Clockwise from top left: Los cronocrímenes / Timecrimes (Nacho Vigalondo, 2007), La mujer sin piano / Woman Without Piano (Javier Rebollo, 2010), Biutiful (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2010), Muertos de risa / Dying of Laughter (Álex de la Iglesia, 1999)
This the latest batch of films I've watched -I tried to watch a fair few before I went back to work / started the second job so that I could store up some of these posts. In this case my viewing tactics resulted in a bit of mixed bag. I'm late to the party with Timecrimes, although I've had numerous people recommend it to me, and I liked it very much. I liked that on the one hand it manages to be very clear (the different time frames / Hectors are clearly delineated -a lot of thought has gone into how events unfold and everything has a pay-off) but on the other it is still something of a mindfuck. In summary: clever and entertaining. In contrast, La mujer sin piano is a difficult film to summarise. Essentially it is 24 hours in the life of a Spanish housewife (played by Carmen Machi), mainly focussing on her nocturnal adventure when she seems to walk out on her humdrum life and sets out to get a bus to an unknown destination, but ends up walking the streets of the city as nothing goes as planned. It's one of those films that you either get into, or it leaves you cold -I struggled for the first half hour but persisted because I was intrigued as to what was going to happen to her. There's a nice line in quietly deadpan humour and an unusual use of sound. Biutiful was one of the films I mentioned a while back saying that I would write about it –I’ve been putting off watching it because my general impression was that it was a misery-fest, although in the event it wasn’t as bad as I’d been led to believe. I will write about it soon, probably focussing on Javier Bardem's performance, which I think is the main strength of the film. I really like some of Álex de la Iglesia's films (El día de la bestia (1995) and La comunidad (2000) are particular favourites of mine) but likewise others just do nothing for me: unfortunately Muertos de risa (which I hadn't seen before) falls into the latter category.