Tag Archives: drama

Film review – Los olvidados

Week 10, 2015
Joensuu, Finland

Title: Los Olvidados
DirectorLuis Buñel
Genre: Drama
Year: 1950
Country: Mexico
IMDb: 8.2/10
Thesis: life in the slums of Mexico city.
Watch on 28.2.2015

The film portraits the life of street kids in the 50s for a particular period. The film captures the life challenges of the people living in Mexico City slums. The “lack” of love and communication between these children and their parents and the harshness of their environment. It also portrays a myriad of emotions such as desire, love, anger, hope, fear, lust, revenge.

The narrative focuses on the life of Pedro a youngster that witness a murder of one of his friends and, without planning it, he is also accomplice. The murderer, Jaibo, is also his friend. They agree to do not say a word about this event, but all these happenings really disturb Pedro internally. Pedro has no-one to talk to about this, a tangible distance exists between him and his mother and he has an internal desire to be a “good” person, to be accepted by his mother and a society. However, his innocence, confusion of his young age and Jaibo, did not allow him to take the correct decisions on time. At the end of the film, he is killed by Jaibo and his body is dump at a garbage-cliff near by.

For me, the film is intense, strong, current and real. Unfortunately, I am not a film critic, so I cannot talk about the tecnik. However after watched the film I had been reading some other comments about it and information related to the film expressing that “los olvidados” is a master piece.

Surrealism is used as part of the film’s techniques of expression by Bruñel, according to some specialists. Unquestionably the film is powerful. At moments, I was not able to look a it. It hurt me! I was really immerse/connected to the story.  Others critics mention that this film utilizes elements of  neo-realism. From another perspective, to understand “los olvidados” one has to recognize Mexico in this era, and

For me, as a Mexican ex-pat who just watched the film, it created me an impact. The story of the “los Olvidados”  is so current, and it might be lived nowadays by hundreds of children  in the Mexico.  The stage might have changed because now we live in the XXI century, but all those elements that the film narrate (desire, love, anger, hope, fear, lust, revenge) of people living under poverty line are current, in my personal point of view.  One can immerse in Buñuel’s narrative and connect and feel the story, a story draw in the 50s and also lived in the second decade of 2000s. In my case, after watching “los olvidados” a serie feelings and questions emerged.

Concurring with the words of Alfonso Mejía (Pedro in the “los olvidados”), in the reportage below he mentions: “Now we have more problems than earlier”. He cannot be further away from the truth, and as a generation we have to address them.

There is much to do!

Film review – Ikiru

Week 9, 2015
Joensuu, Finland

Title: Ikiru
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Genre: Drama
Year: 1952
Country: Japan
IMDb: 8.3/10
Thesis: the meaning of life.
Watch on 28.2.2015

A bureaucratic worker in Japan whose name is Kanji Watanabe discovers he has cancer and only few months left of life. He is shocked with the news, but he has no-one to talk about it. His wife is dead and, apparently, his son and daughter-in-law only care about his money. After knowing he is dying, Watanabe attempts to find a meaning of his life, acknowledging that he has not been living it and now he has not time left.

In his search of meaning, he meets in a bar an eccentric novelist. With him Watanabe explores the night life in Tokio. However, this mundane activities does not make him feel better. Later, he interacts with a subordinate, who is full of life. It is while interacting with her, when she tells him that he should find his purpose in life. In this dinner with his subordinate, the last one he has with her, Watanabe realizes that might not be too late for him to accomplish something valuable before his life ends. He remember a stagnant project, due to bureaucracy, to transform a mosquito infested city area into a children’s playground. Watanabe works hard to achieve the creation of this park and the night before its inauguration he dies. In his funeral, the story unfolds to understand if Watanabe knew about his sickness or not.

Watanabe - Film Ikiru

Watanabe – Film Ikiru – Photo source

Personally, the film is a jewel. The story and how the film is shoot helps you to immerse in the situation. The actor Watanabe, Takashi Shimura, does a wonderful work showing pain and despair.  He acts so well the living without living.

Even that the narrative of the film takes place in Japan during the 50s. I attempt to say the message and even some of the bureaucracy life style events in the movie are current, even 63 years later. Therefore, the film is a current one, perhaps filmed with “old” technology.

For those who do not like “slow” films, this movie might be difficult. However its tempo, in my opinion, immerse you in the narrative and its message. The film invites you to think, across different scenes, about the meaning for life offering distinctive messages, for example:

  • life is brief
    (this sentence is from the song Gondola no Uta which was written in 1915 and it is a central song in the film)
  • I can’t afford to hate anyone. I don’t have that kind of time.

Ikiro is a film, which I highly recommend to watch. If you want to look at it online, at the Dailymotion, you can find it:

Dresden Der Film

Week 32, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

Film: Dresden
Language: German (original)
Genre: drama, war, romance

I just watched Dresden Der Film and it created  an impact.  I am not a moviegoer neither an expert on films. I watch films just when I feel like it and I rank them according on how much the film manages to get me involve in it.  I know a strange ranking system, but that is how it works inside me. If the film triggers my inner, then it is a good film for me. Once the film enters the category of a good film then I can analyze why and how it moved me. As I said, I follow a strange method or as Mónica tells me, I have my carolingio language 😛

As I am collecting in this blog, at some level, the things that influence me, after watch this film, I decide I should start to mention some films too.

By chance I start to watch Dresden. It turns out that this is the first film I watch from the WWII produced by Germans. For me the film was intense and let me thinking a lot about my Germans. During and after the film, made resonance what I have read in the book of Berlin at war.

My focus of attention in the film was not the romantic triangle, which is the fictional narrative in the film. I was astonished by the historical events that the film transmits, and its message in general. Later I found the review of C. Markuss explaining why the screen is excellent. In his words:

“I found the screenplay to be excellent, at times combining satire with pathos, and the more evil aspects of the Third Reich are cleverly woven into the film – the German nurse married to a Jew, both hoping the war will end soon, the corrupt Nazi Gauleiter and his officials long on rhetoric but short on integrity and political awareness as Germany slowly tips into the abyss, and the doctors who illegally trade morphine for tickets and passports to Switzerland for themselves and their families. The scenes of destruction and suffering make compelling viewing, and the use of British actors to play the RAF personnel and show their point of view makes for a balanced film, particularly the scene showing German civilians lynching enemy air-crew, something also done earlier both in France and the UK on occasions. The use of Britons to play the RAF personnel also avoids those irritating foreign accents.”

It is amazing to perceive our human nature in extreme moments. Also I experience an honest respect to get a glimpse of our history, to what our ancestors have passed. Still processing…..



Image from here