World Cinema Marathon

I got to watch a couple of foreign movies recently, thanks a to a gem of a library called Habitat in Bangalore. After watching Amores Perros, I thought I should check out lesser known (to me at least!) movies as they give a refreshing change from the oft seen faces of Hollywood and Bollywood.

Cronicas

Written & directed by Sebastian Coredo, released in 2004, starring John Leguizamo (as star journalist Manolo Bonilla) the movie attempts to look at the thin line between news making and finding the truth.

As the tag line of the movie says: If it's on TV, it must be the truth, the movie focuses on the tale of journalist Bonillo who is on the track of a child serial-killer called the 'Monster of Babahoyo' and comes across a man who is in jail due to the accidental killing of a little boy on the day of the funeral of the little boy's twin who was one of the victims of the monster of Babahoyo. The man has a story to tell about the Monster. In return the journalist has to air a news piece on the very popular show 'La verdad' (the truth) which will drive sympathy and have him released. The movie focuses on the lengths to which Bonillo will go to break the Monster story and at the terrible cost that it will take. How does the man know so much about the Monster ? what secrets does he hide ? How far will he reveal the truth to get his freedom?
The movie is simple, has some good actors and comes close to being a good thriller but looses out ultimately due to the slightly casual treatment.


TESIS

Tesis (or Thesis ) is a thriller about a film student Angela (Anna Torrent)doing her thesis on violent images in cinema, who comes across a tape of a snuff film (film of people being killed) and then finds clues in the film leading her to believe that the killing is very much connected to her campus and may even involve students or faculty from her college campus. Helping her a weird student Chema (Fele Martinez) with a large collection of violent porn and a not so clear past. Then there is the seductive Bosco (Eduardo Noriega) who happens to own a camera which is the same model as the one used to make the sunff film. Now you get your usual suspect everybody and who's the killer kind of story. Directed by Alejandro Amnebar (The Others) the movie has something in it and is a great effort for the low budget production that it had. The performances are commendable with Anna Torent throwing in a very mature performance. This movie is worth a watch


INTACTO

Imagine if your luck could be traded like cards, imagine if all your good luck could be taken away by the touch of a human hand. The movie is a story of people who are interconnected by their luck and at times by being unlucky. A deadly game of high stakes commences with Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia) a thief who is the only unlikely survivor of a plane crash, catching the eye of Federico (Eusebio Poncela) who once upon a time was the 'Luck manager' of the luckiest Jew Sam's (Max Von Sydow) casino and is out for revenge for his powers being taken away. Then there is the bullfighter (Allejandro) who is a contestant for the highest stake of them all and a cop Sara (Monic Lopez) on the trail of Tomas and drawn into the game of luck. Where will it all lead to ? Whose luck will run out ? Will Sam remain the luckiest of them all or will Federico get his revenge ? The movie unfolds leading you to get these answers.

Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the movie somehow fails to hold you but there is this one sequence of the contestants running blindfolded through a dense wooded forest which is really breathtaking !

Entre las piernas (Between your legs)

Directed by Manuel Gómez Pereira, this movie is an erotic thriller that touches on the issue of sex addiction and interweaves a story of adultery and murder.

The erotic sequence at the beginning of the movie is backed by some excellent background score and really succeeds in bringing forth raw animal passion to the screen which very few film-makers are able to bring to the screen. The movie is about Javier (Javier Bardem) a producer and Miranda (Victoria Abril) radio chat person, who is married to the cop Felix (Carmelo Gomez). Javier and Miranda meet at a sex addiction counselling session and there starts a dalliance which takes them to having a escapade in a parking lot on an anonymous car, which is later found to have a dead body in its trunk. The cop investigating the murder is Felix who soon zeroes in on Javier. Will Felix find the killer and find out about his wife's affair ? Who is the mysterious woman Javier meets and who is the young man persistently sending scripts to Javier for his production company.
In spite of it's very garish title the movie actually turns out to be decent enough thriller and though not entirely unpredictable has some good performances from Victoria Abril and Carmelo Gomez which lends some credibility to this slightly above average erotic thriller. It is like a downsized version of Basic Instinct without all the glamour.

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