Monday, October 10, 2011

Buenas noches, España


I could not give a synopsis for something that I have not understood. So let me just give you an idea how this film goes. There is a box which grows larger and larger until it is big enough to fill the whole screen. In that box is a couple on a sofa watching something which appears to be the audience watching them. The title appears on the screen. After that we are treated to an orgy of sounds and colorful hues depicting repetitive scenes that seem like a road trip. The guy has his hand on the wheel of a Peugeot. The girl sits on the back seat. The girl covers the guy’s eyes. So on and so forth. The scenes repeat themselves all while changing hues from green to blue and back to green again while accompanied by some screeching sound that sounds like white noise. There are instances when a scene would be shown in black and white, around two of them, without a soundtrack aside from complete silence. And then there are three instances when some info are flashed on the screen, something about the history of Teleportation between Spain and its colonies and how a soldier stationed in Manila back in the 1500’s was one night suddenly found in Mexico City.

This is my first Raya Martin film and I am curious about his other movies. I did attend three units of film class back in university but my mind was absent most of the time so I never really got the hang of that Surrealism thingy. All I know is that surreal films look like dreams. And dreams are weird, disjointed, and subject to many interpretations. However, I wasn’t in the mood for some nosebleed earlier this evening so as much as I wanted to try and interpret what this movie is all about, I just decided against it. If you have an interpretation, do share. I am curious to know what I missed. I don’t really know if movies like this are meant to be understood or are they just intentionally made to be weird.

The synopsis in the brochure says that it has something to do with teleportation and colonial Philippines. I have no idea about the latter if it was even hinted on the film. What I know is that the couple was in a museum somewhere in the Basque region of Spain. As for the teleportation issue, there is one scene where they join hands, look up in the air and jump before disappearing. Perhaps that was it?

Anyway I am thankful for this film because my dreams are like this, except that mine is not really that colorful and there are less sound effects. Still, they both qualify as weird to me. I’ve been forcing insomnia upon me lately and dreams seldom visit me nowadays. Watching this was like seeing a dream. Unfortunately not many thought so. Around 1/5 of the audience walked out after half an hour or so.

I gave it three clovers because I honestly do not know how to grade movies like this. I am just a moviegoer giving out random comments based on the many personal biases I harbor within me. I am used to mainstream movies with a plot that is easy to follow, a story that is clear, and plenty of dialogues, elements which seem to be a blur in this movie. I would leave the judgment to people who have good background in film to analyze this one. This movie is just beyond my powers.

4 creature(s) gave a damn:

Anonymous said...

Saw it last night. One of my companions couldn't take it anymore so we had to leave the Cinema. The grating sounds of the electric guitar static did it in for me. If it weren't for that, I could have sat through the movie as well.

ihcahieh said...

@Anonymous - Hi, I was able to endure it until the end but nothing really made sense to me. I am used to weird sound and images so endurance was not really an issue, hahaha. I did notice some things like the repetitive climbing of the stairs by the girl, then the guy, then both. Each time they climbed, some sort of shadow is superimposed showing the same scene, in that there were three shadows and the original scene by the time that scene was repeated for the fourth time. The problem is, I don't know if that means anything, or if it should mean anything, or maybe I am over analyzing things. Hahaha. =)

avee said...

i couldn't stand it. i left 15 minutes into the film. my only regret? i should have left earlier before the headache started to set in.

ihcahieh said...

@avee - Hi, it was actually my first time to see people walk out of the cinema. Actually people do that when watching mainstream but that mostly happens to those who don't get guaranteed seats and walked in halfway through the movie. Felt a bit sad for Raya (first name basis?! Haha) but I guess it should be expected since his movie is not something which the typical moviegoer is really used to.

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