Thursday, May 5, 2011
short film to their credit: Daniel Vega Vidal and Diego Vega Vidal. Their collaborative effort titled OCTUBRE offers up this change in the form of its leading character, a money lender named Clemente who is so uptight and self-shielded from feeling that, rather than having any positive identity of his own, he is known by all as "the pawnbroker's son."
Now, I like a good cry as much as the next moviegoer, but I must say that I'm even more impressed with what the Vega bros have done. They capture us with stillness and vision, with quiet symbo-lism that won't shout. Instead -- like the piece of large counterfeit currency our "hero" has received and keeps trying to pass off to the next sucker -- it takes on meaning and weight in utterly believable fashion.
Bruno Odar (above) lets a gruff exterior mask, certainly no heart of gold, but the soul of a man who has grown up by keeping himself away from kindness and feeling. His change is so incremental and unfelt by him that he and we realize it at approximately the same time.
Gabriela Velásquez, above) and Don Fico (Carlos Gassols, below) an old man who has his own problems but who connects with Clemente is ways both known and not-so.
Fergan Chávez-Ferrer does a yeoman job of shooting beautiful yet simple interiors, cropped subtly and interestingly, and the lighting is rich and lovely with browns and yellows, warm and uninviting at the same time, as seems appropriate for Clemente. Character is shown through performance but also via the set. Note below the chair on which the money-lender sits and the lower stool for his clients. Clemente is not a large man, but there will be no mistaking who is in charge.
New Yorker Films (who last year gave us My Dog Tulip), opens this Friday, May 6, in New York at the Angelika Film Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinema -- followed by a welcome national release.