Tuesday, January 19, 2010
THE PARANOIDS opens, Daniel Hendler scores in Gabriel Mendina's film
You wouldn't think that any movie about a character who's a major depressive would involve you so thoroughly for all of its 100-minute running time. But then you haven't seen Gabriel Medina's unusual Argentine film THE PARANOIDS, opening this Friday in New York City's Cinema Village for a limited theatrical release.
Medina (shown at left) has wisely chosen the popular Argentine star Daniel Hendler, shown below, left (of The Bottom of the Sea, Queens, and the "family" trilogy of Daniel Burman), to play the depressed one, Luciano, who thankfully has not quite reached a level of complete paranoia. The film's title refers to a very popular TV show in Spain, the creator of which is a childhood friend of Luciano who has taken Luciano's name and character for use in his show. When that friend, Manny (below, center) -- with his gorgeous girlfriend (below, right) in tow -- shows up at Luciano's door, a chain of events ensues that might either send Luciano into a complete tailspin or maybe goose him out of that depressed state. In any case, some sort of face-off -- again, see below -- seems inevitable.
Nicolas Gueilburt) and director, Señor Medina certainly knows his way around a camera (his cinematographer is the very fine Lucio Bonelli, who shot Liverpool and Music on Hold), as well as understanding the use of pacing, space and color. His film is a constant pleasure to view. He gets good work from all his actors, as well: Supporting Hendler is the beautiful and slightly elusive actress Jazmín Stuart, with Walter Jakob as the undoubtedly smart but also pompous and facile Manny and Martín Feldman as Luciano's somewhat clunky but very sweet co-worker and friend. Medina has a nice touch, too, regarding how and when to use fantasy (see below).
Oscilloscope Laboratories is releasing the film here in the U.S. (which generally means that a DVD is in the works). We owe this fine company a shout-out of thanks.