Tired of sequels, remakes, rehashed ideas, reboots, and just plain disappointing movies? Unfortunately, after about 100 years of filmmaking Hollywood has run out of ideas. Furthermore, with the recession putting the squeeze on movie studio budgets, they have had to play it safe. That means if Alvin and the Chipmunks made $60 million opening weekend despite a critical drubbing, then the squequel wil get thrown together to capitalize on the moment. Also, if a movie doesn’t beget action figures and fast-food tie-ins it’s not getting made. That doesn’t leave much room for plot and character development. Fortunately, there are burgeoning film industries in other countries that are willing to push the boundaries of filmmaking. This article outlines, without giving much away, three spanish-language films that you are guaranteed to enjoy.
1. Amorres Perros (Love’s a Bitch)
If you enjoy tense action, suspense, elaborate plots, and tales of love then you will love this film. If you liked the intertwining plotline of Crash then this film will please you as it is similar only much more engaging and artfully done. The film focuses on love by centering on dogs and inserting human love in the background. One of the stories within the film involves dogfighting and the trouble it can cause for the dog owner who is in love with his violent brother’s wife. There are assassinations and much more in this film but I intend only to pique interest and not divulge plots. You must see it. Do not read too much about the film, just get it and prepare for a rollercoaster ride.
2. Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too)
This movie looks like a crude and simple road trip movie complete with fart jokes and sex but it is much more than that. Yes, it is about two buddies who get bored during the summer before college and decide to take a road trip to an exotic beach, inviting an older woman facing marriage issues. However, the film slyly inserts economic class issues and boldly confronts life and death. It is a funny, sexy, and tear-jerking film with marvelous hand-held camera action by director Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men). As the viewer joins in on the road trip we are treated to footnotes where the camera veers off from the protaganists and details for example, a man who is going to lose his fishing business because corporate interests are going to build massive resorts where he fishes and end his ability to fish for a living. You must see this film.
3. Los Secretos de Sus Ojos (The Secrets of Their Eyes)
This movie provides a deep love story and addressess crime and justice in a way in which no Hollywood film would ever dare to do. I cannot say too much about this movie but it will shock and awe. Of note is a sequence done in only one shot involving an intense chase through a soccer stadium during a raucous soccer match. It would appear as though the director had perfect control over 70,000 screaming extras as the scene is shot with such technical precision that it’s hard to imagine how it could have possibly been done. The whole movie is worth watching for this segment alone, fortunately it has much more to offer and will leave you wondering until the very end. I guarantee you will love this movie.
Again, I strongly encourage you to expand your horizons and you will soon find new reasons to be excited about upcoming films. There is nothing like anticipating a great film and then having the opportunity to enjoy it. Since Hollywood can no longer provide that enjoyment, it is best to look elsewhere.