Monday, March 20, 2006

La peor pelicula de todos!!

I went down to Mar Del Plata the other weekend for a little break from the bustle of the big city. I didn't realize I was going for a film festival, but these things happen when you've only spoken a language for a month or two and you spend all your time in the company of non-english speakers. But I was game, having not seen too many films since coming down here, and well, it was an International Film festival.

We arrived (by auto, que bueno) Friday night to my roommate's house ( well the house of his mother ), and ate well. Went over to his cousin's place, and ate some more. The eating seems to be a rather common theme in my life here, have to have something to look forward to. Saturday morning we were awoken bright and early via intercom to eat some more, fantastic medialunes. Better than any I've yet to have in this city, and that's no small amount.

We headed out to purchase our barrage of film entradas ( this is when I found out I would be spending 8 hours a day in movie theatres ). Everything was done by name since no one had any insight as to the content of any given film. My favorite was "Bang Bang Orangutang." Had a little tour of Mar Del, kind of like a shabby version of Atlantic City. I have become accustomed to being underwhelmed by places that Argentines tell me are incredible, Mar Del being one, Villa de Angostura another. Don't get me wrong, the locations are great, but the development, well, another thing entirely. I think they are all trying to convince themselves how great it is to be Argentine since they can't leave after the devaluation (personal theory). That said, I do like Argentina.

So, first movie was "Frontieras," a sad story about a few Africans from different backgrounds all trying to make it to Spain and a better world. As can be expected, it ended on a downnote. "Bang Bang Orangutang," a swedish/danish film, started with all the glitz and oddness one might expect from those spunky Scandinavians. Lots of loud rock, crazy colors, funny accents, and then, in the first five minutes, the main character ran over his 5 year old son, Oscar. It became progressively weirder from then on, but was all in all a solid film. "Le Fleuve," another return to Africa type film was just boring, although brief nudity goes a long way to restoring the merit to any film.

However, excessive nudity can do much to damage one's psyche, as we would find out in the next film, "Batalla en el Cielo." The opening credits were accompanied by loud Mexican nationalist music, which then cut to silence and a somewhat obese unattractive mexican man's face. As the camera pans down, turns out he's naked in a cold grey room. The further down we go, he's receiving fellatio from a young girl, graphic, graphic, graphic. While I don't want to go into details as I had many pesadillas (nightmares) of this film, it got worse. The gordo had a gorda for a wife, roughly 1 metre wide, and they too made graphic graphic love. I'd say 25% left the film, I took a nap.

The next day I made my first asado! Well, with a little help from my roommate, but I made the fire, watched the meat, all those necessary manly tasks. This is a truly segregated country, the girls we were with had no idea what to do with the parilla. They offered to help, but only in the kitchen or in the bringing of the mate to me. Which was acceptable.

After wallowing in my digestive juices, we hit up another movie marathon. Solo Dios Sabe, a very sad beautiful Brazilian story, some campy Spanish flick. Princip y Fin, a documentary on the eldery of rural Brazil, this was a little difficult for me, all in Portuguese with Spanish subtitles, and a whole lot of dialogue. I managed, but left a little tired. Finally, C.R.A.Z.Y., a touching story of a young French Canadian boy and his route out of the closet in his traditional family, replete with an old bedouin man in the deserts of Israel. Easily the best of all, good soundtrack, strong character development, well laid storyline.

Hopped a night bus back to BsAs, just in time to take a shower and head off to my first english class of the morning.

I cannot understand why so many Argentines willingly go into the english teaching profession. Perhaps if you are more professional it is more rewarding, that would explain why my enjoyment level is so low.


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