Posts tagged with “alfonso cuaron”
BIUTIFUL (2010/In Theaters) This very moving film is the fourth from Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu and his first screenplay created without his writing partner Guillermo Arriaga. The two famously created Amores Perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003) and Babel (2006). This time the story centers around one character—Uxbal, played to perfection by Javier Bardem—who is a devoted single dad to his young daughter Ana and her brother Mateo and who scrapes by each day in the poor sections of Barcelona. Uxbal learns early in the film that he is dying of liver cancer and has only months to live, at best. We join him for his final days on earth as he desperately tries to prepare and to make sure his children will be OK. The style of the film, and the camera work, will feel familiar to anyone who has seen Inarritu’s earlier films. It has a close, gritty feel—we are absolutely brought into the day to day lives of the characters. Uxbal is fundamentally a good guy, but he is beset on all sides. He makes his small living in part by communicating with the recently deceased on behalf of their loved ones and moreso by helping dark-skinned Senegalese men sell fake handbags to Barcelona tourists. The bags are made by illegal immigrants from China who are working in a Barcelona-based sweatshop. Read more »
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead (by Max Brooks) & 28 Days Later (directed by Danny Boyle)/28 Weeks Later (directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo) – If you feel like you’ve been getting too much restful sleep, or have fallen behind in stocking your basement with end-of-days supplies (may I suggest loads of bottled water, a machete, and delicious MRE entrees?), take in a back-to-back viewing of these bleak, humorless tales of zombie mayhem. Feel empowered by following up with The Zombie Survival Guide, a straight (yet often hilarious) how-to for those of us who choose to fight the undead menace. I may or may not have a confirmed Zombie Safe Zone, and no, there isn’t any room for you and your noisy grandma. Gluttons for punishment can also check out World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, also by Brooks, and plan on sleeping with a dense, zombie-bashing flashlight by the side of their bed for the rest of their adult lives. Safety first.
The World Without Us (by Alan Weisman) & Children of Men (directed by Alfonso Cuarón) – Up for an optimism-shattering, heartbreaking, yet entirely plausible vision of the world we may have experienced with a McCain/Palin administration? (You know it’s true.) Gorgeously shot and almost unbearably tense, Children of Men is my favorite film that I will never, ever watch again. But not to worry, nervous nellies—Weisman assures us that we can go ahead and blow ourselves to smithereens, but our planet and many types of algae and disgusting insects will survive. Comforting? Uh, only if you’re the type who thinks you’ll be too busy hangin’ in the clouds with Einstein and Bea Arthur to care. You weirdo.