooting for 12 years to accurately document the physical evolution of the characters, this is the most original and outstanding way of taking us through the journey of life and leading us into questioning the meaning of it all. 

So please, get up, go out and watch this movie... 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton

Many of us have ever wondered how and when nudity was introduced to films? How was it that we went from boring and absolutely corny love-scenes to more realistic and unconventional erotic images in the big screen? Who was the first to dare show penises, boobs and vaginas in a movie theater? What about gay love-scenes? 

Answer: James Broughton. 

As expected, San Francisco was the city where it all began and it was mostly thanks to the genius work of James Broughton. 

Some people say he's the "Antithesis of Conventional", others say he was the living representation of self expression and freedom. However you prefer to call it, this man certainly changed the course of cinema, gay art and porn.

If these are not enough reasons to make you want to watch a documentary film about him,  then I must also add that Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton has some of the most unique original footage I've seen in a while. As I've been told, the filmmaker was able to access a private collection in order to obtain this amazing footage. 

If you are a Bay Area resident you can go watch it next Sept 4th at the Roxie Theater and enjoy a Q&A with the filmmaker! Click here for tickets 

If not, then good news, the film is already streaming on Netflix! 

And remember: "Follow your weird, do your hot thing". 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Sometimes I have to argue with people that say that film is not a form of art but a mere form of entertainment. Well, if it were for movies like Transformers or Tammy, I would have to sadly shut up and agree, but the truth is that there are still some very artistic pieces out there that still manage to make it to theaters and marvel us. It only takes a little more research and a less modern theater to be able to watch them. (Shameful). 

Luckily we have films like Ida. This film follows the story of a young WW II orphan novice, who, before taking her vows, decides to go along her jewish/alcoholic/communist aunt to find the truth of her roots and her past. 

This polish movie,  which has won several awards in Europe and has finally made to theaters in the US, is one of the most visually outstanding films I've seen this year.

The photography is simply wonderful and the set design is really worth paying attention to. The whole thing is so well done that you completely forget you are watching a black and white film (which I'm not a big fan of). Believe me, this film is so beautiful that you just have to let yourself surrender to the breathtaking shots and admire the art. 

I have to say that the film is a bit slow (typical eastern European) but the great characters (specially the tormented alcoholic aunt) and the dark sense of humor dialogues make up for the slow pace. 

This is definitely a film full of beauty, full of details and originality. A film every real art lover should watch. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Life Itself

A couple of days ago I had the opportunity of watching this new documentary about the life of one of the most important American film critics of all times: This is Mr. Roger Ebert. 

Maybe the name doesn't sound too familiar but most of us have heard the "two thumbs up" phrase that accompanies some of the best films of all times. As you might have guessed, Roger Ebert along with Gene Siskel were the fathers of this powerful rating formula that has impacted the film industry for more than 30 years. 
Ebert has been one hell of a character. He made history in the film industry, he changed the role film criticism plays nowadays, and even won a Pulitzer prize. No wonder they had to make a documentary about himself, which in fact was produced by Martin Scorsese. 

To be absolutely honest, the documentary could have been a little better, there were some glitches in the flow of the story and the way they tied up his life with his sad medical condition. Nevertheless the film was very good. It's a film full of interesting facts, beautiful stories, funny moments, plenty of information and historical documentation that are more than enough to invest two hours of your life enjoying what this film has to offer. 

This film is now showing in theaters at most cities across the US and soon will be available on iTunes for streaming worldwide. Don't miss the chance to watch it, specially if you love films and want to understand a little bit more of what this crazy industry is all about. 

Here's a trailer in case you rather just watch it and not read all the bla bla I have to say. Enjoy:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Obvious Child

It seems like this is a good year for independent romantic comedies. I've been looking back at my previous posts and 1 out of 3 good indies turned out to be romantic comedies. 

Obvious Child, which opened in theaters last weekend, is no exception: Clever dialogues, dark humor and excellent characters turn this very simple, and kind of predictable romantic story, into a very funny and enjoyable movie. (Might not be Oscar material, but definitely worth watching). 

I'm not sure if it's because of my twisted/dark sense of humor or because I deeply enjoy to make fun of my own generation's self-obsession and over complicated romantic issues, but whatever the case is, I think this is one smart and original romantic comedy. Much better than any other of those "funny/lame romantic" Hollywood productions we've had this year.  

Also, is worth noting that if you have a New York sense of humor and/or any sympathy for millennial New Yorkers, I'm pretty sure you will get the jokes and understand the characters on a much intimate level. ;)

Monday, June 16, 2014


If you are not only a football (Soccer) fan, but also a film lover, you might like this new documentary. It opens today for streaming on Netflix. 
This is not a Ball is a film by the renown Brazilian artist Vik Muniz. You may remember him from the award winning documentary Wasteland

This film is certainly not as great as the previous one. Although it was quite interesting to appreciate the artistic approach they gave on the concept of the ball, the meaning of the sport and the journey they went through in order to complete an amazing piece of art. 

Here's the trailer

Thursday, June 12, 2014

We are the Best

I'm gonna say this without much preamble: We are the Best is definitely in the top 5 movies I've watched this year! 

This is a movie that we got to see in Toronto Film Festival and other small festivals, and might not have been in Sundance, or Tribeca, nor Cannes, but it certainly was much better than 90% of the competition selection of all those. 

Why was it so good? A Swedish movie about teenagers? I know in paper sounds like a no no, but believe me, those nordic guys can come up with pretty genius things. (I know you are thinking about IKEA). 

First of all I must admit that the story and the dialogues where absolutely clever. Everything is so well thought, the argument is so simple but yet so strong and the characters so genuine. Even the sense of humor was great. 

In addition to that, the set design was outstanding. The whole film is set on the 80's. Every detail, every piece of clothing, even the subway is perfectly designed. They must have done some pretty intense research to achieve such accurate 80's feel. 

I have to say that this is one of those films that reaffirm the power and beauty of independent and artistic films and the importance of watching foreign movies. 

What else can I say. Get up, go out and find the best movie theater to watch "We are the Best".