Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jason goes to SFIFF--Day 5

Two movies last Monday, as we celebrate some of the few Latin American offerings in this festival (now that their home is in The Mission, here's hoping there's more.)
First up was the Mexican youth movie, LEAF BLOWER. Three friends are walking back from a soccer game. Walking through the park, there are big piles of leaves. One of them offers 10 pesos if another one jumps into a leaf pile. He does, they have a laugh, he stiffs him the 10 pesos (claiming he has no change on him at the moment.) And then the leaf jumper realizes he has lost his keys. It must be in the leaf pile. Which is a bummer, because he needs to go home and change for their friend's funeral (he died in a motorcycle accident.) Worse still, he had borrowed his girlfriend's car, and her key was on his key ring. She's gonna kill him. So the three of them spend all day coming up with brilliant plans to find the keys without actually doing much work looking for them. All the while, they tease each other with a sort of stereotypical young Latin machismo (not that this isn't common place in the U.S., either.) As their day progresses, the lack of effort in finding the keys becomes a kind of metaphor for their lack of effort in taking any sort of role in growing up. But by the end, they each take their own sort of tentative steps into maturity. Your enjoyment of the movie probably hinges on how much you'd enjoy hanging out with these three. I personally found them kind of dull and annoying (i.e., very believable as young men,) but know a lot of people who enjoyed the film.
And then I saw NEON BULL. As an aside, kudos to the festival for really bringing the weird stuff this year. So far, it's been a delightfully weird lot of films I've seen, and this one is right among the top. It takes place on the rodeo bull-wrangling circuit, with the protagonists being the behind-the scenes workers. A very macho world, but the main character is more interested in designing clothes than corralling the bulls. So much so that when he steals his colleagues nudie magazine, it's so he can draw his clothing designs on the naked women. He also designs sexy horse costumes for his female truck driver/boss to wear in dance routines at the end of the rodeo. Weird, erotic, gender- and genre-defying. Not just the sexy horse dances, but this whole darn movie. And it was fantastic. It'll also be coming to the Roxie right after the festival.
Total Running Time: 197 minutes
My Total Minutes: 427,111

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