27 January 2013 | jimnycla
Brilliant Comedy from Mexico
I had the great pleasure of seeing this film which was shown only twice at MoMA in NYC as part of their Global Lens 2013 film series. In this film, Mexico's half-forgotten B-movie master, "involuntary surrealist" Juan Orol (1897-1988) , receives a pitch-perfect tribute which is a love letter to a self-made man of showbiz, whose career spanned nearly sixty films (1935-1968) . In a black and white flashback mingling movie-tainted memories of his Galician childhood, forced exile to Cuba and arrival in Mexico, intrepid "Juanito" pursues failed careers as baseball player, boxer, bullfighter and gangster before landing in the movies ---where failure kind of works for him. As Orol (and his alter ego), Roberto Sosa, who is a combination of Cantinflas, Fernandel and Chaplin, brilliantly exudes droll underdog charm, anchoring a fast-moving comedy where every frame is an infectious homage to a golden age of cinema, the wiles of memory and the art of fantasy. Director Sebastian de Amo has made a classic film which introduces the amazingly imaginative Orol to film-goers all over the world. This is a must see for anyone who loves the movies.