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  • The Great Mystical Circus

    The Great Mystical Circus

    ★★

    A very unfortunate clunker.

    I was very saddened to see Caca Diegues latest, especially while holding fond memories of his older works where he uses the politics of spectacle as a sharp look at social change and cultural upheaval.

    Here neobaroque tecnique is let down by nothing insightful to say. A multigenerational saga of a family circus, goes for superficial melodrama, sexual farce, and distasteful gender politic in the service of nothing.

    That's what really stings, he aims for a Hundred Years of Solitude-style many-faceted storytelling, but he ends up with a torpid, Hollywoodean revue. No amount of whimsy papers over the void.

  • Zama

    Zama

    ★★★½

    Lucrecia Martel's take on the failures of colonization in the new world, is a statement on men's inability to chart their own destinies to greatness.

    A noble bureaucrat tries to obtain a new position, but is constantly trampled by others interests and the petty interests of others in his path.

    A vision of conquest not as the civilizing enterprise that fills history books, but as a constant failure. Martel's eye for narrating restlessness and fruitless action, starts to show this…

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  • I'm No Longer Here

    I'm No Longer Here

    ★★★★½

    A very hotly-hyped film that seemed very much worth its accolades.

    A very honest expression of minority culture, societal problems and the politics of hopelessness. An earnest look at a dark time in the history of the war on drugs, through its effects on the day to day lives of marginalized youth.

    It offers a welcome contrast to troubled perspectives on the "lower classes", that in mexican films are usually rife with prejudices and stereotypes. Here it seeks to reflect…

  • Beanpole

    Beanpole

    ★★★½

    A bleak and sober film about the pain of survival.

    It's probably tough subject matter and requires a healthy state of mind to get through.

    It features beautiful cinematography, which serves to amplify emotional suffering rather than aesthetizing the post-war setting.

    It's pace might turn off some, and the patience doesn't yield very rich rewards. It's good enough if you're up for it.