Eliecer has written 34 reviews for films during 2017.

  • The Pearl Button

    The Pearl Button

    ★★★

    Beyond Patricio Guzmán's platitudes about the life-creating affirmations to be found in water and the stars, and some ugly reiterations of ugly contemporary documentary modes (beginning with the editing and the way music is used), The Pearl Button is a superior film to the much-lauded Nostalgia for The Light (2010). From what I remember, the latter film is akin to emotional exploitation that reaches its most irresponsible point in one sequence. It occurs when Guzmán makes the mothers and widows…

  • Heat

    Heat

    ★★★★

    "It's a free country, brother."

    Yeah, but it depends on how many steaks you have in the freezer.

  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    ★★★★★

    "Like listening to a piano player tickling a few last chords on the ivories in the wee hours of the morning, when the last patrons have left the nightclub and the waiters are stacking the chairs on the tables." - Jean-Luc Godard on The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    A similar experience happened to me at a nightclub in the early morning, except I was listening to La Isla Bonita.

  • Mexico: The Frozen Revolution

    Mexico: The Frozen Revolution

    ★★★★½

    A perfect dictatorship drawing its power from a frozen revolution!

  • It Happened In Hualfin

    It Happened In Hualfin

    ★★★★★

    How to avoid the ethnographic camera? That colonial imbalance between those holding the camera and the people who are filmed. The are two ways: by letting the people have their say or by exalting their stories with the truth of fiction. In the latter methodology, It Happened In Haulfin follows along the tracks of Rossellini's India: Matri Bhumi (1959) and Pedro Costa's Horse Money (2014). Argentina had a great humanist filmmaker. His name was Raymundo Gleyzer.

  • Perón: actualización política y doctrinaria para la toma del poder

    Perón: actualización política y doctrinaria para la toma del poder

    ★★

    "The crowd loves strong men." - Mussolini

    "The camera looks for the new important man. In the jostling crowd, it tries to lay hold of Ion Iliescu.” – Harun Farocki, Videograms of a Revolution (1992)

    Juan Perón. To the right of Che and collaborator with right wing factions of Argentina, but somehow a subject worthy of veneration for leftists Solanas and Getino in this two-hour interview where they allow Perón (from his exile in Francoist Spain) to play the vanguardist. Peronism, the Argentine third position, always struck me as a personality cult led by opportunists. But this really puts it into perspective.

  • Scarred Hearts

    Scarred Hearts

    ★★★★★

    The body is the inscribed surface of events. Fin de siècles happen twice or three times in a century. But what does it mean to be from one's age when you are perpetually bedridden and you don't live past your 20s? Scarred Hearts represents this situation in a tale inside a larger world of historicism and its oppressive essentialism. It inscribes its occurrences on a perpetually crumbling mass that reinvigorates itself in the act of living, until the will abandons it and the essence of life is set free. A film’s framing rarely provides this much depth and beautiful muse[um]ification.

  • Videograms of a Revolution

    Videograms of a Revolution

    ★★★★½

    The revolution will not be televised, it will be home recorded.

  • Tangos, the Exile of Gardel

    Tangos, the Exile of Gardel

    ★★★½

    To hell with Rimbaud and Artaud. Surrealism's birthright is Latin America through Lautréamont and Quiroga and the particular hauntology that comes with being a Latin American.

  • Nocturama

    Nocturama

    ★★

    More épater la bourgeoisie than political. And rather efficient at that, considering its director. But ultimately a useless film, apart from its value as a litmus test.

    It matters a lot who is behind the camera. If the topics remained intact and this were a film by, say Tariq Teguia, and the industry somehow allowed it the same production, exposure, and access to music rights. Then my bullshit meter wouldn't have gone off the scale as quickly.

  • Near Death

    Near Death

    ★★★★★

    Initial inclination is to think that the camera is intruding where it has everything to gain and the recorded everything to lose. In other words, exploitation; the imbalance between the spectator and the represented, with the fate of the latter being their instrumentalization as symbolic values within spaces of image consumption for the spectator. But Near Death is a commune where those who produced the images remain imaginable and therefore you (the spectator) remain imaginable to yourself. It is a…

  • Carlito's Way

    Carlito's Way

    ★★★★★

    Carlito’s Way is another one of those films that perfectly aligns with the somber spirit of Alan Vega and Martin Rev’s song Dream Baby Dream. Moreover, it is also a reiteration of what The Killing of a Chinese Bookie meant to John Cassavetes :

    “Cassavetes spoke to Gazzara about the gangsters in the film as a metaphor for the people who are constantly trying to steal or ruin people's dreams. Cassavetes started to cry and Gazzara saw that playing Cosmo was representing John Cassavetes and the movie was a metaphor for the director's struggles for his own dreams.”