Director: Arturo Ripstein.
Starring: Claudio Brook, Rita Macedo, Diana Bracho, Arturo Beristáin, Gladys Bermejo, David Silva, María Rojo. Mexico. 1h 41m
After seeing the epic Dogtooth (2009) by the cult director Lanthimos, I was mystified by the circumstances, the basis of the story is a man raising his family in such isolation, their offbeat lifestyle seems so extraordinary to the eye of any outsider, the whys were never really answered the film just happens. But after a little digging i discovered that the film isn’t a remake but has a similar storyline to El castillo de la pureza, an excellent Mexican drama where a man isolates his family to protect them from “the evils of human beings”. While I thoroughly enjoy Dogtooth everytime I see it, there’s something deeper in this retro classic as it digs under the skin of the abnormal situation.
Gabriel Lima (Brook) and his gorgeous wife Beatriz (Macedo) have invented a brilliant homemade rat poison, their children all have roles in helping them manufacture this brilliant powder. Each day they get up and get to work, always in silence when working, then their father gets dressed in formal clothes and goes out to sell the rat poison to local shops and businesses, meanwhile the children have to exercise, learn and for a while they play.
Things start to breakdown, slowly at first, but as the movie builds pace it becomes a waves of crushing emotions for the disciplined and sexually driven father and more jail time for the children. Leaving their poor mother looking on at the madness. Continue reading El castillo de la pureza / Castle of Purity (1972)
AKA The Mansion of Madness
Director:Juan López Moctezuma .
Starring.Claudio Brook, Arthur Hansel, Ellen Sherman. Marin LaSalle. Susana Kamini. Mexico. 1h 39m.
The concept of this darkly macabre path into insanity is simple, the inmates have taken over the asylum. This vision of madness come from the king of the unusual, the film is loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The System of Dr Tarr and the Professor Feather. A reporter (Brook) and his entourage have been invited to 19th century asylum hidden deep in the woods, their guide promises easy access but they are confronted by two armed guards, eventually they are let in and split up, the reporter takes one route while his beloved is chased through the woods and abused. After meeting various groups of people acting out wildly in the forest he meets the megalomaniac who’s running the whole affair and soon realises that the inmates have taken over and the prisoners are the redundant staff. In the absence of medical care they are left to their own crazy devices and act out their basest fantasies and have incredibly surreal urges. Continue reading Dr Tarr’s Torture Dungeon (1973)
One of those life changing movies, and continues to be my go to film from time to time, a small indie movie graced by some impressive names, just because it’s that darn good of a film. Ghostdog is a lonely character, is only friend is a French speaking ice cream seller, his passion is Bushido and his Pigeons. After being saved by a mob boss, his adapted the way of the Samurai and looks upon this man as his master and he is a retainer. The mafia uses his dedication and sends him out to do hits. One goes awry and the mob turn on Ghostdog, but they don’t’ know who they are fucking with. Forest Whittaker plays the main character and he’s perfect, RZA had a hand in it’s production and the soundtrack takes a facet from each style of black music, it almost started a movement, (black) urban samurai 9/10
Continue reading La Weekend July 5
Director :Michel Franco Starring :Tim Roth (Mexico/France) 1h 47m
It’s not often that films like to detail the withering away of a person, it’s usually a story that doesn’t attract a large crowd, it can be depressing, sad, often conjuring up lots of emotions that an audience doesn’t want to feel, sensitive issues and awkward situations that an audience doesn’t want to feel. Chronic deals with a lot of these, in their rawness and forces us all to watch all the details. Continue reading Chronic (2015)