Mar 9, 2006

It's Duck Season!

I'm ecstatic to hear that Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón (Y tu mamá también) has helped find distribution for Duck Season, a lovely Mexican film that had none some months ago, when it was shown to great acclaim at the New Directors/New Films at MoMa. Its young director, Fernando Eimbcke and his producer, explained that they were finding it hard to sell the film in the US because of two reasons: it was in black and white and it was not in English.
Have you noticed how, when you see foreign film previews in artsy fartsy cinemas (because that's the only place they show them), they usually have no dialogue? The reason is that Americans are too lazy to read subtitles. Subtitles put American audiences off. Sad but true. And how do you suppose that most of the world watches the crap that Hollywood exports? In many cases movies are dubbed, but most of the time they are subtitled.
It would have been truly sad if Cuarón had not come to the rescue, for Duck Season is a lovely, lovely film. It's been compared to the films of Ozu and Jim Jarmusch. I found it much more breezy and entertaining than Ozu and much less calculatedly hip than Jarmusch, so Eimbecke has made good use of his influences. Duck Season is fun and touching and fresh and charming, and surprisingly bold cinematically. In this day of easy cheesy digital effects, crazy color correction, smoke and mirrors, Eimbcke shot the film in long takes with a camera locked in place and yet it never feels slow or boring or contrived. I strongly recommend this movie. It's going to be showing at the Angelika soon.

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