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Diary
By Tonatiuh (Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 05:08:13 PM EST) (all tags)
You can find it here.

So that would be Barcelona's weekend then.

After that there were more movies, one Italian (entertaining), one Spanish (antiquated), one Mexican (outstanding) and one German-Turkish(worthwhile effort).



So my weekend in Barcelona was spent running and worrying about running. My result was good, I went there intending just to plough along the way, but half way I felt quite strong so I decided to put a bit more effort.

Considering that temperature was quite high (22 degrees and quite sunny) I think I did OK.

After the race I ate like a hog in a braseria in Sant Cougat, I hate Spain, they just have it too easy when it comes to good food and drink...

Back to old Londinium and sandwiches for lunch (argh!) I continued with the London Film Festival programme.

"Days and Clouds" is an Italian movie with a simple plot: a middle aged couple becomes destitute because the husband is an asshole, and unknown to them both, actually a pretty useless kind of guy.

This is par of the course in modern culture, we men are a bunch of useless wimps that could not possible handle a difficult situation. The wife (performed by Margherita Buy, an elegant Italian actress) bears the brunt of the situation and starts an affair while her husband is left to do nothing but odd jobs and fight with their 20 something daughter.

Pretty entertaining but so 70s that may not please most crowds.

Back to feminist terrain I watched "Mataharis" from Spain.Funnily enough I did not watch this film in London but while in Barcelona, but since it was part of the film festival I will smuggle it here.

The film follows 3 women working as private eyes, each one in different stages of her life . The older woman, menopausal, with an indifferent husband, flirting with a younger male client; the middle aged one with a husband that may or may not be cheating on her while she juggles work with rearing their children; the youngest one starting her dream carrier while falling in love with the guy she is supposed to be investigating.

Their boss is, guess what, a complete misogynistic asshole, who forces them to take decisions about their future by being a bully. His memorable line is more less "you will do whatever you need to do to get the job done, I don't care how many guys you have to shag". Most charming.

The female visual attractive is provided by Maria Vazquez, who is not the prettiest buy looks good in jeans.

Fine movie if you catch it.

The outstanding movie of this lot is without a question "Bad Habits", the debut feature  by Mexican director Simon Bross.

Simon is a strange character, he is a Jewish-Mexican guy that has done TV adds all his life (he owns one of the most successful advertisement companies in the Spanish speaking  world). Then he got kidney cancer, that he survived, after which he decided to do something completely crazy to celebrate. This movie is the fruit of that moment of grateful madness.

One has to say that he is very well connected, People involved in other movies like "Amores Perros" and "Y tu mama tambien" lend him a very helpful hand, he recorded the music in Italy, got help with special effects in Canada and in general got lots of help.

The movie is about 3 women (again!): a mother and her daughter and a nun (I don't remember if she is the aunt of the girl of just a friend of both, will watch it again).

The theme is eating disorders: the mother is a compulsive anorexic obsessed with losing weight, her daughter in contrast is overweight and a continuous source of embarrassment for her mother, who tries every remedy under the sun to force her daugher to lose weight, and the nun, who after graduating as a doctor takes the habit, offers her hunger to God in order to request and initially to obtain favours for others.

The beauty of the movie is that you can't pin down who is the main character: it could be any of the women, some people said it was the mother, the director thinks is the little fat girl, many others will select the nun. That is how well balanced the movie is, the 3 histories well told, intertwining where they should, and providing enough twists to keep everybody interested.

In the sidelines is the story of the father and husband, who unsatisfied sexually and emotionally starts an affair with a student in the University where he teaches. Unsurprisingly the girl that he shags with abandon is plump and feisty, which draws a sharp contrast with the wife, who is losing weight alarmingly.

The movie looks wonderful. Simon has a very good "pictorial" sense, which was latter explained by the fact that he studied old Italian painters in order to get the right feel for the movie. The effort really pays off.

The movie has happy and sad endings, which will please most movie goers.

It seems like the movie is gathering pace to become the Mexican hit of the year, it jumped to number one in Mexico, won an important film festival there and most importantly it is bringing the topic to the screen in a sensitive way. It will do well (Oscar perhaps?).

Simon was there for a bizarre Q&A, in which he told non PC jokes and complained about his wife of 28 years not liking oral sex (!?!?!) He also gave great insights about his movie and movie making in general. I hope he continues doing movies instead of tequila advertisements.

I owe you the last movie, it is too late and finally I feel like going to sleep :-)

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