St. Gloede wrote: ↑September 23rd, 2023, 1:15 pm
1. Apa ca un bivol negru / Water Like a Black Buffalo (1970, Seemingly Everyone)
A gripping portrait of a community after a disaster, that balances first-hand accounts, with the destruction itself, the current reality the survivors are still living in and hopes for the future. It has striking photography of streets still covered with water after the dam burst, tearing down homes and bridges, killing unknown numbers (people are still being fished out) and ruining the livelihood of the farmers that worked the land. It manages to strike a balance between contemplative and sometimes almost unnerving shots capturing the devastations, with the faces of the people. It has an engaging sense of resistance from those choosing to stay, while making the pains of rebuilding everything very clear. 8/10
2. El rufián (1961, Daniel Tinayre)
El rufián is a cool and twisty thriller it is sadly not possible to give a fair score to as I have no idea how the film actually looks in its current scratchy VHS TV recording. The opening is excellent, and I have to give the film credit for its unusual use of character/story changes:
- Where we follow the couple we think the film will be about. It really captures the chaos of the funfair and makes us intrigued as to what their story might be, before their encounter with a fortune teller changes everything.
- We follow the fortune teller certain that someone wants to kill her, and the suspense grows.
- We travel through the crystal ball into the story of the ex-con the fortune teller thinks will kill her as he looks for a woman he used to know.
- An extended section of the film telling us the backstory of our characters.
- Back in the current time with both our two established leads.
I think the film were doing very well in building momentum, suspense and atmosphere for the first three of the above, but the flashbacks, which much have lasted for at least half an hour, really slowed the film down and took away momentum, and became more of a by the numbers kind of thriller/noir. By the end, I also cared less. That said,it is impossible to say how good or even great the film is in its current condition. 7/10