Monday, October 24, 2011
PHILADELPHIA FILM FESTIVAL #4: MISS BALA (NOTES)
This is just some notes I took on the film. We'll add more once other members of the collective see the film tomorrow. I'm just doing this because this film does some interesting things, but walking away from the screening I wasn't fully sure what to feel, even after a couple hours of rumination. Yet, these couple points might sell you on checking out the film. One I hope, even if I come to not fully embrace the film, will come to the Ritz theaters.
*Film comprised of a series of steadicam longtakes (similar to Alfonso Cuaron but with the grace of Wong Kar Wai) that are so planned out and put together in a precise way that the whole visual design make this film so strange and surreal
*Naranjo is one of the foremost autuers in Mexico at present. He definitely knows what he is doing, at least in a formalist sense, in his past films and this one.
*Amazing cinematography/visually striking scenes in the dark. A few scenes happen with little to no light, it is really innovative, so we get black silhouettes against black. Our eyes get to adjust and it is such a simple, but daring move to do cinematographically.
*The film's focus, seemingly about a gal that gets caught up in a Mexican cartel, is something more than that. It is trying to hone in on something, at times intensity of the scene, other times the humanity of the protagonist, etc., there is something larger going on.
*We technically follow the main character through out. In the beginning we're not given much of her personality, then it is seemingly posited and also forged through out. This style of lack of exposition, letting us put it together, is well done.
*Gave me the feeling of Jacques Audiard's A Prophet.
We're a collective, so I would like to talk about this more when we all see it because it is one of those films that I can't tell if a lot is going on or a little. Maybe it is the whole drug dealer narrative that is throwing me off, but I'll sit with a film a bit and just come back to it later.
Posted by Shooting Wall