GüerosLondon Film Festival 2014
Thursday 9th October, 6.30pm – BFI Southbank
Sunday 12th October, 6.30pm – Ritzy
Mischievous teen Tomás (Sebastian Aguirre) is sent by his worn-out mother to stay with older brother Federico (Tenoch Huerta) to grow up. Upon arrival Tomas’ eyes are opened to the not-so-together life of his elder brother, known among his friends as Sombra (Shadow). The local university is rife with political voices as it reaches 163 days on strike. Despite being students, Sombro and his pal while away their time stealing electricity in their unpaid-for apartment. When finally busted by the neighbours they’re forced out onto the road. Tomás and Sombra learn of the illness of musician Epigmenio Cruz, whom they both love and begin to search out in hope of getting their father’s old cassette signed. A visit to an assembly at the university, the voice of pirate radio station and incidentally a girl whom Sombra is in love with joins the pack on their unhurried and nondescript journey.
There is both fire and tenderness between the characters that explore a number of kinds of love. From Tomás‘ mother telling him he has to leave, to the at first volatile but ever-strengthening bond between the brothers, Ruizpalacios pits quiet personal exchange against the rowdy noise of a protesting Mexico City.
The black and white stylistic decision highlights the mundane beauty of the surroundings. Heightening line and tone without the confusion of colour, the camera nostalgically records the events, poeticising them.
Although the sound of Epigmenio Cruz is never revealed, the effect it has on the characters appears to be captivating. It’s a wonderful mix of beauty and the surreal in the sequence where Sombro suffers a panic attack in the escape exit of the apartment; white feathers fill the car and blurring vision and the line between real and hallucinated. Witty moments and music lighten the film and lift it from the darker more serious political context. Grounded in reality, it is a paced wandering of a journey of personal growth for the very likeable character. A loose but enjoyable plot, go for the lyrical cinematography.
Güeros is released in the UK on 9th October 2014.
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