Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DVDebut: Sebastian Gutierrez's latest catnip delight, GIRL WALKS INTO A BAR

Have you discovered what TrustMovies calls the peculiar universe of filmmaker Sebastian Gutierrez? It's a place where awful things threaten to happen -- after all, we're in the land of porn stars, unfaithful husbands or wives, dirty cops and contract killers -- but they never do. People connect sweetly, sadly, delectably, in the oddest ways, producing smiles, chuckles and sometimes outright belly laughs. Folk have called this writer/director's dialog deadpan, but it's much livelier than that; you strain so as not to miss a single word. No one else these days is doing anything like this, and I rather think that, were Noel Coward still alive, he'd appreciate Gutierrez's abilities -- if not his sometimes inelegant but very clever, humorous style.

Gutierrez's latest (the director is shown at right) --GIRL WALKS INTO A BAR-- which very well may be his best yet, is full of much of the above and seems even lighter on its feet (if this is possible) than his earlier work like Women in Trouble and Elektra Luxx. Each set of characters registers as specific, quirky and readily understandable, and what they all want pushes the plot, such as it is, speedily along. These characters connect -- sometime slightly, but always importantly -- and they are so much fun to be with (another hallmark of Gutierrez) that you really don't want to them to leave. Like all of his work, this film, quite short, lasts just 80 minutes.

This writer/director understands the old saw about the importance of leaving your audience wanting more. He does, and consequently so do we. As usual, too, he has cast his movie ideally, and the performers all rise to his sweet nonsense like hummingbirds to honey-water. His regular leading lady (and if I am not mistaken his significant other) Carla Gugino (below, left), along with Emmanelle Chriqui (below, right), are abetted by Sebastian newcomers like Zachary Quinto, Josh Hartnett (above, right), Rosario Dawson (above, left), Robert Forster (two photos below, at right, with Amber Valletta), Danny DeVito (at bottom) and Alexis Bledel -- with everyone rising to the occasion.

There are plenty more good people on view, too, but listing them all would take longer than watching this film. (Consult the movie's IMDB page if you want to note the entire cast.)

The film is connected via the connections of its bizarre characters, and as it tumbles merrily along its one-night-stand, it takes us into one interesting bar after another (nude ping-pong, anyone?) until dawn has almost broken and all is well.

Mr. Gutierrez's finale is as off-the-cuff charming and wonderful as any you could ask for. More please, Sebastian!

Girl Walks into a Bar is available now, for sale or rental, from the usual suspects.  If you're already a Gutierrez devotee, you're be lining up now. If you're a newcomer to filmmaker, it's perfectly OK -- maybe ever preferable -- to begin with this funny, feisty little film.

The photos above are from the film itself, 
with the exception of that of Gutierrez, 
which is by Frazer Harrison, courtesy of Getty Images.

No comments: