Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ruben Cristiany, Enoc Leao, Martha Claudia Moreno, Marisela Rangel, Mary Carmen
Director: Horacio Rivera
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Good concept with poor execution
Chris Roberts | 01/02/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't too sure what was in store for me with this Mexican gay indie flick. After watching it, I'm still struggling for a final opinion.
THE GOOD: Limbo is certainly original and you've probably not seen much like it. The underlying premise of hanging around somewhere between life and death as a basis for a coming-of-age character study actually works rather well. The main character, Isao, is sweet and charming enough to like and his wide-eyed curiosity about himself and the world around him is fun and gives the movie a spirit. The script is respectable and brings together many varied elements of the story in a compact and flowing manner. Watching Limbo, I was intrigued at what was going on and wanted to know what happens next - rare for gay indie cinema which is typically very formulaic.
THE BAD: Unfortunately, quite a bit of the technical stuff. The sound production is absolutely horrid in terms of effects, music, audio-ambiance, and dubbing (just watch the scene with the gym teacher approaching the showers... the audio makes the script's attempt at drama laughable). I often wondered when some of the "dramatic build-up" music was playing just who could have possibly thought that such cheap and awkward sounds were okay. The cinematography is pretty bad - brace yourself for a lot of short clips super-fast-flashed across the screen as a much-overused device. It appears as though it's shot on video tape and is not brilliant footage. The acting leaves much to be desired in just about every case (with the exceptions of the nurse and the lawyer who are not bad and Isao who varies from barely passable to okay) and in a couple of spots is positively horrible (the aforementioned gym teacher and the blind man). The result is that it just feels like a very juvenile production. I know that that is the case for most low-budget indies, but in Limbo it really seems to draw away from the surprisingly interesting story. One of my big problems is actually a casting one: the actor playing the 10-year-old, sexually confused boy is actually a girl named Fatima Diaz. For a film that preaches about it being okay to be a queer-acting boy, this casting choice undermines the message by saying that it's not even okay to cast a boy to play a queer-acting boy.
THE VERDICT: While it was pieced together and soundtracked a bit like a Junior High School project, Limbo steps out of the box and offers up something fresh. Fatima Diaz is very watchable and charming. The story actually grabs your attention and makes you pay attention which is a wonderful thing in this genre. The production qualities are very cheap, the acting isn't great, and the casting is... puzzling. So you end up with an idea vs. execution kind of film. If you can manage the problems, then the underlying story is very intriguing. If you're like me, then at the end of it all, you'll be going back and forth over which side wins out. For the under-$10 asking price, it's probably an okay purchase for the gay cinema buff. 2½ stars out of 5."
No Past and No Future
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 09/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
No Past and No Future
Limbo is usually defined as the state of nothingness and in this limbo we have a firth grader who is gay and somehow finds himself in a hospital that is not of this world--there is no past and no future there. This is the mystery of this film that works like a dream. We go along with director Horacio Rivera's into the world of the undead as a way to look at the issue of being different. Isao is an effeminate young boy who enjoys dressing up, carrying a doll and he dreams about becoming a Parisian fashion designer. After having been attacked by his pedophiliac gym teacher he is left for dead but he wakes up in a hospital that is strangely silent and staffed by a nurse and an administrator who is never seen. He is soon joined by a lawyer who has been shot in the head and he tries to get his questions answered by the nurse and from the lawyer. They discover that they are in that room where one waits before going either to heaven or to hell and are soon joined by Isao's best friend and a janitor who is blind but seems to know something about ghosts who have not found rest. We are with Isao as he embarks upon maturity in the other world.
The film is well done even if the plot is a bit contrived but it is a welcome addition to our canon from Mexico.