24 December 2001 | jotix100
Boredom Catalan style
A few years ago, an old Spanish film director, could be Garcia Berlanga, but I'm not sure, was quoted in a section of Fotogramas, the film magazine, saying something like this: "The worst American movie is better than the best Spanish one." Watching "Pau i el su germa" proves that theory.
That this film was a selection for Cannes 2001, only proves to what extent that hype-fest has become a laughing matter, since it is, at best, a very mediocre venue to peddle films.
This is a film to be seen when the viewer hasn't slept for a few days. Or, better yet, it must be seen by patients in a sleeping disorder clinic: They'll be cured of insomnia forever!
Obviously, Mr. Recha has received funding for this "master-piece" from the unsuspecting folks of Catalunya's Department of Culture, otherwise, it is very difficult to know how did he get any bank to give him the money to complete it.
The first clue about how boring it's going to be is the sequence where the camera follows Pau into the train and proceeds to spend about 5 minutes photographing those every day passengers that are unfortunate to be in the way of Mr. Recha's camera.
After that, this genius, decides to show us for about 10, or 15 minutes the apartment houses that line the highway, and the trip into the mountains. Had it been important to the story, or added something to the overall result, one could even go along. It only gets worse when he shows the actors interacting with one another. They seem to be acting in different films, at the same time. Nothing makes sense.
It is no wonder that people kept leaving the theater! At the end, a few people were asking each other if they had "got" the meaning, since it appears that no one had a basic idea of what had been the point because Mr. Recha decided to play, perhaps, a joke on all of us, unsuspecting spectators, to this enigma of a film.
The wise old director was right!