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Amores Perros (2000)
Love. Betrayal. Death.

A fatalistic car crash in Mexico city sets off a chain of events in the lives of three people: a supermodel, a young man wanting to run off with his sister-in-law, and a homeless man. Their lives are catapulted into unforeseen situations instigated by the seemingly inconsequential destiny of a dog.

Amores Perros (2000)

Panting Astrology

I believe that the future of film is now firmly in the hands of Spanish-speaking filmmakers. Not that they make the best films, but that they have the current crop of ideas. We saw Italians introduce us to the notion that a camera can be tethered to the soul of a character and follow him around. This is still the standard of the much celebrated Scorsese.

The French were briefly interesting when to this they added the notion of reflexivity, where the mechanics of film-making became a character. Hollywood — in their more interesting films — extended this notion of folding to an amazing collection of ironic and self-referential devices.

Meanwhile, Spanish literature was long incubating a synthesis of fabulism within self-reference (Cervantes invented the notion) combined with earthy sensuality, sometimes natural energy.

So in contrast to the Scorsese-led “character” stuff, and the often mechanical Hollywood folding exercises, we get Spanish films from Medem, Almodovar and Garcia. Rodriguez is very much in this camp. And now this.

Yes, it is overly long and uneven. Yes it is artificially gritty and has some dishonest performances. But it is extremely well constructed, both on a dramatic and conceptual level.

Folding in this context is placed in the fantasy of rather than perspective or character.

Why give several stories? Taratino does because Kar Wai Wong does, and his motive is to bleach the story away and focus on the musical texture of the mood. But Garcia does it (“Ten Tiny Love Stories,” “Things You Can Tell By Just Looking at Her.”) to synthesize a single entity out of many and a single larger context out of the many sketched situations.

The focus is on that larger context, and what magical dynamics are at work. It is pop cosmology as art drawn from drowning the soap opera content. It is new melodrama — melodrama is when the characters are puppets to external forces — with attention to interesting exposition and subterranean channels of those forces.

Fate. Dogs as astrological entities.

Posted in 2004

Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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