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Freaky la peli, un comportamiento maniatico
A slow burn to an unusual climax.
El protagónico de Castro equilibra un poco el resto de malos actores pero no la salva de todo, el guión resulta lento y no muy interesante. Se aguantan los 93 minutos que dura pero es lenta y un poco aburrida, la historia tiene algo de interesante pero en general adormece.
Could have been more interesting, but the directing or the writing makes you have to guess what was going on in the minds of the characters. So the reason(s) for how the movie ended is up for grabs.
Full of humanity and an homage to Caracas
The winner of the Golden Lion at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival in 2015, From Afar is the debut feature film by Lorenzo Vigas. The film is centered around Armando (Alfredo Castro), a lonely but wealthy middle-aged denture-maker who takes to the streets to find straight, reluctant young men to pay to stand, about-face with their nude buttocks facing him for his sexual gratification. Armando's sexual modus operandi is interestingly "hands-off," so-to-speak, as he never touches the young men he pays. Strangely enough, the lack of actual intercourse makes the experience seem even more demeaning for Armando's young subjects as they stand starkly aware of their objectification and desperation.
Armando's risky while also seemingly predatory hunt for young men is contrasted by his deeply repressed yet highly ordered personal life, which seems devoid of meaningful company or consistent familial interaction. His relative wealth in comparison to the poverty-stricken quarters he searches for men in also provides him no seeming comfort. Armando's sexual routine brings him into contact with Élder (Luis Silva), a young man in a street gang involved in petty crime. Even by the low standards set by his own criminal behavior, Élder is an especially troubling individual with a penchant for violence and instability. Running the streets without a mind for even surface-deep analysis, Élder is a primal animal, moving from exploit to exploit with a single-minded focus.
Armando's initial encounter with Élder is a familiar story in which Élder greets Armando's requests with homophobic rage but obliges once a large sum of money enters the picture. However, Élder is never kind or willing to settle into the role of being hired, objectified or sexually exploited. The sexual purpose of which Élder has been sought is not fulfilled and a violent kerfuffle ends with Armando badly assaulted and his money stolen. Seemingly a complete experience that would impart a lesson of caution to even the most hard-headed, the experience does not end. Instead, Armando seeks out Élder again only to the same result minus the violence. Still, Armando persists in his interest leading to an unusual "trust then try" interaction of intrigue with limits. After paying to ascertain Élder's whereabouts, Armando discovers Élder has been severely beaten. He nurses him back to health, entering a more personal yet still difficult interaction.
As the characters interact, small but simple details illuminate the disposition of both men from Armando's likely unpleasant upbringing with an unsympathetic father to Élder's abusive upbringing that he intends to repeat with his own offspring to teach them "what life's about" (an emblematic line indicative of how poverty perpetuates itself into repeated cycles). The film's slow progression is built more on what's not said than what is. It focuses more on gestures and actions than it does communication. In doing so, it communicates the dark impossibility of its situation. The characters are extraordinarily different as one has aged wearily into a double life while the other has barely experienced life as his actions become progressively conducive with long-term functioning.
Despite this, the characters balance themselves into a state in which there is the basic understanding that if these characters were a little kinder to their own selves as individuals, they could work as a couple and maybe be happy. Unfortunately, it is simultaneously clear that these characters are both past a point in their lives or development in which these needed changes are possible. The impossibility of them is emotionally frustrating because despite their less-than-likable initial on-screen impressions, they burgeoned into multi-dimensional people with causes and effects regarding the totality of their existence as human beings. The ambiguity of the ending is less ambiguous regarding one character than it is the other, but in any event, one can't help but feel disappointed by the outcome of forced circumstantial dissolution. However, kudos to Lorenzo Vigas' character-building prowess as his film overall is not disappointing. It's quite telling even in its statement about impossible love.
Test movie review for poster.
A noisy Caracas street shows a 50's year old men Armando a dental prosthetic. He is a serious, formal man searching for a prey. He approached to a teenager on the bus, offer him a stack on money, in exchanges of company. For him seems to be his hobby.
One day he noticed a 17th year old kid name Elder who works in a junkyard where he repair old cars. He is also a member of a gang who steal auto parts Suddenly a relationship of love and hate develops between them, as well a dramatic revelation for both and the consequences of drastic actions.
Lorenzo Vigas directs "Desde Allá/From Afar" the first Venezuelan film to win the major price at last year Venice Film Festival. The movie explore homosexuality as a taboo in Latin American countries, but also the roughness of life in opposite places like United States where the capitalism has take over. The film shot in the neighborhood of Catia in Caracas, presents a place that can easily be confused with Bogotá, Lima, La Paz or even Quito. "From Afar", separate the establishment of a country and concentrate in the intimacy and loneliness of the characters.
Armando and Elder both works in a place where they constantly fix and hide the traces of the damage of time, either in someone's mouth or a vehicle. Their life center of solving the problem of fixing part of a life, while their life itself is tortured by abuse, wealth and in-satisfaction. Elder always wear a jersey with the number 10, a sign of success but also demise for soccer players who become the best in the world, while in the end they become none hero.
In a recent interview Mr Vigas seems to be influence by the style from Robert Bresson's "Pickpocket" his shots are long and force the audience to look around and discover what the actors are thinking without telling everyone. The actions goes out of focus, or the main roles separate from each other in a foreground background dance. I'ts visual style borrow from europeans like Luc Besson, Michael Haneke, Igmar Bergman and even Mathieu Kassovitz.
The film is powerful and delivers an intense story with no music at all, that cause a big conflict in the audience who are expecting a cheap solution from drama. Vegas plays with the audience looking or there reactions.
Along with Viva it is one of the best Foreign LBGT films of the year and ever even. Both deal with an Older man and a much younger trouble young men albeit it different ways. The way you feel about them changes throughout the course of films and both films have astonishing performances by its leads and in this films case that of Alfredo Castro and newcomer Luis Silva.
Although it sometimes feels like an exercise in style (with it's, almost aggressively, out-of-focus photography and long, long silences) and it doesn't quite get near the slow-cinema masters it's trying to imitate (Nuri Bilge Ceylan or Tsai Ming-liang), "Desde Allá" is an interesting study of masculinity, violence and awkward sexuality in a violent society, that perfectly reflects a certain state-of-mind that seems to be inherent to the everyday Venezuelan in the 2010's. The plot doesn't even simmer until a full hour has passed, but in the end you get kind of rewarded for your patience. It's a very interesting film, and I think this one, along with "Pelo Malo", should be (one of) the direction(s) Venezuelan cinema should follow.