Who's in It:
Marcos Hernandez, Anapola Mushkadiz, Bertha Ruiz
The Basics: Everything is effed-up in Mexico. That's the story. And really, there is no story here the way you're thinking about that word, just images and gestures and kidnappings and sweaty repulsive sex. No, seriously, I mean it. This is a capital-A Art Film. Narrative is not on the menu.
What's the Deal? You have to be a special sort of film fan to dig something like this. And it's really better if you take a viewing companion so you can argue about what you just saw after it's over because explaining it after the fact is usually impossible. Is director Carlos Reygadas aloof or does he actually care about his subject matter? Is he aping his French director hero, Robert Bresson, and failing? It's like being in college but cheaper.
How to Watch a Movie Like This:
1. Avoid using the word "pretentious." It's lame and meaningless and will mark you as a knee-jerk know-nothing.
2. Rearrange your head and think of it as liberation from oppressive Hollywood filmmaking paradigms.
3. Don't be afraid to say you don't "get it."
4. Relax and eat plenty of candy.
What It's About, Briefly: Spiritual disaffection and the longing for meaning. Which is pretty much what most serious films are about.
Are You Freaked Out by Penises? Then stay home. This movie's got 'em.