4 September 2013 | italo505
We Need More Shooting Star Salesmen in the World
Some movies make you wait 2 plus hours before revealing the mystery or twist of the story (think The Sixth Sense or Brazil), meanwhile you keep looking at the people sitting next to you demanding an explanation. Luckily for the people that have seen The Shooting Star Salesman they didn't have to wait for long. Clocking in at a little over 20 minutes, The Shooting Star Salesman tells the peculiar story of a salesman from a different era that goes from door to door selling dreams in the shape of a complicated and magical Shooting Star machine that no one buys into and a curious boy, played by Elijah Velarde, who tags along this salesman route, much against his wishes, questioning what does the machine do. Little is known about the main character, except that he has apparently found the secret to staying young with the Shooting Star machine according to a newspaper clipping from 1930 that reads: SALESMAN GRANTING WISHES AROUND THE WORLD followed by MAN SUGGESTS SHOOTING STAR MACHINE KEEPS HIM FROM AGING. Looking at himself in the mirror and sporting a tall hat and impeccable suit and tie, the salesman gets ready to face a new day, a new challenge to convince people that he can actually make their wishes come true. Everyone slams their doors on his face, of course, still the little boy persistently walks alongside the salesman until he finds a customer, he's the only one that really believes the man against everyone he comes across with. Watching The Shooting Star Salesman for the first time, I couldn't help but doubt what the salesman was preaching, I imagined he's just a con artist, a phony who puts a facade in front of his potential customers and the boy but ultimately is a fake. I guess it's in our nature as adults to distrust everybody that comes along promising to materialize our dreams, promising the Earth, the Moon and the stars. There has to be a catch, as one of the potential customer says. Nothing is free. We live in times when nothing's ever free and nobody buys into a sales pitch like they used to in the good ol' days. Everything costs something, otherwise it's suspicious, awkward, worthless. What The Shooting Star Salesman strives to do is to make adults believe again, we tend to live through life pulling the curtain to reveal the man responsible for the illusion, we want to know how all magician's tricks work and we want to know now. No element of surprise or wow anymore. We just have to learn how the trick works and move on to the next best thing. It's how we are raising our children, by being cynical, untrusting, doubtful, careful instead of letting their imagination go wild. We need more Shooting Star Salesmen, people who perform magic tricks, promote the arts, promote short films that tell a story (and don't involve shoot outs, murder, profanity or nudity to get people's attention), promote poetry and music in its purest form. I commend Kico Velarde, director of The Shooting Star Salesman, for believing in a dream project and making it come true with Latino actors that don't necessarily belong to a gang, work as the help, get caught by La Migra, or get underpaid or are fresh out of prison. He breaks the mold created by other filmmakers that picture Latinos solely as housekeepers, maids, busboys and gardeners instead of lawyers, policeman, president, or just characters whose color of skin or ethnicity doesn't play a role in the film.